July 17-19, 2017
MJT’s Ford-sponsored events in Calgary see 175 juniors take part Seven MJT-PGA of Alberta Junior Champions crowned in 54-hole event
Calgary, AB - (July 20, 2017) – The future of golf looked to be in fantastic shape on Canada’s number one-played junior golf tour the past three days at McKenzie Meadows Golf Course in Calgary, AB, where over 175 juniors took part in a Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour clinic for those new to golf, a Mini Tour for those aged 12 and under, and a Junior Tour stop for elite competitors, all sponsored by Ford of Canada.
The free Woodridge Ford Go Golf! Junior Clinic ran on July 16, packed with kids from the community. The wait-listed MJT Mini Tour ran on July 17 and results can be viewed online, whereas the 100-player field in the MJT Junior Tour competed July 17 through 19, with elite players vying for PGA of Alberta Junior Champion titles in seven age divisions as well as the chance to qualify for the International Players Championship (IPC) presented by Miura Golf at Jasper Park Lodge, AB, August 14 to 16. In addition, a number of juniors came close to winning a 2017 Ford Focus SE in a hole-in-one contest sponsored by Ford of Canada and Woodridge Ford.
“We had three days of incredible weather and the golf course was in the best shape I have ever seen it,” said MJT Tournament Director, Trent Matson. “The greens were pure and held the ball. The players were treated to an incredible experience by the McKenzie Meadows staff, and representatives from the PGA of Alberta were on site to support the event and hand out scholarship information.”
Firing on all cylinders was MJT-PGA of Alberta Collegiate Men’s Champion and MJT veteran, Logan Hill, 20, of Red Deer, AB, whose outstanding rounds of 68,72,73 (213) also awarded him the Low Overall title. Hill said of his victory, “The win feels great, very nice after the hard work. My game was good, ball striking was good, and my putting was consistent. The course conditions were very good, the greens were excellent.” Second in the Collegiate division was Drew Dougherty, 20, of Calgary, (74, 74, 72=220) and third place went to Jacob Magee, 20, also of Calgary (72, 79, 78=229).
Just one stroke back of Low Overall with brilliant scores of 71,72,71 (214) was Connor Blake, 18, of Calgary, who was crowned MJT-PGA of Alberta Junior Boys Champion in the 17-18 division. Blake commented afterwards, “It feels pretty sweet, I played well all three days, so that was rewarding. The golf course was in good shape, I really enjoyed playing it all three days, and want to come back and play it again.” Runner-up to Blake was Connor Dunlop, 17, of Strathmore, AB (70, 74, 75=219) while third place in Junior Boys went to Samuel Hamelin, 17, of Stettler, AB (73, 74, 75=222).
The MJT-PGA of Alberta Juvenile Boys Champion was Kaiden Nicholson, 16, of Edmonton, AB, who fired 77,74,71 (222) to edge both Ryan Hodgins, 15, of Medicine Hat, AB (73, 76, 74) and Shiv Kaura, 16, of Calgary (72, 77, 74). “It feels actually really great, a long week of work that paid off,” Nicholson said about his win. “The keys to victory were hitting a lot of greens in regulation and the odd fairway here and there.”
Fresh from an appearance in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships, Thomas Sluka, 14, of Canmore, AB, posted an impressive three-day total of 218 (72,75,71) in the Boys 13-14 division to take the MJT-PGA of Alberta Bantam Boys Crown, beating both Bryan Chan, 13, of Port Coquitlam, BC (73, 79, 70=222) and Richard Dou, 14, of Calgary (69, 80, 73=222). “It’s my fourth MJT win of the year, that is always nice, and after coming back from a big tournament like the Junior Worlds to get a win right away feels really good. It was a lot of fun playing out there, I played with some great kids.”
A six-hole playoff was needed to determine the MJT-PGA of Alberta Peewee Boys Champion after both Jaiden Koonar, 12, of Calgary (76,73,76) and Bradin Stahl, 12, of Priddis, AB (80,70,75), completed the 54 holes in 225 strokes. Koonar finally triumphed, and stated, “The final playoff hole was a par three, and I stuck it to like seven feet. It was really fun, the win feels really good, and all my playing partners were really nice.” Third place went to Tate Bruggeman, 10, of Edmonton, AB (80,81,74).
Calgarians dominated the podium in the Girls 15-18 division, where the MJT-PGA of Alberta Junior Girls Champion was Victoria Tse, 16, who fired rounds of 77,78,80 (235) to narrowly edge Stephanie Chelack, 15, by one stroke. Tse said that scrambling was the key to her win. “If I missed a green I could get up and down, and my putts were dropping. The event was really well run and it feels great to get my second win on the Maple Leaf Junior Tour.” Sydney Scraba, 17, had to settle for third with solid scores of 82, 80, 76 (238).
Brooke Brezovski, 13, of St. Albert, AB, was crowned the MJT-PGA of Alberta U15 Girls Champion after she shot 78-77-81 (236) to win her first MJT title by five strokes over Grace Bell, 14, of Calgary (85, 75, 81). “I worked really hard over the three days and had some personal best scores,” Brezovski said. “I’ve never won an MJT before, so it feels good.” Third spot was taken by Alanna Makarchuk, 14, of Taber, AB (84, 79, 80=243).
The qualifying spots into the IPC in Jasper went to Brooke Brezovski, Victoria Tse, Thomas Sluka, Kaiden Nicholson and Connor Blake. Full results of all 100 players and overall event highlights are posted on the MJT website HERE, showing winners of the Miura ‘Respect the Game’ Award, PLYR Long Drive, PLYR Closest-to-the-Pin and Golf Town Performance Awards.
Two regular season events remain on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour in Alberta: the MJT Alberta Series at Heritage Pointe Golf Club in Calgary on July 24-25, and the MJT Prodigy Series at Wintergreen Golf Club in Bragg Creek on August 8-9. For more information or to register, please visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-4653.
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About the MJT: The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour presented by Boston Pizza 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 presented nationally by Boston Pizza and supported by valued Premier, Tournament and Product Partners. The MJT hosts more than 70 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 7-12 year olds, the Collegiate Tour for 19-23 year olds, and multi-day events for competitive players aged 11 to 18 which are also qualifiers for international competitions. The program offers annual awards, scholarships, and frequent player incentives to help reward player's 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 provincial, national, university and professional level. For more information on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, please visit www.maplejt.com