Gajan Sivabalasingham captures Ontario Junior Boys Championship
Markham, ON (July 20, 2012) - After three solid rounds to start the week Gajan Sivabalasingham of Ballantrae final got some putts to fall in the final round to capture the Investors Group Ontario Junior Boys’ Championship at his home club the Mandarin Golf and Country Club.
Entering Friday’s final round the 18 year old was two shots off the lead after playing very steady and patient golf throughout the week. However, he saved the best for last by carding a 68 on day four to give him a 72 hole total of 282 (71-72-71-68) two-under par, and the 2012 title.
“I played well the first three days and hadn’t got putts to go in at all. But today they finally starting falling and I was hitting it pretty good. I did still miss a few out there but I was happy with 68 today,” explained Sivabalasingham.
On his way to victory he posted six birdies and three bogeys including a birdie on the finishing hole in front of a large gallery of family and friends. There were definitely some bias supporters in the crowd as members of the club circled the green to cheer on their home grown champ. However, Sivabalasingham doesn’t believe that his win will give him any additional pull around the club.
“Being at home I did have a few people watching me and a lot of people expecting me to do well,” stated Sivabalasingham. “I’m sure it (the excitement) will last a few weeks and things will go back to normal.”
Despite the huge support from his fellow members his biggest supporter, his father, was there with him for all 72 holes and every shot and putt. For that matter his dad has been by his side since the beginning of his career. Known as a youngster as “Little Tiger” Sivabalasingham credits much of his success to the support he has received from his family throughout his career, which includes five trips to the Ontario Junior Boys’.
“My dad has been with me at every tournament. I can’t imagine an event where he not there. He is very supportive and having my sisters come out the last two days was good to see,” said the 2012 Junior Boys’ Champ.
Finishing two shots behind Sivabalasingham and making the biggest move on Friday was Team Canada Development Team member Blair Hamilton of Burlington who also posted a final round 68 to claim second place with a four day total of even par 284 (72-73-71-68). The Hidden Lake Golf Club member posted seven birdies and four bogeys in his final round to move all the way up the leaderboard from tenth place to claim the silver medal and secure himself a spot on the Ontario interprovincial team.
The final member of the interprovincial team, who will represent Ontario at the Canadian Junior Boys’ Championship in Nova Scotia, was Eric Flockhart of Mississauga. The 17 year public player put together a stellar round of golf including six birdies and held the lead for most of the day. However, an unlucky double bogey at the thirteenth hole opened the door for his fellow competitors to catch and pass him on the final holes. He finished at one-over par 285 (73-73-68-71) and in third place for the Championship.
First played in 1923, the Ontario Junior Boys' Championship was contested for the 90th time this summer. Past winners of the Investors Group Junior Boys' Championship include 2003 Masters Champion Mike Weir (1988) and his longtime caddy Brennan Little (1987), Ontario amateur golf legend Gary Cowan (1956), Nationwide and PGA Tour member Jon Mills (1996) 2009 NCAA Champion Matt Hill (2007), and 2010 Canadian Amateur and recent Ontario Amateur champion Albin Choi.