He was in the running for a spot on the Newfoundland and Labrador male curling team for the 2013 Canada Winter Games, but never made the final cut.
Now, he has a chance to wear his provincial colours on the golf course as he pursues one of two spots up for grabs for the Newfoundland and Labrador male golf team heading to the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
The three rounds of golf at the Future Links Atlantic Golf Championships next week at the Clare Golf and Country Club in Church Point, N.S., will be a defining moment for the 17-year-old Stephenville native.
McNeil has already earned a spot to the national junior golf championship after placing third at the provincial event earlier this month, but he will have to come up with an impressive performance at Clare to claim one of two spots available in a field that includes a couple of east coast golfers and two of his good friends — Daniel Bruce and Matthew Bonnell of Corner Brook —who spend a fair amount of the summer hitting the course in pursuit of excellence.
Being able to compete on the Games stage in the 150th anniversary of Canada is where his heart lies and he’s confident he can get the job done because he’s been playing really well heading into the tournament.
“It would mean the world to me to go to the Games,” he said.
A top-20 finish may be enough to punch his ticket to the Games, but he’s just going to shoot for top spot regardless of how crazy that may sound.
He’s not going to put any pressure on himself. He just wants to relax and have fun with the mindset that if it’s meant to happen then it will.
“Just play it one shot at a time and I think I will do well,” he said.