Teen trying to defend his title

Adam Veenstra first picked up a set of golf clubs as a three-year-old.

They may have been plastic, but the kid from Smithers was hooked on the game. Fast forward to Friday and the 17-year-old Veenstra, now armed with a set of Mizuno and Titleist sticks, teed off in the Aberdeen Glen Men's Open. Veenstra, who can crush a drive 320 yards, is the defending champion. He won the title a year ago as a 16-year-old with a cumulative score of 219 over three days that included round scores of 69, 71 and 79. "Last year I got off to a good start with four birdies in a row to start the first round," said Veenstra Friday on the driving range prior to his afternoon tee time.

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"Coming in I didn't have too many expectations. That was my first men's open win and I had a good season going into it."

Veenstra competed in the men's open in Smithers recently and lost in a playoff. He's also played in two events on the B.C. Junior Golf Tour in the Okanagan and admits he didn't play as well as he wanted to.

But at Aberdeen, one of his favourite courses, he'd like to have a solid three days of consistent play in the 100-player field.

"This is by far the nicest course north of Kamloops with the trees and elevated greens," he said. "You just have to hit it straight and minimize your mistakes. You have to play consistent and hit as many greens as possible. I want to play well and if I win, great. If not, that's fine. It's a fun tournament."

Veenstra teamed up with his younger brother Joel, 15, in Friday's opening round.

Play continues today and Sunday with opening tee-offs at 7 a.m. both days.

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