Veenstra repeats as Aberdeen champ

There's something about Aberdeen Glen Golf Course that Adam Veenstra seems to like.

And Aberdeen seems to like him too.

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Veenstra, a 17-year-old from Smithers, captured the Men's Open title for the second straight year on Sunday with a three-day cumulative score of 224.

After he fired an opening round of three-over-par 76 on Friday, Veenstra carded consecutive rounds of one-over-par 74 to claim the championship.

"I think this course suits me," said Veenstra. "You just have to hit it straight. The course and the pins were very tough all weekend. I was just so focused (on Sunday) I don't even remember the score. I just knew I didn't want to come in second this year."

Trevor Metcalfe of Vanderhoof finished second with a cumulative score of 226, followed by Kevin Pederson in third place at 228. Reigan Brown of Prince George was fourth, carding a total of 229, followed by Casey Wells at 231.

Friday's first round under rainy and windy conditions didn't exactly turn out how Veenstra would've liked. He had some good looks at several birdie putts but couldn't drain them and was sitting in second place at three-over par behind the leader, who was two-over.

On Saturday, he switched grips on his putter from "normal to a reverse grip," which seemed to help.

"On Saturday I putted a lot better," he said. "I shot one-over and going into Sunday I was one shot back of Reigan. I felt confident with my putting. I knew I had a good shot at winning."

Brown double-bogeyed the first hole on Sunday and Veenstra had an early one-shot lead.

I was two up going into the back nine," Veenstra said. "I birdied No. 9 and 10 but then I had two double bogeys on the back nine. I was still playing really solid. The two other guys battled and put pressure on me. It wasn't a given win at all. But it was lots of fun. I always get nervous, but I've learned how to channel it into positive energy."

On No. 18, Veenstra smashed his best drive of the tournament down the middle of the fairway.

"My approach shot landed in the middle of the green and I two-putted for the win."

The season's not over yet for Veenstra. With his grandpa as his caddie, he's off to Pendleton, Ore., for an amateur under-18 match play tournament against golfers from the U.S. and Western Canada from Aug. 9-13. NCAA golf coaches will also be keeping score.

Veenstra, who graduates from high school in 2016, hopes to secure an NCAA college scholarship at a western U.S. school.

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