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Canada's most-played Junior Golf Tour

Canada's most-played Junior Golf Tour

The Road to College Golf, run exclusively by PGA Professionals

Press Release

April 17-18, 2010
Lethbridge, AB

For Immediate Release

RUCKI WINS 1ST CHOICE SAVINGS SERIES AT PARADISE CANYON

Lethbridge, AB – (April 19, 2010)
– The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) held it’s Alberta season-opener on April 17th and 18th with exemptions up for grabs into the Future Collegiate World Tour (FCWT) National Championship in Florida, USA. A freak snowstorm caused a change of venues from Coaldale to Lethbridge late on Friday, so the MJT 1st Choice Savings Series at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort got under way on Saturday afternoon, in relatively warm weather.

The golf course was in great condition, considering that three days prior they had one foot of wet snow blanketing the course, and fears that they would not be open on the weekend at all. Weather continued to be the story on Sunday as a thunderstorm blew in just as the first groups rounded the turn, causing a one hour delay with lightning in the area. Finally, at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, all players got back on the golf course to finish the front nine and a 27 hole event.

Derek Rucki, 16, of Chestermere, stormed out of the gates this weekend shooting 68-35 for a 27 hole total of 4-under-par to win the Boys 14-16 title and earn the paid spot into the FCWT National Championship. “Finishing -4 over the weekend was a highlight,” said Rucki. “The course was really good considering they just opened and it snowed two feet on Wednesday. It feels fantastic to win - great way to start off the season and hopefully leads to more!” Rucki finished three shots better than Lethbridge player Mack Penner, 16, who carded 71-35 (-1), followed in third place by 13-year-old Patrick Murphy of Crossfield (75-35), who is playing up a division.

Andrew Ritchot, 17, of Lethbridge won top honours in the Boys 17-19 Division by firing 70-36 (-1) over 27 holes to win over second place finisher Ryan Werre, 17, of Redcliff (73-37). “I got the ball up and down all weekend and stayed away from bogeys,” said Ritchot. “Coming into the final round, knowing Ryan can score low, I was trying to play the course and not the competitors. This win is a good way to start the 2010 season and I’m happy with my score.” Finishing in third position was Evan Cowan, 17, of Coaldale, who carded rounds of 74-38.

Sydney MacDonald, 16, of Calgary, won the Girls division after carding rounds of 80-41 to finish one shot ahead of Becky Martin, 16, of Medicine Hat. It was MacDonald’s first win on the MJT, and tough to determine who was more excited, her or her mother! “Definitely course management helped me win,” summed up MacDonald. “The back nine was very solid. Becky was right behind me the whole way - a real battle. Intense! But it is awesome (to win)! It is lots of fun and nice to be rewarded for a good game.” Finishing third was MJT newcomer Mieke Heyns, 16, of Lethbridge (85-45).

In Boys 13 and Under, Jason Martens, 13, of Edmonton, came in and dominated the field, winning by eight shots over Connor Shaw of Dauphin, MB, who had made a 2000km round-trip to the tournament. Martens shots rounds of 73-38 to best the field, with Shaw firing respectable rounds of 77-42 to finish second. “Connor has me worried, he was playing well,” said Martens, adding, “but my putting was great and it feels good to finally win out here.” Local Lachlan Spriddle, 12, finished third with rounds of 81-43.

The divisional winners in the Mr. Lube Long Drive Competition were Jason Martens, Riley Fleming of Airdrie, Matthew Whittaker of Lethbridge and Sydney MacDonald. The Sundog Skills competition divisional winners were Trent Ducharme of Fort MacLeod, Travis Miller of Calgary, Ryan Werre and Carolyn Lee of Calgary.

The MJT continues its Alberta schedule on May 1st and 2nd with the MJT Lethbridge College Classic presented by 1st Choice Savings at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort in Lethbridge, an event held in conjunction with several college and university teams. For more information, please visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-4653.
About the MJT
The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour presented by Boston Pizza is Canada’s premier and only national junior tour run exclusively by Canadian PGA Professionals. The organization hosts more than 50 events across Canada and also qualifies players for spots to international events in England, Australia, Thailand and many cities in the USA. The MJT offers annual awards, scholarships, and frequent player incentives to help reward player's performance and participation throughout each season. MJT alumni include PGA tour player Chris Baryla, players on the Nationwide and Canadian Tours, several Canadian National Junior Champions and many Future Links and Provincial Junior Champions.
Contact: Elaine Denton, Marketing & PR, MJT T: 1-877-943-1645 Email: edenton@maplejt.com