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SPORTING GREEN: Hot Hand Luke tops field

Luke DelGobbo. BERNIE PUCHALSKI PHOTO

DelGobbo captures Canadian golf championship

BY BERNIE PUCHALSKI
bpsportsniagara.com

Just advancing to the final two rounds of the Canadian Junior Boys Golf Championship wasn’t going to cut it for Luke DelGobbo. “I had intentions to win the under-17 [juvenile] division and then top 10 in the under-19s,” the 16-year-old Fonthill resident said.

Playing at the Covered Bridge course in Hartland, N.B., DelGobbo did exactly that. He fired rounds of 71, 70, 69 and 70 and his eight under par score was good enough to tie him for first place in the juvenile division, where he won in a playoff. In the under-19 division, his score was good enough to tie him for seventh place.

“I set those goals at the beginning of the season and I worked hard to get there,” the Lookout Point member said. “I checked [those goals] off the list when I was there and it was nice to do it.”

DelGobbo captured the juvenile crown when he sunk a six-foot par putt on the second playoff hole. Both golfers parred the first playoff hole to set the stage for DelGobbo’s winning putt.

“It was kind of like ‘Wow. I did it.’ I was very happy to do it and I had my friends and family there to see it.”

Getting to share the moments with his parents, Mike and Lucia, and friends was priceless.

“I couldn’t have done it with anyone else,” he said. “It was awesome.”

The Grade 11 student at E. L. Crossley has been playing well for a couple months now, ever since an impressive performance at the prestigious International Junior Masters tournament in East Aurora, N.Y., in late June. DelGobbo shot 75 and 76 in stroke play to advance to the match play portion of the tournament as the 13th seed. He made it all the way to the finals before losing 2&1 to Jackson Chandler. Chandler will be playing scholarship golf at Ohio State this fall.

Along the way, DelGobbo had a second-round victory over a golfer ranked in the top 20 in the United States. That golfer has signed with the University of Virginia.

“I just finished writing exams. I played well there and I have been playing well ever since,” he said.

Before the nationals, DelGobbo made the quarterfinals of the Ontario Junior Boys Match Play Championship. He was four down with five holes to play in his quarterfinal match, but gutted it out before losing on the 18th hole.

The talented teen is in the process of figuring out his schedule for 2020.

“I haven’t decided what tournaments I am going to play next year and I haven’t see my goals, but obviously I want to win them all,” he said. “We will see.”

DelGobbo’s goal is to garner a golf scholarship in the United States. In about three weeks, U.S. schools will be able to contact him and express their interest.

“If they come, they come and if not, whatever.”

He’s obviously not worried about the process yet.

“It’s no big deal,” he said. “I have two years until I have to commit. As long as I can get it done in two years, I will be happy.”

DelGobbo started golfing when he was 11 or 12 when a friend, Jake DiBellonia, took him out to play a round at Eagle Valley.

“I went once and I have loved it ever since,” he said.

He won the under-15 division of the Niagara Junior Golf Tour in 2017 and added the junior boys title at the Niagara Champion of Champions golf tournament.

“I had a good year that year.”

In 2018, he placed fifth at the National Drive, Chip and Putt Championship held at Augusta National.

The only other Lookout Point golfer in the field at the Canadian Junior/Juvenile championships was Freddy D’Angelo (70-68-71-78) who tied for 28th in the junior division.

At the Ontario Juvenile championships DelGobbo opened with a 81 but rebounded with a pair of 72s to tie for 13th.

Other Lookout Point members in the Ontario field included: Isaiah Ellis (74-79-75), tied for 19th; Matthew Martel (74-77-77), tied for 19th; and, Cameron Kiemele (73-76-80), tied for 22nd.

 

 

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