Bishop Ryan’s Johnny Travale scores ticket to OFSAA
By Larry Moko
Those in the know continue to be impressed by the golf skills of Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School student Johnny Travale.
Kent State University noticed Travale’s prowess and potential in the sport last year, offering him an NCAA golf scholarship (he’s committed to begin next fall). And, recently, Golf Canada added the Hamilton Golf and Country Club member to its National Junior Development Squad.
Travale spoke of being selected to join that elite group after tying for low individual score (2-over 72) at the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships Thursday. The annual regional high school finale was held at the Beverly Golf and Country Club.
“I got an invite not too long ago,” Travale said. “I haven’t spent much time with them yet. But I will have to move out to Victoria at the end January for four months. I’ll be playing a lot of tournaments and travelling a lot with them. It will be a really good experience.”
High school classes will continue in British Columbia for Travale. He’ll then return to Stoney Creek in June.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “I will be in Japan at the same time as my high school graduation, so I will miss the commencement. But I will be back for the dinner-dance.”
Travale qualifies for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations tournament next week in Kingsville along with fellow Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association player, Luca Carestia, of the Bishop Tonnos Titans.
Michael Guyatt of St. Thomas More also turned in a solid round at GHAC (79).
“It was playing tough out there,” Travale said of the 6,502 yard-layout in Copetown. “I played decent considering the wind. I didn’t make enough birdies but 2-over is not bad in these conditions.”
Marcus Khaw also fired a 72. He’ll be taking part in OFSAA for a fourth time. For Travale, it will be a second appearance. He cracked the top 10 in 2015.
“I think I can play well at (at OFSAA),” Travale said. “I know a couple of my friends will be there. We’re all pretty competitive, so I’m excited to go.”
Travale says his scoring average has gone done this season and he’s feeling pretty good about his game. “I’ve rarely shot above par this year,” he said.
At the Ontario Amateur, Travale placed fourth and at the Canadian Amateur, he came a respectable 29th.
Carestia, who won the Hamilton-Halton Junior Golf Tour championship this season, says he’s pleased to earn a spot to the provincial high school tournament.
“I haven’t gone before,” the Grade 11 student said. “I was close last year.
“My irons have always been the strong part of my game. My putting improved throughout the summer, though, and I’m most proud of that.”
Carestia, who is a member at Beverly, said the winds are never usually as challenging as they were for GHAC. “Overall, I had a pretty solid round,” Carestia said. “Just a couple of bogeys coming down the stretch.”
The Bishop Tonnos team – winners of the HWCAA championship – included Carestia, Mathias Krauss, Adam Mclean and Alex Duarte.