ROSTHERN - Ryan Chernoff’s first and only trip to the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association’s (SHSAA) provincial golf championship was a memorable one.
Chernoff, a Grade 12 student at the Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS), was a double gold medallist at provincials, held Friday and Saturday in Rosthern.
Chernoff won the male individual gold medal with a two-round total of 142. He shot a 74 in the first round to sit in a tie for second, one stroke back of Martensville’s Myles Johnson, who shot a 73.
But Chernoff then fired the lowest score of the second round, and the entire tournament, with a 68, to finish at 142. He was seven strokes clear of Johnson (73-76, 149) and nine better than Team South East teammate Darien Herlick of the Weyburn Comprehensive School (74-77, 151).
“The key to my game is I was finding fairways, putting myself in good positions with the driver, and giving myself a nice wedge into most greens,” Chernoff told the Mercury. “The putter was hot; I was rolling in putts.”
The 68 in the second round was a personal best, he said.
Chernoff was also part of the Team South East entry that won the male team gold medal. They had the lead after the first round with a team score of 212, six strokes better than Central Valley. Team South East’s score was 213 in the second round for a total of 425, 14 better than Central Valley’s 439 (218-221).
“I’m happy that I could help support Team South East, and play my round of golf, and the other boys came through and played their rounds of golf,” said Chernoff.
In addition to Chernoff and Herlick, members of Team South East were Kerr Cudmore of Wawota and Davin Bourassa of Radville.
“I’ve played in MJTs (Maple Leaf Junior Tour events) with those guys for a long time. There was a young guy on the team, Kerr Cudmore, he’s in Grade 9 but he’s a spectacular player. He’ll be a threat in high school golf and MJT golf for a long time,” said Chernoff.
Entering provincials, Chernoff said he was playing well and he knew Team South East was definitely going to be one of the better teams at the tournament.
Team captain Carter Morrison of Carlyle also provided some words of wisdom to the players after the first round.
“We just ran with it and took it home,” Chernoff said.
Chernoff is hoping he can parlay his skills on the golf course into a scholarship at an NCAA Division 2 program. If he doesn’t, he’ll focus on academics, as he hopes to get into medical school eventually.
He expressed thanks to his parents, his brothers, the junior golf program at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf program and instructors Daniel Garcia and Dave Buttner for their support in helping him reach this level.