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McComber chips way to historic championship

Frankie McComber Jr. said his short game was on last weekend, as the 19-year-old became one of the youngest ever to win Kanawaki’s A Club Championships and first ever from Kahnawake. (courtesy Alex Buchanan, Kanawaki Golf Club)

Etched among the names of golfers from across the river or beyond the territory will now be a name of a young golfer born and raised in the community down the street from the Kanawaki Golf Club.

Frankie McComber Jr., pulling out a 78 and 73 score over two rounds, became the first Kahnawa’kehró:non to win Kanawaki’s club championship, doing so in the top flight A division.

Par is 70.

“I pulled through and got it,” said McComber.

The top of the leaderboard was tight for the entire second round, but Frankie McComber Jr. found a way to gut out a win. (Courtesy Alex Buchanan, Kanawaki Golf Club)
The top of the leaderboard was tight for the entire second round, but Frankie McComber Jr. found a way to gut out a win. (Courtesy Alex Buchanan, Kanawaki Golf Club)

McComber started the final day three shots back of the lead, and took the lead just past the midway point of the day.

“By hole 12, I had the lead, but it was tight,” he said. “I had a one shot on one guy and then two shots on four other guys. It got tight quick.”

McComber credits his short game with helping him push through to the championship.

“I didn’t hit the ball great, so I was in trouble a lot, but we somehow grinded through and made some pars,” he said.

“My putting was outstanding all weekend,” he said.

McComber, who spent the last two years playing golf and studying at the Saddlebrook Preparatory School in Wesley Chapel, Florida, beat golfers twice his age or much older in achieving the historic feat.

“There was a lot of old guys, some 60 or 70,” said the 19-year-old, one of the youngest ever to win the championship. “The average age I would say was probably 40-45.”

It wasn’t until he collected his trophy that McComber realized that, in 103 years of the club’s existence, he was the first person from Kahnawake to capture the title in any category.

“I didn’t know until I went to go look at the trophy and I didn’t see anybody’s name from town,” said McComber. “I’ve had a lot of people message me about it.”

David Montour was the only other golfer from Kahnawake in the A category, but he did not play in the club championship.

One for the record books. Frankie McComber Jr. became the first ever Kahnawa'kehró:non to win the club championship at Kanawaki. (Courtesy Alex Buchanan, Kanawaki Golf Club)
One for the record books. Frankie McComber Jr. became the first ever Kahnawa’kehró:non to win the club championship at Kanawaki. (Courtesy Alex Buchanan, Kanawaki Golf Club)
Daniel J. Rowe
Daniel J. Rowe is an award-winning reporter and photographer originally from B.C. In addition to journalism, he produces and edits a Shakespeare-inspired blog and podcast called the Bard Brawl. His writing has also appeared in the Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press and U.S. Lacrosse magazine. His facial hair rotates with the season, and he’s recently discovered the genius of wearing a cowboy hat.
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