This is a busy time of year for Tristan Mandur.
The 17-year-old golfer from Mill Bay is travelling back and forth across the province, the country and even the continent for tournaments, and spending hours each day at his home course, Arbutus Ridge, when he’s not competing.
But make no mistake — it’s a labour of love.
“I love it,” Mandur said earlier this week. “The competition is my favourite part. That’s why I play. The bigger the tournament, the better the competition. I love this time of year.”
Although Mandur does a lot of travelling for his sport, two of his biggest wins this year came at home. On July 8, he won the B.C Junior Boys Championship at Arbutus Ridge, less than two weeks after winning the Zone 5 Junior Boys Championship on the same course. In between, he was the second low amateur at the Men’s Open just up the road at the Cowichan Golf & Country Club at the beginning of July.
Mandur was the toast of Arbutus Ridge after winning the B.C. Junior by a single shot.
“It was an awesome achievement,” he said. “To win on my home turf is even better. I know a lot of the members, and I knew a lot of people were cheering for me.”
Mandur shot a one-under 279 over the four day tournament. Although he was always in the hunt, he didn’t hold the lead until the last day. Going into the final round, Mandur trailed A.J. Ewart of Coquitlam and Isaac Lee of Pitt Meadows, but birdied the third, fourth and fifth holes to move into a three-shot lead over Ewart, and four ahead of Lee. Ewart birdied the 14th and Mandur bogeyed the 17th to make it a one-shot difference, but Mandur held on after that, icing the championship with a five-foot putt on the last hole.
“The putt on 18 was the most nerve-wracking putt I’ve had in a while… or ever,” Mandur said.
One other Cowichan Valley golfer made the cut after the first two days of the junior championship: Callum Davison of Duncan Meadows, who finished tied for 24th at 14-over. Brian Tardiff of March Meadows and Thomas Webber of the Cowichan Golf & Country Club both missed the cut.
In the week after his junior championship victory, Mandur finished 43rd at the B.C. Amateur Championship at Pheasant Glen on July 12-15. It only gets busier from here.
He leaves this Saturday for the Junior Americas Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico where he will be one of four golfers representing B.C. From there, he will fly back to Vancouver, then to Newfoundland where he will join Ewart and Adam Veenstra, who finished third at the B.C. Junior Championship, to represent their province at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship. After that, he’s off to the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in Quebec.
In September, he will head into Grade 12 at Shawnigan Lake School, and he’s hoping to lock up a scholarship some time in the next year.
“I’ve been talking to several universities in Canada and the U.S.,” Mandur said. “Once I get to university, that will determine if I’m good enough to go pro. That’s definitely one of my goals.”