Colby Friedrich first stepped onto a golf course at age two, where he enjoyed hitting golf balls into the bunker.
Now, just over 12 years later, the Battleford native rarely hits it into the bunker. Instead, 300-yard drives are the norm.
Those drives are what helped Friedrich win MJT’s Ilta Grain event this past weekend in Saskatoon, as he shot a 75, 75 (150), for a six-stroke victory over Jayden Dudas of Estevan.
“This past weekend at Willows [my drives were] going very straight,” Friedrich said in a phone interview on Tuesday morning. “I was attacking a lot of greens [and] having short shots into the par fours on lots of holes.”
The win for Friedrich is his third tournament win this summer and second in a row. His recent dominance means he is the winner of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit because he finished the tour season with the most points among junior boys under age 15.
“The hard work is finally paying off,” Friedrich said. “To win back to back tournaments is something that I’d like to accomplish and I finally did, so that’s awesome.”
By winning the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Friedrich automatically also qualifies for nationals, scheduled for November 11-13 in Arizona.
The nationals will present a new challenge for Friedrich. Because his birthday is in October, he will have to move up one age group.
“It’s going to be 400 yards longer of a course,” he said. “But last year I finished fourth out of eight. I’m just going there looking to play good, having a blast of a time, and meet some new guys from out of province, just like last year.”
Of his three victories this summer, Friedrich said Ilta Grain this past weekend was the most rewarding because of the bad weather. The wind, mixed with an early start, posed a challenge for all the golfers, specifically on day two.
“The second day it was 8 a.m. shotgun, so we’re up early in the holes and [it was] really windy,” Friedrich explained. “It was a difference of four or five clubs sometimes: super windy and not fun to play in.”
Despite the wind, Friedrich’s game off the tee was on par, but he does admit his short game wasn’t where it needed to be.
It may have not mattered in the end this weekend, but Friedrich is well aware of his weakness.
“I got away with it because I drove the ball so [well] but I probably threw away five or six or seven shots throughout the week with my short game,” he said.
The goal now for Friedrich is to just keep working as hard as he can. He believes his work ethic is what got him this far, so if he keeps at it, the accomplishments should keep rolling in.
Nathan Kanter is battlefordsNOW’s sports reporter and voice of the Battlefords North Stars. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @NathanKanter11
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