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Local teen shows drive, earns spot at Ontario championship

'It's been a lot of fun but a lot of hard work and practice as well,' says Mitch Brassard of earning the right to play in the Ontario Men's Amateur Championship

When a teenager is holding his own against the best Ontario amateur golfers of all ages, the future can only be bright.

Mitch Brassard is a 17-year-old Barrie high school student who will be heading into Grade 12 in the fall. This week, he is at the Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship at the Beach Grove Golf and Country Club in Tecumseh (near Windsor).

The event has been played annually since 1923 and features the top amateurs in the province, of all ages. 

“I qualified for this a month ago when I finished tied for seventh out of a field of 60,” Brassard explained. “It's been a lot of fun but a lot of hard work and practice as well.”

Brassard started playing golf around the age of four, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that he began to dedicate himself to the game. 

“I started taking it really seriously about four years ago when I was playing a high level of baseball and golf at the same time. I kind of figured out that baseball wasn’t for me and that I should start focusing on golf,” said Brassard. 

As a member of the Barrie Golf and Country Club for the last four years, Brassard said the club has helped him in that they “have a strong junior program with about over 100 juniors.”

While not wanting to talk too much about what he likes about his personal game, Brassard did admit what he believes are his strongest assets.

“My short game, I would say, is my strongest. Putting, chipping, that always seems to be where I do my best,” said Brassard. “I enjoy the driving part of the game and for me it is becoming stronger.”

While he will be continuing his education, Brassard is already speaking with U.S. colleges about attending for post-secondary education and golf.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of schools up until this point and I’ll make a decision in September. After school, I can evaluate how I’ve done and whether I go pro or not,” he said.

Of the 114 players in the field at this week’s event, only the top 48 move on to the final few days.

On Wednesday, Brassard finished tied at 42 to advance. 

He now moves on to play the final round today, getting in three more rounds rather than four as the bad weather over the last few days required course maintenance to make it playable again.  

Brassard may be a teenager playing against people sometimes twice his age, but he is taking an approach to his golf game with much wiser thinking.

“Just stick with what you’re doing, don’t worry about anything else. A coach once told me if you can’t outplay the rest, outwork them,” said Brassard. “That's something I’ve stuck to and I have found it has helped me a lot.”

Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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