Sihota, Lovan Carry Big Leads Into Final Round Of Juvenile Championships In Nelson

Jeevan Sihota (L) And Claire Lovan Are Your Two Leaders At The BC Juvenile Championships At Granite Pointe GC In Nelson Going Into The Final Round - BC Golf Image

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Victoria’s Jeevan Sihota fired a two-under 70 Thursday and increased his lead to seven shots heading into Friday’s final round of the B.C. Juvenile Boys Championship at Granite Pointe Golf Club in Nelson. 

The B.C. Juvenile Girls Championship is also being played at Granite Pointe and Claire Lovan of Surrey retained her four-shot lead after firing a four-over 77 on Thursday.

Sihota, who opened with a seven-under 65 in Wednesday’s first round, had three birdies and a bogey in his second round. He is nine-under par through 36 holes and leads Kelowna’s Matt Hopley by seven shots. “It was still a solid round, but I just didn’t drop any putts today,” said Sihota. “I hit the ball as well, maybe even better, than I did yesterday, but I missed quite a few putts.”

Sihota joked that he hopes he can hang onto his big lead in Friday’s final round. “Hopefully I won’t blow that big a lead,” he said with a chuckle. “This is a very hilly course. It is tight in spots and there are a couple holes where you have to careful.”  Hopley made seven birdies -- including three in a row to close his day -- in his even-par round of 72 on Thursday. He sits at two-under par.

The Juvenile Championships are open to players 16 and younger as of Aug. 1. Sihota, who plays out of Gorge Vale Golf Club, is only 13 and heading into Grade 8.

Finn Lawlor of North Vancouver, Leo Harper of Burnaby and Nic Jenner of Castlegar are tied for third place at one-over par. The day’s low round was shot by Daryl Setter of Qualicum Beach, who fired a three-under 69 that left him alone in seventh place at three-over par.

The 15-year-old Lovan, who plays out of Eaglequest-Coyote Creek in Surrey, was runner-up at last summer’s B.C. Bantam Girls Championship for competitors aged 14 and under. She opened the Juvenile Championship with a three-under 71 Wednesday that featured six birdies.

Those birdies were harder to come by Thursday. Lovan still managed three of them, but also recorded four bogeys and a double-bogey. She sits at even-par through 36 holes. “I just didn’t hit the ball quite as well today,” said Lovan. “My ball-striking wasn’t the best today, but it is good to know I still have the same lead.”

Lovan knows she will feel some nerves on Friday as she tries to put the finishing touches on what would be the biggest win of her junior career. She thinks her experience at last month’s Future Links Western Championship in Fernie will help her on Friday. Lovan had a one-shot lead heading into the final round in Fernie, but ended up losing by one shot to Angela Zhang of Vancouver.

“I think I will be a bit nervous,” she said. “But I also think my experience at the Future Links event in Fernie will help me tomorrow. I think my mental game is stronger now.”

Karen Zhang of Richmond moved into second place after firing the day’s low round, a one-under 73, that left her at four-over for the tournament. Victoria’s Akari Hayashi shot a four-over 78 Thursday and is alone in third place at five-over par.

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CHIP SHOTS: Paul Kim of Abbotsford aced the sixth hole en route to a two-over 74 on Thursday. . .Zone 4 (Delta, Greater Vancouver, Squamish, Sunshine Coast) and Zone 2 (Okanagan) finished tied for first place in the 36-hole zone competition at eight-over par, however Zone 2 was awarded the title on a tie-break procedure. . .The Kelowna duo of Hopley and Cole Wilson lead the best-ball competition with a two-round score of 16-under par. That is four shots better than the team of Sihota and partner Ethan Posthumus of Coquitlam.