Kwon goes wire-to-wire to Canadian Junior title

Swan-E-Set golfer fires a 12-under-par to win his second national junior title in three years

Kevin Kwon of Maple Ridge navigates the Timberwolf Golf Course in Sudbury

Kevin Kwon of Maple Ridge navigates the Timberwolf Golf Course in Sudbury

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Maple Ridge’s Kevin Kwon went wire-to-wire to take home the 2013 Canadian Junior Boys Championship at the Timberwolf Golf Club in Sudbury, Ont.

Kwon,  a member of Team Canada’s developmental team, fired a three-under-par 69 in the final round to win his second national junior title, his first coming in an 11-stroke victory in 2011. Kwon finished with an overall 12-under-par, winning by five strokes over runner-up and Team Canada teammate Matthew Scobie of Ajax, Ont.

“It feels great,” Kwon said following his victory. “I was really nervous today, but I tried to do the same thing I did the past few days and I found a way to win.”

The Swan-E-Set golfer opened the tournament with an eight-under 64 and never looked back.

“When you shoot 64, it means everything is really working well for you,” said Kwon. “I hit the ball in the right places, I putted fantastic and didn’t make many mistakes, so it was kind of like I was in cruise control. I think I’m a smarter golfer than I was last year and I think that’s going to help me a lot this year.”

The only hiccup for Kwon was a two-over 74 on Day 2. He said the gusty conditions made for a difficult round. Still the field couldn’t catch Kwon. Consecutive 69s on the final two days secured the title for the Maple Ridge golfer, who will be starting his freshman season at the University of Washington in the fall.

“There was a lot of pressure with this being my third and final Canadian Junior,” Kwon continued. “The first one I had zero expectations, but with this one there were more expectations because I wanted to end my career well – two different kinds of happy.”

Kwon was cruising to victory on Friday with a five-stroke lead  before posting a pair of bogeys on the par four Nos. 15 and 16. However, Kwon responded in true championship form with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 17 and 18. Kwon lead the tournament with 22 birdies.

The Canadian Junior Boys Championship dates back to 1938, and saw 156 golfers play in a four-day, 72-hole stroke play event. The field was cut to the low 70 players after 36 holes.

The win earns Kwon an exemption into the 2013 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, Aug. 6 to 9 at Royal Colwood Golf Club and Gorge Vale Golf Club in Victoria, B.C.

The winner of the Canadian Men’s Amateur recieves an automatic berth in next year’s Canadian Open.