Skelton named Manitoba Amateur Golfer of Year

The Breezy Bend blaster just scored the biggest trophy of his burgeoning career.

Long-ball hitter Jesse Skelton won the 2011 Amateur Golfer of the Year Award at Golf Manitoba’s AGM held at the new Southwood Golf and Country Club on Tuesday night.

“It feels really good,” Skelton said. “I’m really excited about it. Outside of winning a tournament, this is the highest recognition you can get.”

Skelton, 23, emerged victorious over nominees Southwood’s Winnie Hyun, Portage la Prairie’s Myles Sullivan and Josh Wytinck of Pine Ridge.

Skelton earned the honour after winning the Nott Autocorp Manitoba Men’s Amateur Championship for the first time, and the Manitoba Match Play Championship. He was also a member of the Willingdon Cup team, competed at the national men’s amateur championship in Winnipeg and finished sixth at the Glencoe Invitational in Calgary.

“Winning the Manitoba Amateur tournament was the best highlight,” said the University of Manitoba commerce student who was also a member of the Breezy Bend team that finished second at the Provincial Interclub Championship. He finished second in the individual division.

Skelton is also a member of the University of Manitoba Bisons men’s golf team that had three top-five finishes in the fall schedule. He is currently ranked 13th on the Golf Canada national order of merit.

Skelton thanked all of the people who helped along the way, such as Bisons golf coach Garth Goodbrandson, Breezy Bend legend Garth Collings and his parents.

“Garth (Collings) was always looking out for me and calling me to ask how I did at tournaments,” Skelton said. “And if I didn’t do well, we’d usually talk it over, and I would always do well after talking to him.”

Hyun was a first-time nominee who won the Provincial Junior Women’s Championship and was fourth at the Provincial Women’s Amateur Championship. She was a member of Manitoba’s Western Canada Games team that won a bronze medal, and finished fifth individually. On the national scene, Hyun made the cut at both the National Junior Girls Championship (finishing 62nd) and the National Women’s Amateur Championship (70th). She is ranked 76th on the Golf Canada national junior girl’s order of merit.

Sullivan was the 2011 Manitoba Men’s Junior champ, finishing sixth at the nationals. He finished eighth at the men’s provincial amateur championship and tied for eighth at the CN Prairie Future Links event. Sullivan is ranked 10th in the Golf Canada national junior men’s order of merit and 28th on the national men’s order of merit.

Wytinck was second at the provincial men’s amateur championship and tied for 25th at the Canadian University Championship. Wytinck is also a member of the U of M golf team and won both the Concordia Invite and the Augsburg Invitational. He has also tied team records for low individual round (68) and low 36-hole total (139). Wytinck is ranked 38th on the Golf Canada national order of merit.

Honourable mentions went to Teulon’s Aaron Cockerill — the 2010 Amateur Golfer of the Year — Mindy Lichtman of St. Boniface and Glendale’s Jenna Roadley of Glendale.

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