May 3-4, 2008For Immediate Release May 5, 2008
MJT’S CAMBRIDGE EVENT SENDS 8 TO FLORIDA, ILLINOIS AND NEW YORK
CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – Heavy rain may have shortened play to 27 holes for most competitors in the opening tournament of the Maple Leaf Junior Tour (MJT) Ontario Series held at Cambridge Golf Club in Cambridge on May 3rd and 4th, but spirits were high as eight players earned exemptions into three prestigious international events.
Golfers from Ontario, New Brunswick and New York battled the elements and each other to win spots into the Future Collegiate World Tour (FCWT) National Championship at PGA National Golf Club in Florida, the World Youth Team Challenge (WYTC) at Bolingbrook Golf Club in Illinois, and the 56th East Aurora International Junior Masters (EAIJM) at East Aurora Golf Club in New York.
Mother nature returned with a brisk wind and sun for day two and some wonderful rounds were posted with each of the four divisions having battles right up to the 18th hole. MJT rookie Thomas Keddy, 19, of Shenstone, NB, came up the overall winner with scores of 34-73 (107) for the tournament opening, which drew its largest field ever. Wet, brisk conditions didn’t faze this player in the Boys 17 and Up Division, who hopes to get down to a scratch handicap on the MJT this year through precision putting and improved accuracy with his irons.
Runner-up in the division, Mike Rizzetto 17, of Brantford, was four back of Keddy with 38-73 (111), reserving a spot for himself at the FCWT in Florida later this month. “Winning a spot in a Major championship feels pretty good, “ he said. “Playing PGA National will be fun, it's a great course and will test everyone’s ability. I hope to represent Canada well in this prestigious event.”
Etobicoke’s Spencer Buck, 17, came in third place, shooting 37-37 for a total of 115.
Playing in his final MJT event in the Boys 13 and Under Division since he’s about to turn 14, Truman Tai of Markham posted a wonderful final round of 1-under par off the white tees to run away with his division title (37-71=108). In addition to taking top honours in both skills competitions, he qualified for the second year to play in the WYTC in Illinois next month. The rigors of competition suit this three-year MJT veteran, who had six top three finishes in six MJT events in 2007: “I had a few highlights in this tournament,” he said. “One of them was definitely hitting the green in two on #10 while it was pouring (even though it didn’t count), another was hitting #16 in two and getting birdie, but the biggest highlight was probably finishing out the tournament with a birdie on the last hole.” Sam Hebert, 12, of St. Thomas, Ontario, was the runner-up to Tai with scores of 38-85 (123), and third place went to Matt Gerber, 13, of Kitchener who posted scores of 34-79 (124). Hebert and Gerber also earned exemptions into the WYTC.
Jacob Ohanian, 16, of Winona, birdied two holes down the stretch to record scores of 38-73 (111) and take the Boys 14 -16 Division title. “Coming down the stretch I was expecting somebody to go low, so I knew I had to finish strong, “ he said, thrilled to be heading to New York next month for the EAIJM. “Earning this exemption was my goal for the tournament. It’s a great way to start my season, knowing I will be playing in an event like the EAIJM.” Tied for second place behind Ohanian at 112 total score were Zachary Kempra, 16, of Brantford (37-75), and Cambridge local player Brendan Leonard, 16 (36-76).
In the Girls Division, Alyssa Getty, 11, of Leamington, shot back-to-back rounds of 89 (178) to take the title. “To win this tournament is very special because my brother Ryan, who is in a wheelchair, got to come out and see me play for the first time,” she said. “That meant a lot!” Estee Deschamps, 11, of St. Isidore, was the runner-up, carding 103 and 93 (196). Both girls earned the chance to compete in the WYTC.
Ten-year-old Brandon Seys of Port Lambton was the eighth player to receive an international berth at the Cambridge stop, and he will also head to the WYTC in Illinois.
Divisional winners of the Mr. Lube Long Drive Competition were Truman Tai, Zachary Kempra, Mike Rizzetto and Estee Deschamps, while the Sundog Skills Competition winners were Truman Tai, Brett Kennedy, 15, of Kitchener, and Alyssa Getty.
Tournament Director, Dave Smallwood, said, “I would like to thank all competitors for making this past event our largest opening tournament ever. We look forward to seeing everyone in Paris!” Paris Grand Golf Club in Paris will host the next stop in the province on May 24th and 25th - a qualifier for spots on MJT Team Canada to Mexico and Scotland. 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.
Julia Thornley, PR, MJT
T: 604-943-1645; Email: email@example.com