August 24-25, 2017
Hot scores, playoffs crown MJT Mini Tour National Champions
Vancouver, BC – August 27, 2017 – The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Mini Tour National Championship presented by Ford Canada ran at Tsawwassen Springs Golf in Tsawwassen, BC, on August 24 and 25, where National Champions for competitive girls and boys in Peewee (11-12), Atom (9-10) and Novice (8U) divisions were crowned, and several qualified for exemptions into the U.S. Kids Golf Australian Open in Sydney, January 2018 and the World Junior Golf Championships at Wigwam Golf Resort in PHX, AZ, November 2017.
The MJT also simultaneously hosted the Cam Clark Ford Go Golf! Junior Clinic to introduce beginners to the game on August 25, so that close to 100 young players ended up participating in the Ford-sponsored events last week.
Hot scoring and two playoffs were needed during the two-day tournament, firstly in the Peewee Girls division where the MJT Mini Tour National Peewee Girls Champion was Coco Pei, 12, of Surrey, BC, after she prevailed in a playoff over Bonnie Zhai, 11, also of Surrey. Pei and Zhai had a head-to-head 36-hole battle where both players shot identical rounds of 74,74 (148). Pei sank a six-foot putt for par on the second playoff hole for the win, and said afterwards, “I think my short game was pretty good both days so even if I sliced my drive into the woods, I knew I could still save par. It feels amazing (to win)!”
It took another playoff to determine the MJT Mini Tour National Peewee Boys Champion was Justin Bjornson, 11, of Surrey, BC, after he defeated Daniel Xu, 11, of Richmond, BC, on the first playoff hole. Both players had finished the 36 holes tied at 143 total score with 73-70 from Bjornson and 72-71 from Xu. On the first playoff hole, Bjornson hit the flag with his approach shot, and when Xu narrowly missed his 25-foot birdie attempt, it was Bjornson who calmly knocked in his six-foot birdie putt to capture the title and trophy.
Vanessa Zhang, 10, of Vancouver, BC, shot 77,70 (147) for a two-stroke victory over Luna Lu, 10, of Burnaby, BC, to be crowned the MJT Mini Tour National Atom Girls Champion. Zhang said, “My highlight was going through nine holes without a bogey. The key was my drives, they were constantly straight down the middle. I feel victorious and more confident!”
MJT Mini Tour National Atom Boys Champion, Emil Liddell, 10, of Vancouver, shot 73-75 (148) and secured his title in style with a nine-stroke margin over Richard Sun, 9, of Burnaby, BC. Liddell said the key was his chipping and putting. “I feel awesome (about the win). The highlight was getting a hole-in-one on 17 during my practice round.”
Jaden August, 8, of Pitt Meadows, BC, fired 71,71 (142) to capture the MJT Mini Tour National Boys Novice Champion’s title. August won by nine strokes over Cheho An, 9, of Burnaby, BC, and said the key was, ‘staying patient.’ “I made my putt on 18 for birdie and feel awesome (to win). I was focused on my own game.”
Eight year-old Tierra Elchuk, of Kelowna, BC, came out to improve by 23 strokes on day two (109-86) and take home the MJT Mini Tour National Girls 8U trophy. Elchuk said she wanted to thank her Dad for driving her to the tournament, and caddying, and that she felt great about the win.
Closest to the Pin and Long Drive prizes were also awarded and the winners posted on the MJT website here, along with a photo gallery. In addition, the age-specific winners of the international exemptions were as follows:
US Kids Golf Australia Open (Aus) / World Junior Golf Championships (AZ):
Boys 7 & U Matthew Cui
Boys 8 Cheho An Girls 8 & U Tierra Elchuk
Boys 9 Jaden August Girls 9 Elaine Liu
Boys 10 Emil Liddell Girls 10 L una Lu for Aus/Vanessa Zhang for AZ
Boys 11 Ryan Vest Girls 11 Vanessa Zhang for Aus/Jia An for AZ
Boys 12 Justin Bjornson Girls 12 Coco Pei
That concludes the MJT Mini Tour Series for 2017. An early-bird membership will open in December for the 2018 season; details will be posted at www.maplejt.com
About Ford: Ford of Canada employs over 23,000 talented individuals in the fields of finance, sales and marketing, information technology, manufacturing and engineering, and human resources. This diverse workforce is responsible for the manufacturing and assembly operations that bring 320,000 vehicles and 425,000 engines to market. At Ford we are proud to be Canada’s longest-established automaker and remain committed to building a strong future in Canada. www.ford.ca
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