As Tarn MacArthur approached
the first tee to begin a Canadian Junior Golf Association qualifying
event at the Chateau Montebello golf course last month, he had
a moment of reflection.
A year earlier, MacArthur
was at the same course playing in his first CJGA event. He had
only been playing the game for a year at that point and may not
have been ready for the level of competition he was about to face.
His scores, rounds
of 89 and 85 for a two-round total of 34 over par, reflected that.
"I was so nervous
it was ridiculous," MacArthur, 18, said. "But once I
saw the kids I was playing with, I knew that after some practice
I could hang with them."
By the end of last
summer, MacArthur's confidence grew and he finished second in
two tournaments, shooting a round of 69 in one of them.
When he returned to
Montebello in May, MacArthur was a different golfer.
"I sort of felt
on the first tee that day that I had come full circle," he
second at Montebello this year with a two- round total of 11-over
par, a 23-stroke difference from a year ago. A week later, he
fought off wind gusts of up to 50 kilometres per hour to win the
Callaway Golf Quebec Junior Masters at Metropolitain Golf Club
in Anjou by three strokes.
The following week,
he finished third at Val-des-Lacs, shooting one-under on the back
nine en route to a 76 in the second round, despite taking nine
strokes on the ninth hole after hitting a sprinkler head.
The solid results have
made MacArthur the third-ranked 17- to 19- year-old golfer in
Canada, miles ahead of the next highest Quebecer, who sits 26th.
is made all the more incredible by his relative lack of experience,
having only begun to play golf two summers ago.
"I'd gone to the
driving range before, but I never thought of picking up the game,"
the Cote St. Luc resident said. "I got clubs for my birthday,
because I asked for them, and I played all summer at Meadowbrook.
I started shooting in the high 80s and by the end of the summer,
I was in the high 70s."
On one hand, that is
an astounding improvement in such a short time, but on the other
hand, MacArthur's athleticism makes it almost expected.
He was on the junior
provincial downhill ski team while growing up in Morin Heights,
and also was a top point guard while playing high school basketball.
He always figured he
had a chance to land a U.S. college scholarship for skiing, then
for basketball, until he found golf.
"I'd rather be
hitting golf balls than running suicides (on the slopes),"
MacArthur said with a laugh.
He has another year
left at Vanier College, so he's got some time to find a suitor.
In the meantime, his
focus will be to continue his torrid ascent of the national golf
Sports page runs every Wednesday.
TO ATHLETICS HOME PAGE