Aiden Craig-Steele has ended his 2021 competitive golf season in style, winning back-to-back tournaments in consecutive weekends. He shot an outstanding -13 at the Mile Zero Open at the Dawson Creek Golf Club August 21 and 22 to win the championship flight, before winning the FSJ Links Club Championship, August 28 and 29.
It caps another strong season for Craig-Steele, who had another strong showing at the B.C. Amateur Championship this year earlier in the season, shooting +9 over four rounds to tie for 34th place. While he didn't quite match his +2, 26th-place finish at the 2020 Am-Championship, it was his third straight year placing in the top 40 at the event.
"It's been a great season, I've improved a couple things with my swing. I've improved mentally too, that's been big for me, just staying patient, I used to get really frustrated on the course," Craig-Steele said.
When asked how he improved his mental game, Craig-Steele said, "I've worked on it a lot, that was my one focus this year. I knew I had the game as long as I kept playing every day. Ryan Harvey, the golf pro at Links, has been amazing and I owe him credit, just getting my head out of the way and playing golf, and realizing that if something goes wrong, it's just a game."
He played some of his best golf of the year at the Mile Zero Open, shooting rounds of 65 and 66. After going one-under for the first nine of the opening round, Craig-Steele shot a 30 on the back nine.
"It's tied for the best nine I've ever shot in my life," he said.
He let Rob Powell back into the running on the second round, who had a one shot lead with three holes to go, but Craig-Steele finished with an eagle, birdie, and eagle to take the win.
Last weekend at the Links Club Championship, the course played tough, as Craig-Steele battled it out against Adam Kreuger for most of the weekend. He was four shots back after round one, but stayed patient and was able to pass Kreuger for the win.
The 119th B.C. Amateur Championship was at Storey Creek Golf Club in Campbell River this year. Unlike the Okanagan Golf Club in Kelowna where the tournament was held last year, Craig-Steele said Storey Creek didn't match up well for his game.
"The course played higher for everyone it seemed. It was very tight, and you couldn't use driver as much. I'm accurate with my driver so I still hit it quite a bit, but you had to hit a lot of 4 and 6 irons off the tee, which isn't my strong point," he said. Connor Kindrat caddied him, and Craig-Steele said they had a great time at the tournament and he's happy with how he shot.
He qualified for the Canadian Amateur Championship once again, but unlike last year, wasn't able to make the trip for this year's tournament, which was in Windsor. Craig-Steele leaves for Victoria Friday, to attend the University of Victoria. He has a qualifying tournament coming up, and if he plays well, he'll have a chance to make the U-Vic golf team.
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