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Golfer Ella Kozak qualifies for pair of American events

Does well at event at Deer Park on weekend
Kozak golf tee june 18
Ella Kozak off the tee at Deer Park Gold Course Saturday morning.

YORKTON - Yorkton’s Ella Kozak is going to the U.S. Junior Girls Championship. 

Kozak, 16, qualified through an event in North Dakota recently. 

Kozak recently travelled to Jamestown, N.D. to compete in the one-day event looking for a spot in the upcoming national championship in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

“It was actually my coaches down in Florida who suggested it,” Kozak explained, adding it was a last minute opportunity. 

Kozak had been golfing in a three-day event in Steinbach, MB. but was only a couple of holes into her final round when the horn blew and the rains came. 

“The course was under water basically,” she said. 

So the family hopped in the car and headed south. 

“It was a one-day tournament,” said Kozak. “You had one shot. You had to win it.” 

And that is exactly what Kozak did, topping the field of 12. 

She won the qualifier with a 2-over, 74, three strokes better than Rylee Heryford and Rose Solberg, becoming the first Saskatchewan player to qualify for the national event since Anna Young in 2012. 

Having the event pop onto the radar almost out of the blue was almost a good thing in the sense there was limited time to over think the pressure of the circumstance, although not all the apprehension was eliminated. 

“There was still a little bit of worry because it was just the one day,” said Kozak. 

The U.S. Junior Girls Championship will be held at The Club at Olde Stone from July 18 to 23.  

A Faldo Hurricane Series Qualifier Golf Tournament was held at Deer Park Municipal Golf Course over the weekend. 

The event attracted 22 golfers ages U15 to U19 from across Saskatchewan for three rounds of golf Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Players play in the Faldo Hurricane Series Qualifier that is designated to their province. Top finishers will be invited to the regional qualifier that will take place at Woodington Lake Golf Club in Tottenham, Ontario Sept. 10 and 11.  

The top finisher in each division at the regional qualifier will be awarded a spot in the Faldo Hurricane Series Grand Final at Innisbrook Golf Resort, in Palm Harbour, Florida Oct. 10 and 11.  

Kozak topped the Junior Women’s Division with a 232 over three rounds.  

Being back on the Deer Park course “was definitely a different experience,” offered Kozak, adding “it felt a little bit weird.” 

That said Kozak said the course was “in really good shape,” for the event. 

With the two qualifications Kozak said the season is going well. 

“It’s been a really good season so far,” she said, adding she has the Saskatchewan championships upcoming in Regina as the next big event.