Colton Cheeseman hopes for OFSAA opportunity

STM’s Colton Cheeseman hopes for OFSAA opportunity
Posted on 10/04/2023
Colton Cheeseman

By Larry Moko

Colton Cheeseman’s emotions ranged from elation to deflation at separate golf tournaments over the last few days.

The St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School student was particularly excited about winning a 36-hole Canadian Junior Golf Association bantam event on the weekend with a 2-under-par 142 total at Royal Stouffville near Toronto.

Colton CheesemanHe ended up 11 shots ahead of the rest of the field.

On Tuesday, the Grade 9 student again excelled, shooting a 5-over-par 77 at the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships in Milton. However, to Cheeseman’s surprise and disappointment, his second-place overall finish on the challenging Piper’s Heath layout wasn’t enough to qualify for OFSAA.

Players are expected to compete either as a high school participant or, depending on their provincial golf experience, as an open entrant.

“Unfortunately, OFSAA regulations state that only two individuals may advance,” GHAC convener Ryan Kohen said. “One of which may have an open status. Because Colton Cheeseman had an open status, he cannot advance even though he finished second.”

The low score of 73 was carded by Sai Ganju of Oakville’s Garth Webb Chargers. He’s considered the open champion.

“I thought I was playing high school,” Colton said. “I got told about it after. I would have played differently.”

Jett Metaxas of the Bishop Ryan Celtics, who tied for fourth overall, took top high school honours with a 79.

“Jeff is a Grade 9 multi-sport athlete,” Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic golf convener Giuseppe Pontillo said. “Conditions were extremely difficult today (sweltering temperatures). It was definitely draining.

“Colton did so well. It would be awful if he doesn’t get to play (OFSAA), too.”

The OFSAA tournament is scheduled for Oct. 11-12 at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor.

The GHAC official says there’s an outside chance Colton may still have the opportunity to tee it up at high school golf’s showcase event. “I’ve already let the OFSAA convener know that I have an athlete that shot 77 who I feel should be able to compete,” Kohen said. “I know he doesn’t qualify under the regulations but if there’s a spot and you’re looking for a body, I have someone.”

In the team category, Corpus Christi of Burlington (Ty Werynski, William Finnerty, Kiefer Sharman and Jakob Bjorklund) punched its ticket to OFSAA. The Longhorns’ top three shot 237, 11 strokes ahead of second-place St. Thomas More.

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic champions from More consisted of brothers Colton and Avery Cheeseman (80), Jack Ormond (91) and Marco DiFrancesco (104).

Patrick Short of the Bishop Tonnos Titans competed as the other individual from Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic. His score was 84.

In the girls’ category, Bishop Ryan’s Sierra Kowalyshyn (77) and Emily Haldenby (115) finished third and 14th respectively. The low score was by Angela Cai of Oakville Holy Trinity.

The action also included a hole-in-one by Ryan Dallimore of Burlington Nelson. It came on the 145-round sixth hole.

The girls’ OFSAA golf festival takes place Oct. 11-12 at the Batteaux Creek club in Collingwood.