Brooke Brezovski has sights squarely set on making her mark as a junior golfer.
“My goal is just shoot 70s. That’s something I’ve gotten more into this year and when I get into the 70s it’s a really good score,” said the two-time ladies’ club champion at Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club.
Brezovski, 15, carded a personal-best 74 at the PGA of Alberta Junior Masters in May at Wolf Creek Golf Resort en route to a fourth-place result in the U14 division and last month at the Alberta Junior & Juvenile Championship shot rounds of 79-78-78 to finish tied for ninth out of 26 females at the Coyote Creek course in Sundre.
“Provincials was a highlight tournament for me,” Brezovski said. “I’ve become a little more consistent, mentally stronger, more confident and my scores have improved a bunch.”
So has Brezovski’s short game.
“Last year I remember putting was something that was holding me back a lot and the same with my chipping so I’ve been really good at that lately to help me do more par saves,” Brezovski said. “Also with my approach shots I’ve been able to get it closer to the pin this year to help me get birdie chances.
“But my drives have always been pretty good.”
Brezovski also produced rounds of 76 last year and this summer and if it wasn’t for a two-stroke penalty (“I padded down spike marks”) on day two of the 2017 Sturgeon Valley club championship her score would have been 77 instead of 79.
Last weekend’s repeat performance at Sturgeon Valley featured rounds of 80 and 82 for the four-stroke victory at 162 in a field of 23.
“I was really happy with my scores but the first day I missed a two-foot putt on the last hole for 79 so I shot 80,” Brezovski said.
Last year’s two-day winning total was 161.
“I remember how much of a grind it was last year, the last day, and how proud I was after I won,” Brezovski said. “This year was also the same because this tournament on the last day I was so nervous on the first tee and I was not doing good on the front nine, but then I birdied two holes in a row to shoot the same score on the front nine I did the first day and then the back nine was just a grind, but I went on a roll there for a bit to help me save first place.”
Brezovski’s sister, 13-year-old Belle, was steady at 86 and 82 for third place and was the low overall net winner at 134.
“The second day actually she beat me on the front nine and if she kept playing the way she was playing and I kept doing the way I was playing then she honestly could’ve beat me and maybe won but I pulled together at the end,” said Brezovski, who also has her name inscribed on Sturgeon Valley’s Legacy Wall of champions in the junior division.
“It felt really great to win their club championship this year because it’s my home course. It’s a great club, Sturgeon Valley, and all the ladies were super nice and all the staff members really put in a lot of work to make it a great place,” said the Grade 10 St. Albert Skyhawk.
After the championship weekend, Brezovski competed at the 27th annual Alberta-Montana Junior Ryder Cup and the two-day, 36-hole match play tournament was staged at Whitefish Lake Golf Club. Teams were comprised of six female and six male juniors, with two females and two males per team in each of the U15, U16 and U17 divisions. Brezovski and her friend Grace Bell of the Glencoe Golf & Country Club were the U15 duo as Alberta lost by one point to Montana.
“I was really happy. Grace and I actually did really well. Everything was straight, we were tight to the pin and we made some really great putts. We kept each other up together so it was really good teamwork,” said Brezovski, who has a few days off before teeing it up Tuesday at the Edmonton Golf Association Junior Championship at Petroleum Golf & Country Club.
“Because I have so many tournaments I don’t casual golf actually a lot,” Brezovski said. “When I’m not in a tournament it’s like I’m taking a break but when I don’t have a lot of tournaments in a row and I’m not taking breaks those days I do go to the range usually in the evenings or sometimes I will book a tee time with my friends and we will go and play just to keep it up a bit.
“But I have put in a lot of work through all of my tournaments this year,” added Brezovski, who also has 90-minute fitness training sessions scheduled throughout the summer and winter at Athletes Nation. “When I do well it feels really good and I know also that I have a lot of heavy competition when I go to these tournaments so if I’m not putting in that work it really doesn’t help me out a lot, but when I’m putting in a lot of work it really feels good to do good in those heavy competition tournaments.”
Brezovski’s love affair with golf started at age four with a shiny red set of clubs.
“My dad (Jason) would take me to the range for fun and if I hit a certain shot or to a certain distance he would buy me a Slurpee,” said Brezovski, who started taking lessons around the age of eight. “I thought it was pretty fun and I had a really great coach (Tyler Willner) who used to work here (at Sturgeon Valley). He was the one who really got me into it. He took me out on the course a bit just to see what it was like and then when I was 10 years old, I went to my first tournament (at Bragg Creek) and that was really actually discouraging. A lot of the girls were older than me so I remember being really emotional during that tournament.
“But I see where I am now and it’s huge. It’s been five years and I’ve come such a long ways,” said Brezovski, who won her first Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour event last year as the top U15 division female at the MJT-PGA of Alberta Junior Championship with rounds of 78-77-81 at McKenzie Meadows in Calgary.