Brilliant 10-under-par wins low overall in MJT’s Ford Series-PGA of Alberta Junior Championship
Calgary, AB – (July 16, 2020) - Canada’s number-one played junior golf tour swung into Calgary, AB, from July 13 through 15, to host its first three-day World Amateur Golf Ranking event since suspending its season in March. Continuing to follow new player health and safety protocols, the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour hosted the MJT Ford Series / PGA of Alberta Junior Championship at McKenzie Meadows Golf Club where some of the best junior golfers in the region competed for titles in six divisions as well as valuable bonus order of merit points. Players could also win a new Ford vehicle courtesy of Woodridge Ford in a Hole-in-One contest, and Brae Rogalczyk, 12, of Innisfail, lipped out on this amazing chance.
Some spectacular golf was played over the three days. Calgary-native Hunter Thomson, 16, began with an opening round of 74 making one birdie and one eagle but trailed the lead by seven shots. That’s when Thomson kick-started his game and followed that 74 with a five-under 67 on the second day making eight birdies and inching to within four shots of the lead going into the final round. There was no stopping Thomson in the third round as he surged ahead making seven more birdies and firing a bogey-free seven-under par 65 for a total of 206 (-10) and a four-shot victory to win the MJT Ford Series-PGA of Alberta Junior Boys Championship title and the Low Overall Boys score of the event. “I love this course, so I figured I would play aggressively, and it worked,” Thomson said. Finishing the division in second place was 16-year old Braden O’Grady, of Edmonton, AB, with excellent scores of 67, 70, and 73 (210, -6).
Zachary Haydamack, 15, of Rocky View County, AB, emerged victorious as the MJT Ford Series-PGA of Alberta Juvenile Boys Champion after firing rounds of 74, 67, and 73 (214, -2) to win his second consecutive 2020 MJT event. Haydamack trailed by one shot after the first round but surged to the top with his five-under par second round. From there, it was smooth sailing to a three-shot win. “I think I won because my putting was on fire all three days and I kept in play off the tee. The win means a lot because I worked so hard this winter and now it’s paying off.” Finishing runner-up in the division was 16-year old Cole Bergheim, of Red Deer, AB, with scores of 75, 71, and 71 (217, +1).
The MJT Bantam Boys Division witnessed a nail-biting contest to the very end between 14-year old Joshua Ince, of Surrey, BC, and 13-year old Tate Bruggeman, of Edmonton. The opening round saw Bruggeman make five birdies and an eagle for a four-under 68 and a four-shot lead over Ince’s 72. But Ince answered back round two firing a five-under 67 which included six birdies and successfully closed the gap. With Bruggeman recording a commendable one-under 71 on the second day, that left both players tied going into the final round. Ince opened his third round making three birdies on his way to a two-under par front nine and held on to the lead from there shooting a three-under 69 (208, -8) and taking the division’s Championship title by a single shot. “I was trying not to focus on my competitors scores, but on the last day me and Tate were so close it was kind of hard not to,” said Ince. “It means a lot to win this tournament because it has shown me what I am capable of.” Bruggeman finished the third round with a two-under, 70 and a total score of 209 (-7) to take home second place.
The spotlight in the MJT Girls 15-19 Division fell on Jenna Bruggeman. The 16-year old MJT veteran from Edmonton, AB, took home both the Low Overall Girls score for the event and the division’s Championship title by eight shots. Bruggeman was very consistent all three days recording scores of 73, 73, and 71 (217, +1). “I knew I had won on the sixth hole when I tapped in my fourth birdie of the day. This win is important to me because it gives me confidence moving forward and knowing I can play well,” said Bruggeman, who will be looking to build off this win next week as she makes her way to the interior of BC to showcase her talent at the two MJT events there.
Calgary-resident Tessa Ion come back to win her first MJT Junior Tour title of her career with scores of 80, 79, and 79 (238) in the MJT U15 Girls Division. Ion trailed by three shots after the first day, but slowly climbed her way back up to sit tied after the second round. With one more final push in the third round, Ion emerged victorious winning the division by two shots. “Me and Eileen were both on each other’s tails and we did not know who won ‘til it was over. It was a very tight competition. I tired not to get in my head too much and only think about playing,” Ion said about her Championship victory. 11-year old Eileen Park, of Red Deer, finished the division in second place with scores of 77, 82, and 81 (238).
Only one shot separated the top two contenders in the MJT Peewee Boys Division. It was Brae Rogalczyk, 12, of Innisfail, AB, that came out on top in the end winning the Championship title (and almost a new Ford vehicle after his near-miss hole in one) with scores of 78, 76, and 75 (229). Rogalczyk had a small one-shot lead after the first round but found himself sitting in a two-shot deficit going into the third round. Firing an even-par front nine to start his third round, Rogalczyk climbed out of his deficit and into a one-shot lead and held on to that right to the end of the event. “I thought I had won on the 17th hole when I made a long putt for par. It does feel great to win.” Brady Durkin, 12, of Sylvan Lake, AB, carded scores of 79, 73, and 78 (229) to finish the division runner-up.
The Booster Juice Bounceback Awards winners were Edie Nicholson of Calgary, Grace Bell of Calgary, Lyndon Kuryvial of Taber, AB, Alex Makarchuk of Taber, Iain Smiley of Calgary, and Kyle Schwartz of Calgary.
Full results of the event can be viewed here. The next MJT Alberta Junior Tour stop will take place on July 27-28 in Sylvan Lake, for the MJT PLYR Golf Series at Meadowlands Golf Club. More information can be found online at www.maplejt.com.
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About the MJT: The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour is Canada’s number one-played Junior Golf Tour as well as the only national junior tour run exclusively by PGA of Canada Professionals and the ‘Road to College Golf’ in Canada. The organization is supported by valued Premier, Tournament and Product Partners. The MJT hosts close to 90 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 12U and multi-day events for competitive players aged 11-19 which also offer qualifiers for international tournaments. The program has annual awards, scholarships and incentives to help reward performance and participation throughout each season. MJT alumni include many Professional Tour players and PGA of Canada Professionals, as well as Canadian Amateur, National and Provincial Junior Champions. The MJT aims to develop champions, in golf and in life, promoting the game from grassroots through to the provincial, national, university and professional levels.