If the flatstick is working, Ashburn golfer Shaun Margeson should be an odds-on favourite for this week's Future Links Atlantic championship at Clare.
"I'm not too worried about my ball striking or chipping next week," said the 17-year-old Margeson. "But the putter let me down during the amateur. Luckily, it came back at juniors. So if it continues to heat up, I'll be fine.
"It's been a strange couple weeks for the putter. It's just one of those things."
At the Nova Scotia amateur two weeks ago at Oakfield, Margeson finished a respectable ninth overall. During his final round, he fired a 2-over 74 but with 36 putts.
But at last week's provincial junior championship at Ken-Wo, he regained his putting stroke as he successfully defended his Nova Scotia junior boys' title, coming back from two shots down to win the four-round tournament by a stroke.
Less than a week after the junior victory, Margeson returns to the links for the Atlantic championship at the 6,146-yard track in Church Point.
Margeson placed third at last year's Future Links Atlantic at Countryview Golf Club in P.E.I., his best finish in the tournament. He ended seven strokes back of champion Calvin Ross of Fredericton, who'll be entering his sophomore year at Texas State University.
This year, Margeson has loftier goals and he has his sights on Ross, who'll be playing in his final Future Links Atlantic championship.
"I've competed against and beat a few of the guys who were up there last year," Margeson said. "So there's no reason why I can't go out and win. I know I have the game to beat them.
"I've always wanted to win Atlantics. It's one of the biggest tournaments I'll play in all year. It's like a step below nationals."
Margeson, who'll have one more year of junior eligibility in 2018, will take the U.S. college route this fall as he'll begin his freshman year at College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Ga., in September.
He said tournaments such as Future Links, the provincial amateur and junior and the upcoming Canadian junior championship are great tune-ups for college golf.
"I don't really know what to expect in college," Margeson said. "But I'm sure the tournaments will be similar to this or the provincial juniors or amateur.
"This will give me even more experience. I'm excited to play a full year of golf. I might be a little nervous being away from home, but I'll be fine. I'll adapt."
Margeson is familiar with the challenging Clare course, having played it during the 2016 Nova Scotia amateur. He finished in a tie for 17th at the four-round provincial championship. He collected three 72s and a second-round 78 for the tournament.
Again, Margeson said, it all came down to his putting.
"Last year, I struggled with the putter at the amateur in Clare. Much like this year," he said.
"I know I can make putts, it's just a matter of letting it happen."
Both the junior boys and girls begin play at the three-round Future Links Atlantic championship on Tuesday. The final round is Thursday.
Thirty-six Nova Scotians are in the field, including Ken-Wo's Meghan McLean who captured last week's Nova Scotia junior girls' championship at her home course.