November 7-10, 2019
Kissimmee, FL - (November 11, 2019) – Canada’s number-one played Junior Golf Tour, the non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, concluded its 21st season Sunday with the final round of the MJT Boston Pizza National Championship presented by TaylorMade and adidas Golf at The Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, FL, which played host to four days of golf including a practice round and three rounds of competition and a record-sized field of elite young golfers from across Canada.
Guest Speakers were legendary golf coaches Butch Harmon and Sean Foley, and Canada’s Golf Hall of Fame and four-time LPGA champion, Lorie Kane, presented the final awards to winners in seven different age divisions.
The Overall Boys Low Score of the tournament went to 16-year-old Cooper Lindberg of Calgary, AB, who was crowned MJT Juvenile Boys National Champion after firing scores of 72, 70, and 72, (214, -2) to win by three shots. Lindberg, who carried the lead after two rounds, recorded an impressive even-par on the final day, tying the lowest score in the division on the day. “I kind of just tried to say in the moment,” said Lindberg when asked about his rounds. “I was really trying to only think about my next shot and not about the outcome.” Runner-up in the division was 16-year-old, Andrew Gwilliams, of Bradford, ON. Gwilliams finished with scores of 76, 69, and 72 (217, +1). Third place went to 13-year-old, Andre Zhu, of Richmond Hill, ON. Zhu, who played up a division (72, 74, 72= 218).
The MJT Junior Boys National Champion was 2019 Manitoba Order of Merit Winner, Neel Soni, 17, of Winnipeg, who kept getting better each round shooting 74, 73, and 71 (218, +2). His tournament included 10 birdies, nine of which came on the back-nine. “Three-day tournaments are always interesting,” commented Soni. “I knew that I needed to focus on building off my first round and I stuck to my game plan.” Applying pressure on Soni in the final round was runner-up, Nicholas Rimmer, 17 of Edmonton, AB, who shot 73, 79, 70 to finish with a final score of 222 inclduing nine birdies, five of which came during the final round. King City, ON-player, Keifer Bulau, 17, placed third with scores of 72, 75, and 76 (223).
The biggest comeback victory of the tournament came from 13-year-old, Ryan Vest, of Vernon, BC. The 2019 MJT Bantam Player of the Year fired the lowest single-round score of the tournament (65, -7) on the final day to storm back after being down six shots, to win the MJT Bantam Boys National Champion’s title. “I felt that I had won after I had made my 15 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, and then making a 14 footer on the last hole was icing on the cake!" said Vest, who shot 79, 73, 65 to finish at 217, +1. Runner-up was Vancouver, BC-golfer, Aaron Huang, 13, who carded an incredibly consistent three rounds of 73 (219, +3) including five birdies and an impressive 41 total pars. Thomas Danielson, 14, of Saskatoon, SK, placed third (79, 79, 78=236).
A great contest decided the MJT Peewee Boys National Championship between two Vancouver, BC, rising stars. In the end, 2019 MJT BC Order of Merit Winner, Emil Liddell, 12, won the title with scores of 76, 76, and 75 (227). “All the kids that made it here are really good and I thought about Michael (Li) and Peyton (Stahl) in particular,” said Liddell. “When Michael got an eagle on day two and was driving long, it was a good reminder I had to work hard. On the last hole we played (hole 1) I knew I had won when Michael missed a very long putt and I was ahead by enough to par or even bogey. To win my first National Tournament felt amazing and all my hard work paid off. I can’t wait for spring!” Eleven-year-old Michael Li came away with second place in the division recording rounds of 79, 73, and 78 (230). Li’s second round of 73 was the lowest score single-round score in the Peewee Boys division for the tournament. Making a push for the podium, finishing in third place with a total score of 241, was 12-year-old, Peyton Stahl, of Priddis Greens, AB. The 2019 MJT Alberta Order of Merit winner battled back over the tournament to climb several positions on the leaderboard (86, 80, 75).
A nail-biting finish took place in the MJT Girls 15-18 division which required a playoff to determine the winner. After the first round of play, Burlington, ON-golfer, Sarah Gallagher (229), 15, took a three-shot lead, firing a 75. She was met in the second round by a major surge from 2019 MJT BC Order of Merit Winner and Player of the Year, Erin Lee (229), 14, of Langley, BC. Lee carded an 82 in the first round and followed that up with a 70 in the second round to sit one shot behind Gallagher. A 78 by Gallagher and 77 by Lee in the final round meant extra holes were needed to crown a champion. After an amazing comeback by Lee, it was Gallagher who managed to hold on, win the playoff, and capture the Girls 15-18 National Championship title. “I hit my drive down the middle in the playoff,” said Lee after the tournament. “The ball unfortunately ended up in a divot. A definite congratulations to Sarah on her win.” Playing up a division were both Luna Lu (79, 78, 76), 12, of Burnaby, BC, and Kelly Zhao (78, 77, 78), 13, of North York, ON, who tied for third place with a total score of 233, four shots behind the playoff.
Lydia St-Pierre, 14, of Levis, QC, was crowned MJT Girl U15 National Champion after firing 81, 73, and 77 (231), being down five shots after the first round and finishing off the comeback in the third round to win by two shots. “I think it's because I managed my stress well and I had to eat and drink the whole round so I would not be tired. I think (I won) also because of my trust and focus,” said St-Pierre. “Winning this tournament makes me very proud. It means I’m capable of a lot of things if I just focus and give it 100%.” Vancouver’s Anna Huang, 11, carded rounds of 76, 77, and 80 (233) to place second after an impressive season on the MJT BC circuit, and third place went to 13-year-old, Elise Liu, of Richmond, BC, with scores of 82, 78, and 78 (238).
The MJT Collegiate National Champion’s title needed to be decided in a playoff after five different players were in solid contention of grabbing the Hoselton trophy. Coming back from a one-shot deficit in the final round was Edmonton, AB-native, Dakota Smith, 23. The 2019 MJT Collegiate Player of the Year recorded scores of 77, 79, and 75, (231) and was met in a playoff with Sherwood Park, AB-resident, Mitchell Desjarlais, 19. Desjarlais, who got off to a rocky start firing an 84 on the first day, followed up his opening round with a 75 on Saturday, and a division-low, 72 on Sunday to force a playoff. In the end, the National Championship title was captured by Smith. “It’s been 13 years of absolute fun on the MJT,” said Smith. “I’ve gotten to meet some unbelievable people, and this was a great last event in my MJT career. I can’t wait to see what happens next!” Just one shot back in third place was Saskatoon, SK-player, Keighton McNab, 20. McNab, who had led the division after the first and second rounds, carded scores of 75, 80, and 77 (232).
All participants received generous gifting courtesy TaylorMade and adidas Golf, and top finishers were again rewarded with fabulous prizes from MJT Partners TaylorMade and Maui Jim. PLYR Golf Closest-to-the-Pin and Long Drive winners are noted on the MJT website here, along with a photo gallery. This tournament marks the end of the successful 2019 MJT season. The 2020 Early Bird Membership becomes available December 1; for more information please visit the website at www.maplejt.com.
About TaylorMade Golf Company: Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade Golf is a leading manufacturer of high performance golf equipment with industry-leading innovative products like M5/M6 metalwoods, M5/M6 irons, TP5/TP5X golf balls and Spider putters. A major force on the PGA TOUR, TaylorMade has an unrivaled athlete portfolio that includes Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa, Nick Taylor and Michael Gligic.
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.
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 over 80 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 7 to 12 year olds, the Collegiate Tour for 19 to 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, see www.maplejt.com.
Media Contact: Sadiq Jiwa, 1-877-859-GOLF, email@example.com