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The short game: Talented Sudbury pre-teen heading to national golf competition

She's the top-ranked female in the age 9-11 classification
Lea Lemieux is making a return visit to the FutureLinks driven by Acura Junior Skills Challenge National Event on July 21 at Glen Abbey Golf Club. (Supplied)

Lea Lemieux is making a return visit to the FutureLinks driven by Acura Junior Skills Challenge National Event, though this time around, she will enjoy some local company.

The talented pre-teen, who competes out of the Timberwolf Golf Club, will enter the July 21 showdown at Glen Abbey Golf Club as the top ranked female in the ages 9-11 classification following her recent performance at a qualifying event.

First introduced in 2017, the skills challenge tests the young golfers abilities in putting, chipping and driving, with a point scoring chart rewarding the athletes for their combination of both accuracy and distance.

Lemieux, who also advanced through to nationals last summer, registered a score of 350 points, bettering second seed Sophia Xu (325 pts) from the Kings Riding Golf Club (King City, Ontario) and Avery Cohen (305) of Brian Affleck Golf Academy in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

Joining Lemieux at Glen Abbey will be Idylwylde Golf & Country Club junior Jack Rain, one of three golfers who finished tied for the lead in a field of more than one hundred 15-18 year old male hopefuls.

Posting a score of 310, Rain and company were just five better than a quartet of contenders in the chase group at 305. Deadlocked at the top of the leaderboard with the Sudbury product were Owen Gauder (Bayview Golf & Country Club - Thornhill, Ontario) and Grégoire Vincent (Académie de Golf Fred Colgan - Québec, PQ).

Golf clubs from across the country hosted the qualifying events through to June 18, at which stage the top five, boys and girls, in 11 and under moved on, with top four in the 12-14 section and top three in 15-18 all doing the same.

A total of seven different provinces will be represented when the crew of 24 congregate at the most popular site, by far, of the Canadian Open.