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Wednesday, 13 July 2011 15:51

Eston golfer Ryde(s) near the top at provincials

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Few people who attended the 2011 SGI Canada Saskatchewan Junior Golf Championships at the Chinook Golf Course last week thought Jehremy Ryde would do much at the event.

One person, however, wasn’t surprised to see the Eston native finish second overall with a six-under par 278.

Jeff Chambers, who coaches Ryde, had big expectations for the 18-year-old golfer and Ryde didn’t let him down.

“One of the parents out there (Friday) said 'Is that the kid you were telling me about last year?' and I said yep,” said Chambers. “Last year I was saying Jehremy Ryde will be one of the top players in the province and solidly one of the best and she said she hadn't heard of the boy. I said nobody has and that he's just a quiet farm kid from the country that nobody knows about, but you'll know about him next year.

“I've had some kids in the past who have taken it for granted how good they are, but Jehremy never does. He's just so down to earth and respectful. He's just the best kid you could ever have listen to you.”

Ryde’s ride near the top started when he was five years old. Jack Piett was trying to teach his two sons how to golf and he brought along Ryde, who was friends with the two Piett children.

Ryde started going to provincial tournaments when he was 12 years old where he did okay. His game started to see small improvement after Chambers became his coach four years ago. It wasn’t until last year that his game really improved. After growing nearly a foot, the five-foot-10 golfer snuck on to the provincial junior golf team by finishing in fifth place.

This year’s second place finish is his personal best at provincials, and Ryde gives a lot of credit to Chambers for his solid performance.

Chambers isn’t just dedicating time to Ryde as a coach this summer. He has also found Ryde a job at the Elmwood Golf Course’s pro shop and opened his house to Ryde. Instead of having to travel 90 minutes from his farm to practise his golf game in Swift Current, Ryde is living in Chambers’ basement so he can practice every day.

“Jeff asked if I would come down and work with him to improve my golf scores and he has helped me out at times,” said Ryde, who is happy with his second place finish. “(Having my summer revolve around golf) is the way I wanted it. It's good. It has been lots of fun so far.”

Ryde’s summer of golf, however, isn’t close to being over.

He is looking for good performances at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in South Surrey, B.C., from Aug. 1-5 and the Canadian Men’s Amateur Qualifier in Winnipeg Aug. 8.

Good performances in both of those events could lead to Ryde’s next goal for his golfing career.

“I'd like to get a scholarship and have my school paid for,” said Ryde, who is currently planning to take commerce at the University of Saskatchewan in the fall. “If a scholarship showed up I'd love to take it.”

Chambers, who is currently set to coach Saskatchewan’s junior girls team at nationals but is trying to switch to the boys’ team as he has coached all of its members in the past, has been discussing college scholarships with Ryde.

He has told Ryde that he needs to choose a school with a reputable golf program and is focused on academics if he receives scholarship offers.Chambers also knows that Ryde needs to continue working hard and become a more recognized golfer to have any hope of a scholarship.

“The only way he can be spotted is he can't just be second at provincials,” said Chambers. “He's now going to have to perform at nationals, so we're really gearing up for that. We're going to work really hard at the men's amateur because you need to do well at the men's amateur and in juniors. He has a lot of work ahead of him yet.

“If he actually was more cocky in himself, he would have probably done even better (at provincials). That's hard to say, but he is better than people still think he is.”

Click here to see the full results of the provincial tournament, which included one Shaunavon and three Swift Current golfers.

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