It will all come down to the final 18 holes for co-leaders Charles Corner and Carter Simon as the 2014 Investors Group Ontario Junior Boys Championship wraps up today at Timberwolf.
And based on results from the first three days, it is anything but guaranteed that either Corner or Simon will be crowned as the new provincial champion.
A native of Cayuga, Corner recorded his second one-over-par round of 73 on the week, sandwiching a two-under 70 in Round 2 to sit at even par entering the fourth and final round.
He will enter his freshman year with the University of Texas El Paso Miners in less than two months time, becoming the first Canadian on a roster than already includes three natives of Denmark and two Mexicans.
Meanwhile, Simon, who is a member of the National Development team and has already committed to North Carolina State to begin his NCAA career in the fall, has gradually worked his way up the leaderboard.
Opening with a four-over-par 76 on Day 1, Simon torched the Northern Ontario course with a three-under-par 69 in Round 2, gaining two more strokes on Corner with a one-under-par round on Thursday.
Third-round leader John Boncoddo of Brantford slipped back to fifth place, struggling his way to a score of 79 after showing the way mid-week with a 72-70 combination.
Still, there is no lack of hopefuls that can mount a charge on the leaders at 216. Trent Abraham (218), Spencer Dobbs (218), Matt Lemay (219) and Austin James (220) are all ready to pounce should the front two falter.
With a three-round score of 231, Kelvin Lim understands that he is not about to win this tournament. But at just 12 years of age, Lim cannot be counted out from future titles, with likely more years of junior eligibility remaining than any other player in the field.
"I didn't expect much, maybe just make the cut," said Lim on Thursday, with his pre-tournament goal safely accomplished. "This course is a bit long for me. The first day played the longest, really windy with pouring rain and not a lot of roll."
While Lim is competing in his first-ever Ontario Juniors, Waterloo native Tyler Douse is returning for a third time, not terribly far off the leaders at 223.
"I'm a little more experienced and know what it takes to stay in contention," said Douse. "It's definitely a different mindset."
With rounds of 74, 73 and 76, Douse has demonstrated some nice consistency, even if he's been unable to mix in a sub-par round to shoot into contention.
"I haven't played as well as I would have liked," noted the 17-year-old, who did manage to qualify for the Canadian Amateur Championships with a very solid showing at the provincial qualifier earlier this summer.
"The tee shots here aren't too tough," Douse added. "If you hit it way off line, it's really bad. But usually, I'm not way off line. I'm pretty consistent off the tee."
As for Day 4, Douse remains cautiously optimistic.
"I just want to have a good round," he said. "I would like to shoot under par and see where it gets me."
As for the local content, both Ward Kyle and Jason Picco continue to hold their own, matching five-over-par scores of 77 on Thursday, leaving the pair tied at 234.
One oversight to correct as Sudbury native Jordi Walker was also in the initial field of 156 golfers, though listed as a "GAO Public Player", without any notation of his local connection.
Walker shot rounds of 84 and 81, missing the cut by seven strokes. And while there is no doubt that many of the teenagers on hand at the Timberwolf are unbelievably gifted with the clubs, none could match the performance of retired City of Sudbury worker Roger Comtois — at least, not on the 13th hole yesterday.
Golfing in a foursome with Steve Bailey, Bob Smith and Rick Gagnon, Comtois recorded the first hole in one of his career, carding an ace from the tees, some 122 yards away.
"I've come close before," noted Comtois. "We heard it hit the flag and then we couldn't see the ball. But the flight was good."
Comtois used a nine iron to turn the trick, the only member of his foursome to card a "one," though Bailey lays claim to having duplicated that feat on at least one occasion in mini-putt.