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F.P. Walshe school golfer will tee off at provincials

ryan cook

Ryan Cook of F.P. Walshe school in Fort Macleod won a gold medal last week at the south zone high school golf tournament at Picture Butte. Ryan now travels to Fort McMurray for the provincial finals.

Ryan Cook may have discovered the secret to golf success.
Don’t play too much.
The 17-year-old Grade 12 student at F.P. Walshe school rarely hit the links this summer due to baseball commitments with the Fort Macleod Royals.
With only about 20 rounds under his belt this summer, Ryan still shot a one over par 73 Sept. 11 to win the zone high school golf tournament.
“That’s actually a really good round for me,” said Ryan, who usually is eight or 10 strokes over par. “It was just a good day.”
Ryan’s key to success on the Picture Butte course was his short game.
“It was my putting that saved me,” Ryan said. “It felt like the holes were five feet wide. Everything was falling.”
The F.P. Walshe school team, which included Grade 10 students Trent Ducharme and Aidan Kidd and Grade 11 golfer Colton Ribling, placed fourth out of 13 teams at the 1A-2A high school south zone tournament.
Ryan had played the Picture Butte course the previous summer during the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, and he shot a couple practice rounds this year before the zone tournament.
So he was familiar with the layout of the Picture Butte course.
“It’s open,” Ryan said. “You can miss your drive and still have your ball land in. There’s not many danger areas. It’s definitely a lot different than Fort Macleod.”
Ryan and teammate Colton Ribling played together, with golfers from Nobleford and Kainai schools rounding out the foursome.
Ryan wasn’t hitting the ball well off the tee, but used his irons to fashion a first-place finish.
“My short game was what saved me,” he said.
Trent Ducharme shot an 86 to place 15th. Aidan Kidd carded an 88 to place 20th, and Colton Ribling shot 107 to place 40th.
With his first-place finish, Ryan earned his second trip to the provincials in two years.
Last year he carded an 83 to finish third in the tournament in the Crowsnest Pass to earn a trip to the provincials at Edmonton.
“It was a cool experience,” Ryan said. “There were a lot of kids I’d golfed with before, and I met a lot of new people. There were a lot of good golfers.”
Ryan and F.P. Walshe school coach Peter Lavorato head to Fort McMurray on Sept. 23-25 for the 2012 provincial tournament.
The tournament will be played on two Fort McMurray courses, with the golfers shooting 18 holes on Monday on one course, and then another 18 on Tuesday on a different course.
Ryan gets a practice round on just one of the courses before the tournament gets under way.
“It’s definitely different,” Ryan said of playing a two-round tournament. “You have to really focus for two days.”
“It just comes with golf. You have to make the shots that you need to. You can’t be looking ahead. You have to play it hole by hole.”
Ryan is preparing for the provincial tournament the way he prepared for zones — by staying away from golf. Due to work and school commitments he hasn’t picked up a club since the zone tournament.
Ryan and his coach have to pay their own way to Fort McMurray. Anyone interested in helping with expenses should call Jacqui Cook at 403-331-8506 or Peter Lavorato at 403-553-4411.

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