Community Clubs Golf

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Max Corcoran, James Newton win respective Quebec junior boys’, men’s amateur golf titles

By Martin Cleary

Homework. Homework. Homework.

About a month after graduating West Carleton Secondary School and in the early stages of his gap year, Loch March Golf and Country Club’s Max Corcoran is still doing homework.

But this time it’s self-imposed. And the Carp resident wants to do it. And he needs to do it to give himself a chance to be a successful junior golfer.

When Corcoran answered his cell phone on Tuesday for an interview, he was on his way to North Bay to play and inspect the North Bay Golf and Country Club, which is the site of this year’s Canadian junior boys’ golf championship Aug. 14-17.

He was planning to work with club assistant pro Nolan Reynolds and take a crash course on the national championship course. Reynolds also works with Jake and Kevin Haime at the Kevin Haime Golf Centre in Stittsville, which is another home base for Corcoran.

Less than three weeks before the start of his third Golf Canada national junior championship, Corcoran, 18, wanted to get a good understanding of the par 72, Stanley Thompson-designed course, which plays at more than 6,300 yards and has a water feature on 13 of the 18 holes.

In the week before the national championship, Corcoran will arrive early, play another round and fine tune his game plan.

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Corcoran applied that get-to-know-the-course-early approach for the recent Golf Quebec junior boys’ championship and it paid off as he won the overall title in a two-hole playoff during the weather-shortened event.

His victory was part of a sensational showing by three Ottawa Valley Golf Association teenagers this month, who won five of the six major Quebec championships.

James Newton of Royal Ottawa captured the Quebec men’s amateur championship on Thursday by three strokes over Mississippi’s Ellis Kinnaird. Royal Ottawa’s Ann-Sophie Bourgault was a triple trophy winner at last week’s Quebec women’s championships, taking the women’s amateur, junior girls’ and juvenile girls’ titles.

After three rounds of the Quebec junior boys’ 72-hole championship in Trois-Rivières, Corcoran and Antoine Jasmin of Blainville were deadlocked with one-under-par scores of 215. Corcoran posted rounds of 75-73-67, while Jasmin took the opposite approach at 68-73-74.

The scheduled fourth round was cancelled because of heavy rain, but Golf Quebec officials needed to determine a champion and staged a late-morning, soggy playoff.

“I loved the course and I went two days early to play it,” Corcoran explained. “The rain was heavy and I couldn’t play the night before the tournament. But I did walk the course and make notes.

“The course reminded me a lot of Loch March with narrow holes and irons off the tees. I had very good short irons. I felt good about my ball striking and I had better putting.”

It took 36 holes for Corcoran to rev up to championship form, after carding rounds of three-over 75 and one-over 73.

“My first round was frustrating,” Corcoran added. “I felt I hit the ball better, but I got nothing out of it. In my second round, I hit the ball the same, shot 73 and it was OK.

“But in my third round, I hit 17 greens in regulation. It was amazing. It was my best round of the year at (five-under-par) 67, the lowest round of the day and the best round of the tournament. It felt like the course didn’t play difficult, but maybe I was just playing well.”

Corcoran expected to play a fourth round to determine the final standings, but rain kept the golfers inside the clubhouse watching the British Open on television. Officials eventually cancelled the final round.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen. I thought they might wait a day (for the final round) or Antoine and I could share the trophy,” Corcoran reasoned.

“But I was happy to have a playoff. It’s the most fair way. But I was disappointed for the other people who were two or three strokes back. They had no chance to win.”

But despite the pouring rain, Corcoran and Jasmin made their way to the 18th hole of the Ki-8-Eb Golf Club, while trying to stay dry, for the first playoff hole.

Jasmin’s first two shots left him on the green and 40 feet from the hole. He marked a par four after two putts. Corcoran struggled to reach the green in three shots and sank a 30-foot putt for a matching par.

The rain stopped for the second playoff hole and Jasmin recorded his second par on the finishing hole. But Corcoran benefited from watching Jasmin’s breaking putt and sank a 25-foot birdie putt for the victory.

“I was extremely shocked,” Corcoran said about achieving his second win of the season. “I thought I had shot myself out after the first round. Antoine shot a 68 and he was seven strokes better than me.

“I made a pretty good comeback. It took a while to sink it.”

Winning the Quebec junior boys’ championship is the highlight of his season to date, but Corcoran would like to build on his solid season with a memorable result at nationals, after missing the cut in 2022 and 2021.

Corcoran started his season in early May with plenty of work at the Kevin Haime Golf Centre as Loch March hadn’t opened for the season. But he won the Graeme R. Kirkland, CIM Canadian Junior Golf Association Ontario Championship at Timber Ridge Golf Course in Brighton with a one-under-par 216. He shot rounds of 74-72-70 for a nine-stroke win over Jasmin.

At the Golf Canada NextGen Ontario Championship on the Peterborough Golf Club course, he tied for sixth place at 73-70-72 for a two-over 215.


Loch March Golf and Country Club’s Max Corcoran was the 2023 Golf Quebec junior boys’ champion. Photo: @Golf_Quebec Twitter

Royal Ottawa Golf Club’s James Newton joined an elite group of Ottawa golfers Thursday, when he won the Quebec men’s amateur championship with four consistent rounds at the Boises de Joly Golf Club in Joly, PQ.

Newton, 19, carded rounds of 70-71-70-69 for an eight-under par 280 to become the 10th Ottawa golfer to win the Quebec provincial men’s title.

He follows in the footsteps of Rivermead’s Julien Sale, 2019; Royal Ottawa’s Marc-Etienne Bussieres, 2009; Rideau View’s Lee Curry, 2001; Ottawa Hunt’s John Haime, 1985; Chaudiere’s Greg Olson, 1981; Chaudiere’s Don Davidson, 1969 and 1963; Pine View’s Don Rioux, 1968; Rivermead’s Andy Nezan, 1964 and 1965; and Chaudiere’s Frank Corrigan, 1938.

Newton, who transferred to Kent State University from Rutgers University in June, marked six birdies, one bogey and one double bogey. He charged to the finish with four of his six birdies in the last five holes.

For his four rounds, Newton compiled one eagle, 15 birdies, five bogeys and two double bogeys.

Ellis Kinnaird of Mississippi climbed 12 places in the final round to earn second place overall with a seven-under 65 to finish at five-under 283. He shot 75-71-72 in his first three rounds.

Kinnaird, a sophomore at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, registered nine birdies in the final round against eight pars and one double bogey.

Vincent Laplante of Rockland tied for 23rd at 72-71-76-75 for a six-over 294. Deadlocked in 26th place were Royal Ottawa’s Jayson Ross at 70-77-73-75-295 and Graydon Laughlin of Ottawa Hunt at 73-69-73-80-295. Laughlin was in fourth place after three rounds and was four strokes behind Newton.

Meanwhile, at the Canadian junior girls’ golf championship in Hampton, N.B., Carlee Meilleur of Lansdowne, ON., was the top regional golfer as she tied for 13th place at 12-over-par 296 from rounds of 75-79-68-74. Her third record score of three-under 68 was the best on Wednesday.

Five other Ottawa Valley Golf Association players made the cut: Ann-Sophie Bourgault, Gatineau, T30th, 77-75-77-76-305; Antonia Ho, Nepean, 60th, 77-84-77-81-319; Avery Nordman, Ottawa, 64th, 81-82-81-78-322; Sophie Foulds, Ottawa, T69th, 79-85-87-87-338; and Shinyao Zhang, Gatineau, T69th, 82-82-87-87-338.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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