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Canmore golfer’s best round lands on nationals qualification

An amazing day on the links helped a Canmore golfer qualify for nationals.

CANMORE – After one of his worst rounds in recent memory, Canmore’s Ronan Steel’s complete turnaround 24 hours later landed him at the ultimate proving ground for young golfers in Canada.

The 18-year-old linksman qualified for the 2022 Canadian Junior Boy Championship, Aug. 6-10 at Rivershore Estate and Golf Links in Kamloops, B.C., and Steel can attribute the best round of his life to getting to his first nationals.

It was no easy task in front of Steel, who had to first get past the top crop of U19 golfers at the provincial championships at Cougar Creek Golf Resort near Edmonton from July 12-14.

Though three rounds were played, the Canmore golfer was on top of his game on the final day.

“The third round is what got me to nationals,” said Steel, who shot 70 (-2) to jump way up in ranking.

Steel shot 77 and 79 in the first two rounds – an “average and pretty rough” couple of days out on the greens, he admits.

In the past, a bad day golfing would rattle Steel’s poise. So one of the biggest components the young golfer emphasized in training this season has been a new mental approach.

On day three at Cougar Creek, he noticed the difference.

“Before I used to freak out and I’d be so flustered and get super scared and not even think about my shot and totally ruin the round,” said Steel.

“I changed my mindset for day three … I was a lot more happy and a lot more confident. I made a putt early and it helped settle into the round quickly.”

In a complete 180 from the day prior, Steel’s putts were finding the bottom of holes, his irons were consistent, and a well-rounded performance carried him to tie his best round ever and hit four birdies – his best of provincials.

The only golfer to score better at provincials was Scott Mottershead-Yee, shooting the low round of the championship at 69.

“My confidence is at one of its highest, for sure,” said Steel. “I’ve been very happy with my game. I’ve been very happy with how I’ve mentally been playing, [and] how I react to different situations, especially coming back from a 79 to tie my best round.”

Getting his start at a young age, Steel’s father, Stephen, got him into golf after playing in the courses around the Bow Valley. After wanting to be completely surrounded by the game, Steel started competing at 14. In four short years, last year’s South Central Zones champion has emerged as one of Alberta’s brightest young golfers.

Steel is among the top 13 male golfers from Alberta qualified for Canadian Junior Boy Championship, which will see the top 100 golfers nationwide competing in Kamloops. The champion earns a spot in the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship and the U.S. Junior Amateur.

Steel said he’s going to enjoy the opportunity to play among the best young Canadians.

“I think just making it is the biggest part and then try my best to prove I deserve to be there,” he said. “There definitely would be pressure, for sure. But I’m going to put that aside and do my best without having any thoughts of pressure or any stuff like that.”

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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