November 8-11, 2018
13 Year-oId Lauren Kim Low Medalist at 11 under par
Phoenix, Arizona - (November 12, 2018) – The 2018 Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) season successfully wrapped up this past Remembrance Day weekend with the MJT Boston Pizza National Championship presented by TaylorMade Golf Canada and adidas Golf at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix, AZ, November 9 to 11. Seven divisional National Champions were crowned out of a field of 110 young golfers from coast to coast who had qualified for this invitational event, a highlight on Canada's number-one played junior golf tour.
The 54-hole World Amateur Golf Ranked tournament also has AJGA Performance Based Entry (PBE) stars and major Golf Canada ranking points, and receives many results requests from college coaches scouting prospective players.
Headlining some outstanding scoring and playing up a division was Low Overall and MJT 15-18 Girls National Champion, Lauren Kim, 13, of Surrey, BC, who fired an incredible 11-under-par total of 66, 69, 67 (202) for a 12 stroke victory over 11 year-old Michelle Liu of Vancouver, BC, who was also playing up. “I feel very happy to win the 15-18 division as a 13 year-old,” Kim said, who defended her title as the 2017 MJT Girls Low Overall National Champion. “This tournament set a new record (-11) for a three day tournament! Winning this tournament two years in a row feels amazing.”
The MJT Girls U15 National Champion was Erin Lee, 13, of Langley, BC, 71-76-71 (218). Lee battled back to defeat second-round leader, Vanessa Zhang, 11, of Vancouver, BC, by six shots after Zhang finished with a three day total of 224 (72, 74, 78). “I’m really happy because I had a really long putt for birdie and it went in so I shot even par,” Lee stated afterwards.
The MJT Peewee Boys National Champion was Andre Zhu, 12, of Richmond Hill, ON. Zhu fired impressive rounds of 70, 67, 69 (206) to win by five strokes over Ryan Liang, 11, of Vancouver, BC, who shot 72, 69, 70 (211). “I feel good about winning my division because I had to shoot under par in order to win, and I was able to do that,” said Zhu.
14-year old Braxton Kuntz, of Winnipeg, MB, shot excellent scores of 66, 71, 70 (207) to win the title of MJT Bantam Boys National Champion by two strokes over Noah Fiks, 14, also of Winnipeg, MB. Kuntz said he felt ‘proud that I played my best and won.’ Fellow Winnipeg native, Fiks, was very solid throughout the tournament as well, posting scores of 69, 68, 72 (209).
Scoring proved to be much more difficult for the older age groups as they played from 6,600 yards to a par 71. Sixteen-year-old Zachary Hart, of New Hamburg, ON, erased a three shot deficit in the final round, finishing with rounds of 75, 73, 69 (217) to edge out a victory as MJT Juvenile Boys National Champion by one stroke victory over 2017 MJT Bantam National Champion, Riley Lai, 15, of Vancouver, BC, who was equally as impressive all week shooting 73, 72, 73 (218). “It feels amazing, especially coming back from three shots,” said Hart. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents and coaches. They were always there supporting me to be the best I can be.”
Kelowna, BC native, Justin Towill, 17, was extremely consistent all weekend, leading to a five-shot victory and being crowned 2018 MJT Junior Boys National Champion over 2017 National Champion, Carter Graf, 17, of Sylvan Lake, AB. Towill posted rounds of 72, 70, 71 (213) while Graf trailed close behind with rounds of 73, 72, 73 (218). “I am very honoured to win the MJT National Championship. It is an extremely well run event,” said Towill. “The highlight of my tournament was the first hole of round three. I was 80 yards left off the tee and was able to save par by making a 25 foot putt. It feels great to win this week.”
A strong start enabled Jake Magee, 21, of Calgary, AB, to take home the MJT Collegiate National Champion’s trophy after scores of 69, 71, 80 (220) held off both Deer Valley, SK native, Cole Obrigewitsch, 19, and Dakota Smith, 22, of Edmonton, AB, by four shots. The runners-up shot identical rounds of 72, 75, 77 (224). Magee commented afterwards, “I can’t describe the feeling, it still hasn’t kicked in yet. I’m sure I’ll feel like Cloud 9 when I get home! I play the MJT because of the camaraderie between the guys. It’s a lot of fun trying to go shot-for-shot with them trying to score well.”
All players received fantastic gifting courtesy of presenting sponsors, TaylorMade Golf Canada and adidas Golf. Winners in each division also received prizing from TaylorMade, adidas, Maui Jim and Zeal Eyewear. Full results and a photo gallery for the whole tournament can be seen here.
This event ends over 70 events this season for the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour. The 2019 MJT Early Bird Membership is available December 1, and next year’s National Schedule will be announced in January. For more information, please see www.maplejt.com.
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
About Boston Pizza
BPI is Canada's number one casual dining brand with annual gross sales in excess of $1.0 billion serving more than 45 million guests through over 380 mainly franchisee operated restaurants. The Boston Pizza brand has successfully existed for over 50 years since opening its first restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964. BPI has been recognized as a Platinum Member of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies and has been a Franchisees' Choice Designation winner for six consecutive years. For more information, visit www.bostonpizza.com.
About TaylorMade Golf Company
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade Golf is a leading manufacturer of high performance golf equipment and golf balls and a major force on the PGA TOUR. With industry-leading innovative products like M1/M2 metalwoods, M1/M2 irons and TP5 golf balls, TaylorMade has one of the strongest athlete portfolios in golf, with six players in the current Top 12 in the world. Key athletes include world Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Masters champion Sergio Garcia, Olympic champion Justin Rose and Jon Rahm. Click here for the website.
About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands: adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 53,000 employees. Click here for the website.
Media Contact: Russ MacKay, MJT, email@example.com 1-877-859-GOLF