Sports

Hockey groundwork for golf

Earlier this month, Ryan Hunt helped Canada win its first junior golf team titles since 2007. - Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
Earlier this month, Ryan Hunt helped Canada win its first junior golf team titles since 2007.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

Hockey stars don’t always end up in the NHL.

Sometimes they change their focus entirely and transfer their athletic skills to another sport, in which they can dominate standings in top-ranked competitions.

Ryan Hunt from Pitt Meadows fell into that category when he abandoned minor hockey, due to an injury, for golf.

Shooting pucks transfered well into driving golf balls.

“That’s why I generated a lot of power in my golf swing,” maintains Hunt.

From the ages five to 15, Hunt was an avid hockey player, working his way through the minor divisions to bantam A1, playing right wing for the Ridge Meadows Rustlers.

Four years later, he’s a scratch golfer and Canadian junior golf team athlete, having

The 19-year-old Meadow Gardens Golf Club member now prefers golf to hockey because he is more in control of the end result.

“It’s all up to you whether you do well or not.”

Hunt continues to do well on the summer golf tournament circuit.

Recently, he competed in the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) Ford Series and took home the title for junior boys’ longest drive, with a 320-yard shot, approximately 20 yards longer than his average.

And in the MJT event in June, Hunt placed fourth in the junior boys’ division, shooting 76-77-153.

And at the beginning of this month, he travelled, for the first time, with the Canadian team to Arizona, U.S. and St. Andrews, Scotland and helped bring home both the North American and Euro Junior Golf cups.

They were Canada’s first team titles since 2007, when it won both trophies, as well.

Hunt played a big part in the successful match-play events against the teams from Scotland and the U.S., as Canada went 4-1-1.

Hunt competed in the Nike Golf Junior Championship this week, and sat second on the Order of Merit on the Canadian Junior Golf Association for boys aged 15-19.

The 10th annual Nike event ended Thursday at Carlisle Golf and Country Club in Richmond Hill, Ont. It brought together select junior golfers from across the country.

Hunt was tied for third after the third round, at plus-two, carding scores of 75, 77 and 74 – four strokes back of leader Andrew Russ of Oakville, Ont.

Hunt is hopeful his recent success and ranking will catch the eye of NCAA golf team recruiters, as he would like to apply for post-secondary scholarships this fall.

“We’ll see what happens. I am hopeful to end up some place warm.”

 

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