Sihota And Dao Take Early Lead In Future Links, Driven By Acura Pacific Championship At Pitt Meadows GC

After Having His Tee Shot Bury In Some Long Grass, Jeevan Sihota Managed An All-World Par On The 17th Hole At Pitt Meadows GC En Route To An Opening Round Of 2-under Par 69 - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf

By Bryan Outram/British Columbia Golf

Victoria's Jeevan Sihota, who plays out of Gorge Vale GC, took the first round lead on the Junior Boys side in the Future Links, Driven By Acura Pacific Championship taking place this weekend at Pitt Meadows Golf Club, while 2018 Canadian Junior Girls Champion Celeste Dao from Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot, QC, and the Summerlea G&CC led the Junior Girls with both players recording under par scores of 69.

The Junior Boys are playing the course as a par 71 while the Junior Girls play it as a par 72. The finishing 18th hole has been changed to a par 4 for the boys while remaining as a par 5 for the girls.

At 2-under par Sihota takes a 2-shot lead into round two over 3 players, Ryan Hodgins of Medicine Hat, AB, Kai Iguchi from Banff, AB, and Christopher Vandette of Beaconsfield, QC. Meanwhile, Dao goes into the second round holding a one-shot advantage over Vancouver's Tiffany Kong, with Euna Han of Coquitlam 2 back and Surrey's Angel  (Mu Chen) Lin 3 behind.

Sihota had 2 birdies and no bogeys on his unblemished scorecard for what looked to be a relatively simple round of golf. It wasn't quite that way though. Upon teeing it up on the 404-yard par 4 17th hole, Sihota somewhat uncharacteristically pulled his tee shot into some very heavy, long grass just a short distance from the tee box.

With a rules official nearby and several people including his father tromping through the grass trying to locate the wayward shot, young Jeevan decided to head back to the tee and hit again as he was informed he only had 40 seconds left in his search. Suddenly, playing partner/competitor Jace Minni, the 2018 British Columbia Golf Juvenile Boys Champion and son of 4-time PGA of BC Champion Scott Minni, hollered out "found it!" 

Sihota had exactly 7 seconds left before his allotted search time would expire. And as is the nature of top players, he turned the situation into something even more positive. Up to mid-calf in long grass and looking down at a barely visible golf ball, Sihota gouged the ball out to the fairway leaving himself still some 190 yards from the green.

A beautifully struck approach shot left him inside of 5 feet and when he promptly rolled the putt into the middle of the hole he had a very tidy looking par on his scorecard that easily could have been a double-bogey or worse.

Round two of the 54-hole event goes at 7am Saturday with the final round on Sunday. There is no cut in this particular tournament, which features many of the top male and female junior golfers in the country.

Click HERE for more information including complete scoring for both the Junior Girls and Junior Boys.