July 28-29, 2008For Immediate Release — July 30, 2008
BATSEL BEST AT MJT’S 1ST CHOICE SAVINGS STOP
COALDALE, AB – Southern Alberta weather finally cooperated for a Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) event after a rough time at the beginning of the season, and junior golfers in the re-scheduled two-day 1st Choice Savings Series at Land-O-Lakes Golf Club in Coaldale enjoyed sunshine in temperatures reaching about 80 degrees F, with a little wind. The golf course was in magnificent condition and the greens ran true. Great conditions for scoring and the players took advantage, with Dillon Batsel, 16, of Medicine Hat, AB, beating a strong field in his age division of Boys 14-16 by 11 shots en route to his first MJT win.
Batsel was also the low man each day with scores of 72-71 (143) and earns an exemption into the Future Collegiate World Tour (FCWT) National Championship in Florida in 2009 as a result. “Hitting greens in regulation was key to my win,” he said. “I feel good, it’s a relief. It’s my first two-day win.” Andrew Ritchot, 15, and Matt Whittaker, 16, both of Lethbridge, AB, shot identical rounds of 79-75 and Calgary's Taylor Drolet, 16, shot back-to-back rounds of 77 for a three-way tie at second place at 154 total score behind Batsel in the Boys 14-16 division.
In the Boys 17 and up division, Gage Murphy led wire-to-wire for his first ever MJT win. Murphy, 18, from Rosebud, AB, carded 76-73 (149) to beat Eric Allard of Calgary by two shots. “I was worried by Eric all the way. He was one shot back on the 18th tee,” said Murphy. “I was thinking coming down the stretch, don’t play dumb, play to my strengths. Don’t play defensive and let my head get in the way. The relief to win is great, it’s my first MJT win.” Allard, 17, posted scores of 77-74. Finishing third in the division was Connor Lunge, 17, of Calgary who carded 79-74 (153).
In the Girls division, Anisha Chong, 18, of Lethbridge outlasted Kristen Jensen, 16, of Picture Butte to hold on and take the title. Chong's putting held up and got her to the finish with a 6-over-78. “Kristen and I tied yesterday and were close on the front nine today,” said Chong, who posted a 162 total score. “I knew that I didn't want to hit my driver on #18, but just play smart golf and not blow it. I’ve been working to win for a long time so it is good to achieve that goal.” Jensen shot back-to-back rounds of 84 to close at 168. Third place went to Emma Degenhardt, 14, of Lethbridge.
Nick Scrymgeour, 13, of Calgary stormed back with a solid 80 to beat first round leader Ian Mmbando, 13, of Lethbridge in a countback. After both players tied at 164 total score, Mmbando lost his fifth countback and Scrymgeour won his first MJT event in Alberta. Finishing third in the division, Brett Sheridan, 13, of Lethbridge, shot a career low 79 to close at 168.
The divisional winners in the Mr. Lube Long Drive Competition were Brett Sheridan, Taylor Drolet, 16, of Calgary, and Wallace O’Neil, 19, of Cochrane. The Sundog Skills competition divisional winners were Mason Gibb, 11, of Lethbridge, Andrew Richot, Scott MacDonald, 19, of Cochrane, and Anisha Chong.
The MJT has two more tournaments in Alberta this season – one at McKenzie Meadows Golf Club in Calgary on August 5th and 6th, and the other, the MJT-Alberta PGA Junior Championship presented by Macleod Savings and Credit Union, at Nanton Golf Club in Nanton on August 11th and 12th. For more information or to register, please visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-4653.
About the MJT
The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) is presented nationally by Boston Pizza and is Canada's premier and only junior golf tour run exclusively by Golf Professionals. The MJT is proud to play a role in developing young players, including several Canadian National Champions and many Future Links and Provincial Champions. The MJT also provides opportunities for young Canadians to learn how to golf and introduces players as young as four years old to the game via free instructional clinics. In addition, the MJT encourages young players to further their education with scholarship awards. For more information, please visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-GOLF.
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