Skip to content

Yorkton's Kozak shines on home course with championship win

Kozak started with a 2-under par, 70 on the opening day of the event Wednesday to establish an early eight shot lead.

YORKTON - It was a memorable finish for Yorkton’s Ella Kozak as she took top honours at the 2024 Saskatchewan Junior Women’s Championships.

Taking a lead on day one, Kozak finished the three rounds with a 211, 13 strokes better than Calgary’s Sela Ogada, and 23 better than Chloe Wills of Kyle.

Following the final round Kozak said the win was gratifying as it was her last as a junior, and last before she heads to college in about a month.

“This was really exciting. . . It was really special,” she said noting she played in front of family and friends “that I’ve known all my life”

Competing in her final Saskatchewan Junior Women’s Championship Kozak used familiarity with her home course at Deer Park Municipal Golf Course to roll to the championship.

Kozak started with a 2-under par, 70 on the opening day of the event Wednesday to establish an early eight shot lead over Ogada and a 12 stroke cushion over Wills.

Wills leads the under-17 age group; Tayla Perry from Regina is second the age division at 11-over par. Niya Friesen of Swift Current is third in the under-17 category.

It was more of the same Thursday with Kozak continuing to lead. She shot 69 during the second round, which had Kozak heading to the final day with a 10 shot cushion over Sela Ogada of Calgary. Chloe Wills of Kyle sat in third place overall, 18 strokes behind Kozak.

Wills remained the leader of the under-17 age group.

Ogada was tops in the under-15 division.

While having a comfortable lead Kozak said that wasn’t really on her mind headed to the final round.

“I just tried to focus on what I was doing . . . I wasn’t really thinking about the start,” she said.

Friday Kozak had only finished the two opening holes before rain and lightning had the golfers recalled to the clubhouse for a roughly 90-minute delay.

Asked if the delay impacted things Kozak said she did not think it was a factor, in part because she had barely started the round.

That was certainly true as once back on course Kozak tore up the front nine being minus six at the midway point.

“Everything came together. Everything was tight, the driver . . . the putter,” she said of the opening nine.

It was the sort of run Kozak said felt like she put the best of her game together.

“I was proud of the front nine. . . It showed where I can get – what my ‘A’ game can be,” she said, adding she just needs to put it together with consistency.

The wheels did fall off Kozak’s golf cart a bit on the home stretch, as she fell to a finish at an even par 72, still three strokes up on Ogada for the day.

While noting it was the final nine of 54 in three days, it was more a case of letting the minus six impact her effort.

“It got a little bit in my head,” she admitted, adding she ended up being happy she kept things together to hold par on the round.

On the junior men’s side Saskatoon’s Ryan Mosher fashioned a comeback to edge Max Regier, also of Saskatoon, winning the overall under-19 championship by one-shot.

Mosher shot a 213, while Regier finished with a 214.

Aricin Franklin, who led after two rounds finished third in the championship at 221, and claiming victory in the under-17 category.

Lucas Sturgeon of Saskatoon emerged as the champion in the under-15 category with a 208 while Jun Lee of Regina rounded out the winners by taking home the under-13 trophy with a 219.