By Brad Ziemer
KELOWNA — It’s hard to say what is more impressive, the 50 tournament wins 16-year-old Ethan Posthumus has accumulated as a junior golfer or his 15 holes-in-one.
“I started golf at a really young age,” the Coquitlam resident explained. Needless to say, he got very good very fast.
Posthumus is about to play the biggest tournament of his young golfing life. Vancouver Golf Tour commissioner Fraser Mulholland had one sponsor’s exemption to award for this week’s GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club in Kelowna. He decided to give it to Posthumus, who knew he was stepping up in class as soon as he set foot on Gallagher’s Canyon and checked in on Monday afternoon.
“They gave me two dozen balls and they’re (Titleist) Pro-V1s,” he said with a big smile as he walked off the putting green. “These should last me a while.”
He sure hopes so. Posthumus is keen to test his game on the Mackenzie Tour against a field that is comprised mainly of young up and coming Canadian pros.
“I am really excited to get this opportunity to play this event and I am really thankful to Fraser for getting me this sponsor’s exemption,” he said. “I think like any other tournament you want to do well, so there is always going to be a little bit of pressure. But the goal is to play my best game, do my best, and I think if I do that everything else will fall into place.”
Posthumus’s biggest win came in his last competitive event when he was the low amateur at the recent Vancouver Open, the Vancouver Golf Tour’s marquee event.
He shot rounds of 72, 66 and 74 on the City of Vancouver’s three courses — McCleery, Langara and Fraserview — and then beat Ethan de Graaf, the captain of the UBC men’s golf team, on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
So the kid can play, but one only had to look at his impressive resumé to know that.
He started winning when he was young, really young.
“I started tournament golf when I was six years old,” he said. “I started on the Junior Linkster Tour. It was really good in helping to teach me the fundamentals of the game.”
For years, the Junior Linkster Tour in Metro Vancouver was run by the late Harry White, a highly revered member of the British Columbia golfing community.
“Harry White really taught a lot of the junior golfers how to be an optimist,” Posthumus said. “He really helped me become a good player and appreciate the game.”
After cleaning up on the Junior Linkster Tour, Posthumus moved on to compete in Canadian Junior Golf Association and Maple Leaf Junior Tour events.
“I have won 50 Junior Linkster, CJGA and MJT events,” he said.
Posthumus has also competed in eight IMG Junior World events and eight U.S. Kids Junior Worlds competitions, finishing as high as fourth.
The winning didn’t stop when he moved up and began competing in Vancouver Golf Tour events two years ago.
“Ethan has won eight of our events,” Mullholland said. “He really values the opportunity of playing against players who are older than him and getting into two-day events and comparing his game against some of the area’s top pros who play our tour. He knows that is a great experience for him.”
And about all of those holes-in-one?
“I’ve just been lucky,” Posthumus said. “I think I was six years old when I got my first one at Westwood Plateau (in Coquitlam). My most recent one came about six months when I was playing with my two brothers. It was on the 17th hole at Hazelmere (in Surrey).”
Posthumus’s dad, John, has been his only instructor and will caddie for his son this week at Gallagher’s Canyon.
“He and I will be going out there together and It should be fun,” he said.
Asked what advice his dad will give him before he tees it up in Wednesday’s first round, Posthumus said: “Probably just to do my best and keep a good attitude.”