Vernon golfer Kendra Jones-Munk (right) accepts the Zone 2 Junior Girls Tour Championship trophy from zone chairperson Olivia Higgs after capturing the title on the third playoff hole at Gallagher’s Canyon course in Kelowna. (Submitted)

Okanagan golfer earns tour trifecta

Kendra Jones-Munk wins Zone 2 junior girls tour title, Order of Merit and most sportsmanlike honours

Coming from four strokes down in the final round to win the Zone 2 Okanagan Junior Girls Golf Championship in a playoff was cool for Vernon’s Kendra Jones-Munk.

But what amazed Jones-Munk even more was being voted by her peers as the tour’s most sportsmanlike player.

“Everybody got to vote for one player they felt showed the most sportsmanship, was kind to the players and was a really nice person,” said Jones-Munk, 17, heading into Grade 12 in September at W. L. Seaton Secondary.

“To win that is really amazing. I guess I made a great impression and had a very positive impact on players on the tour. I’m quite honoured.”

Jones-Munk, who plays out of the Vernon Golf and Country Club, was four shots down after the first 18 holes of the 36-hole tour championship played at Kelowna’s Gallagher’s Canyon course.

She rallied to join close friend Alex Brunner, of Osoyoos, in a playoff to determine the tour champ.

READ ALSO: Vest, Jones-Munk city champs

On the third playoff hole, Jones-Munk put her third shot into a bunker left of the green, chipped to within five feet and made her par putt, while Brunner was unable to equalize, missing her par chance to give Jones-Munk the title.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” said Jones-Munk of the playoff. “But once it was over, there were no bad feelings between us at all. She’s one of my closest friends.

Jones-Munk won the Tour’s 2019 Order of Merit, finishing atop the points standings for the season-long run.

She made a few changes in her swing, working with Vernon pro Brad Jones, that had her concentrating on good contact and keeping the ball online.

Early in the season, she was recording high scores but the swing changes have her playing now as a 4.3 handicap, meaning a two-stroke improvement in her play since the beginning of the year.

READ ALSO: Vernon golfer tees off at national event

Jones-Munk will tee it up next week at the B.C. Junior Girls Championships at Nanoose Bay near Parksville, on Vancouver Island.

She has also qualified for the Canadian Junior Girls Championships in Lethbridge July 29 to Aug.2, and will play in the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s Junior Girls Amateur Championships in Port Ludlow, Wash. She played the Canadian and PNGA events in 2018, learning a ton.

“In those two events, I had the experience of having quite a bit of pressure throughout a whole tournament and it helped build me up as a player,” she said.

“If I make a double bogey now, I can recover quite quickly which is a notable improvement from last year.”

Her goal is to make the cut in both the B.C. and Canadian tournaments, and finish top-20 in Canada.

Asked if she was working for the summer, Jones-Munk joked and said, “I’m working on my swing.”

***

On the boys’ side at the Zone 2 Tour Championships, Braedon Cooper, of the Vernon Golf Club, finished second in the Junior Division low gross, three shots back of the winner, Justin Towill of Kelowna.

Hunter Penalva of Predator Ridge was third, eight shots behind Towill.

Austin Armanini of Vernon was fifth low gross in the Juvenile Division. Ryan Vest of Predator Ridge was second low gross in the Bantam Boys Division, two shots back of the winner, Cooper Humphries of Kelowna.

Braxton MacDonald and Will Lockwood, both of Vernon, were fourth and fifth.

Vest was third runner-up in the season-long Order of Merit.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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