by Joe McLean
James Newton from the Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Gatineau, Quebec was named the Ottawa Sports Award 2021 Golfer of the Year in a ceremony at the 69th annual Ottawa Sports Awards held at the Canadian Golf & Country Club in Ashton, Ontario on Thursday, June 16, 2022.
James had a stellar 2021 golf season winning the Golf Ontario Boys Junior Championship at the Whistle Bear GC in Cambridge, Ontario. He also finished 9th in the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and 10th in Golf Quebec’s Junior Boys and Amateur Men’s Championships.
Late in 2021, James signed a letter of intent to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey and he was also named to Golf Canada’s 2022 Junior Development Team.
Flagstick talked to James Newton before the Ottawa Sports Awards presentation as he was unable to attend because he is entered in the Glencoe Invitational in Calgary, Alberta at the same time..
FGM – What do you think about being recognized and joining the impressive list of Ottawa area prominent golfers winning the Ottawa Sports Award for Golf?
JN – I’m honoured to be recognized as the best golfer in Ottawa for 2021. I had a great summer and a solid winter. I worked hard and to be recognized, it just feels good.
FGM – How do you feel about becoming a member of the Golf Canada Junior Development Team?
JN – I played well over the summer and put a lot of work into my game and I obviously didn’t expect to get it but I worked hard at the tryouts and I’m glad to be on the team. We have a great group of girls and guys on the team. It’s awesome.
FGM – What are your plans/goals for the future?
JN – I have a good tournament schedule planned for this year including the Ontario Amateur, the Canadian Junior, the Canadian Amateur as well as qualifiers for the U.S. Junior and the U.S. Amateur. I would love to qualify for one or both of them. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I’m putting in the time to make it work. I’m also looking forward to playing well for the Rutgers Golf Team in the fall.
FGM – Is there anyone you want to thank for assisting you along the way in your career to this point?
JN – Obviously I have to thank my parents, Paula & Peter Newton. They’ve put a lot of time into my golf career and they have sacrificed quite a bit to give me the opportunities I’ve had. I would like to thank my coaches Matt DeJohn (Matt DeJohn Golf Academy Director & Tour Coach in Florida), Derek MacDonald (Manager of Royal Ottawa Golf Club Golf Academy & Ottawa Valley Golf Association Junior Development Team Coach) and all of the Golf Canada coaches I’ve met over the past year. Thanks to all of them for working with me.
Flagstick caught up with PGA of Ottawa Golf Professional Derek MacDonald from the Royal Ottawa Golf Club and asked him to give us an assessment on his student.
James is a treat to work with. We’ve been together now for almost five years and the one thing I enjoy most about him is that he’s really just a good person. I always say to my players that I get to work with that I care more about them as people than I do as golfers. The golf part of it obviously is the goals they we set and they want to strive to achieve. We work hard to try and get there but in the end I care more about them as people and James is just one of those great guys that is a real treat to be around all the time. So I feel more appreciative that I get the pleasure to actually work with someone, not just with the talent that he has in golf but he truly is a good person deep down.
The sky’s the limit with James. Everyone that kind of knows my background would recognize Noah Steele. When it comes to golf itself, Noah is extremely talented. Comparing James to Noah at the same age is so far beyond, it’s unreal. That’s what blows me away about what’s to come in the future for James. He’s really a true pure ball striker and player of the game with tons of talent literally the sky’s the limit for him. I see great things for him and who knows where he wants to take it. I guess we know deep down but it takes a lot of work to get there which II know he wants to put in. He is one heck of a talent and it truly is a pleasure to watch him and to actually get to work with him. It’s going to be interesting to see where he goes a few years down the road from now.
Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) Record for James Newton
2016 – OVGA City & District Pee Wee Champion
2017 – OVGA City & District Bantam Champion
2019 – OVGA City & District Juvenile Champion
2020 – OVGA City & District Juvenile Champion
2020 – OVGA City & District Juvenile Match Play Champion
(Editor’s Note: Flagstick’s Joe McLean, the author of this article, was also recognized at the 2021 Ottawa Sports Awards. Joe was given special recognition for his long-time contribution to sports in the community, including for his time as an active Board Member for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association, as historian and archivist for various golf organizations, and his continued diligence to support the local golf scene through his work with Flagstick)