By Ned Bekavac
There is a lot Rachel Pollock could be nervous about heading into this week’s Ontario amateur women’s golf championship.
First, it’s her first tournament at the amateur level, which allows golfers of all ages to compete.
Second, at just 16 years old, she’s a few decades younger than some of the other competitors at the three-day provincial championship.
And while the above might stress her out a tad – “It’s nerve-wracking,” she says – Pollock is loving that she’s getting to compete in the event on her home golf course, Cutten Fields.
It’s a huge advantage, she says.
“It’s the familiarity of the greens and the whole course. Knowing where to be and where not to be, and just being comfortable,” she says.
Pollock, a John F. Ross CVI student who is heading into Grade 12 in September, is one of roughly 125 golfers taking part in this week’s Golf Association of Ontario Investors Group Women’s Amateur Championship at Cutten Fields in Guelph.
Action starts today (Tuesday) and runs until Thursday. The age range of competitors is 14 to 63. The top three finishers will comprise the Ontario Women’s Amateur team for the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.
Pollock comes from what she calls a golf family. Her parents, she says, met while golfing. When Pollock was 13, they scored her a golf membership, and she took a shine to the sport right away.
“I think I just loved that it was individual. That it was only you competing, and that it was only you who could shoot the numbers that you shot,” says Pollock, who also played rep basketball for the Guelph Phoenix before stepping away to concentrate on golf.
With school now out, Pollock says she spends seven days a week on the golf course, from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and says it never gets dull for her.
A member of the 2010 Golf Association of Ontario’s Under-17 Development Team, Pollock has chalked up wins on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour and also won the CWOSSA girls golf title last year.
After high school, Pollock hopes to head to the U.S. on a golf scholarship, and she is already talking to interested schools.
Ultimately, down the road, she would like to go pro.
“The prime scenario? I’d like to be on the (pro) tour, and not have to work,” she says with a laugh.
As for her goals at this week’s provincial championship, Pollock says: “I’m looking to make the cut, and just play well.”
Rachel’s faves . . .
Actor: Adam Sandler
(in Happy Gilmore)
TV show: Glee
Movie: Invisible Man
Drink: Water, or the “lime up” at Cutten Fields
Subject in school: Phys-ed or biology
Pro golfer: Adam Scott
Sport other than golf: Basketball