November 9-12, 2023
Litchfield Park, AZ
Phoenix, AZ - (November 13, 2023) – The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, Canada’s number-one Junior Golf Tour, recently concluded the highly successful MJT National Championship presented by TaylorMade and adidas Golf at the picturesque Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield (Phoenix), AZ, highlighted by a hole-in-one, two playoffs and a special appearance by PGA TOUR star and MJT alumnus, Adam Hadwin.
Six divisions competed in the four-day event (three competitive rounds), which ran November 9 through 12 on the impeccably maintained Gold Course. The 112 invited juniors enjoyed sunshine and favourable conditions for impressive scoring throughout the tournament, with the final day Champions trophies presented by Adam Hadwin.
An absolutely brilliant performance awarded the Low Overall score and MJT Juvenile Boys National Championship title to 16-year-old Austin Krahn of Christina Lake, BC. Krahn, who was BC Order of Merit winner as well as one of the MJT’s HFF scholarship winners, fired outstanding scores of 69, 69, and 68 (206) for a 10-under-par total. “I only had a one-shot lead on hole fifteen, so I was just focused on hitting the greens and keeping the pressure on,” commented Krahn, who carded 12 birdies over 54 holes. “The level of golf in this tournament was really high, so it felt great to come out on top”. Port Coquitlam, BC, golfer Louis Chun, 16, finished runner-up with exceptionally strong scores of 72, 69, and 69 (210), while Spencer Shropshire, 15, of Ramara, ON, and Brady Durkin of Sylvan Lake, AB, 15, tied with scores of 212 to round out the podium in third place.
Saskatchewan Junior Boys 2023 Order of Merit winner and 8-year MJT veteran, Drayjon Sparvier, 19, of Regina Ochapowace First Nation, had a storybook ending to his junior career, winning the MJT Junior Boys National Champion’s title. After a challenging round two, he dialed it in for an outstanding final round including an eagle and six birdies to close with a 69, the lowest score of the day in his division. Sparvier gave himself some great advice coming down the stretch, “All that was going through my mind was not to play too aggressively. Play smart. The shots were amazing after that.” Alberta Junior Boys 2023 Order of Merit winner, Ryan Garbutt of Edmonton, 17, was runner-up with rock solid scores of 71, 70, 74 (215). Two other players tied for third place in the division with a total score of 217 – Evan Klein from Guelph, ON, and Brett Jones from Calgary, AB.
It took a playoff to determine the MJT Bantam Boys National Champion as 2023 MJT Bantam Boys Player of the Year, Jaden August, 15, of Pitt Meadows, BC. August fired impressive rounds of 71, 70, 72 (213), and then snagged the title in a three-hole playoff against a tough competitor, Aricin Franklin, 14, of Saskatoon, SK (73, 71, 69=213). “I tried to make sure that I had a great game coming into this competition,” commented August. Third place in the division went to Barrie, ON’s David Kowalewski, 14, who recorded consistent scores of 72, 74, and 72 (218).
The MJT Girls 15-19 National Champion’s title was won by 12-year-old Clara Ding of White Rock, BC, who plays up a division. Ding led a wire-to-wire victory after firing incredibly strong scores of 72, 72, and 75 (219) to win by an impressive 13 shots. “I wasn’t thinking of much, I just tried to play it one shot at a time,” commented Ding. Jayla Kucy, 17, of Camrose, AB, finished in second place with scores of 77, 77, and 78 (232), while a tie for third with a total score of 234 went to two more 17-year-olds, Zhana Navato of Toronto, ON, and Tessa Ion of Calgary, AB,
The Peewee Boys division witnessed the only hole-in-one of the tournament as well as the second playoff. Tiger Zhao, 12, of Vancouver, BC, aced the 16th hole on day one and fired an amazing overall score of 220 (71, 73, 76) to tie with another young titan in junior golf - Jayden H X Zhu of Surrey, BC. Zhu recorded 10 birdies over the three days of the competition to fire 76, 77, 67 (220) and force the playoff, which he won in style. “Day one was my first bogey-free round,” said the new MJT Peewee Boys National Champion, Zhu, noting that the playoff came as a surprise. “My coach and my parents helped by always encouraging me.” 2023 MJT Peewee Boys Player of the Year, Bryce Burridge of London, ON, finished third just two shots behind at 222 (70, 76, 76).
In the MJT Girls U15 Division. 13-year-old Karrisa Zhao of West Vancouver, BC, entered the winner’s circle with a spectacular score of 220 (76, 70, 73) to be crowned MJT National Champion in her respective category. Her second-round performance saw some clutch golf shots that included an eagle and two birdies, helping to secure her title. “I practiced my irons a lot so that I could hit more greens,” said Zhao, after hitting 17 of 18 greens in round two. Ontario’s Elliana Buhagiar, 14, shot 75, 77, and 74 (226) to finish in second place, while 2023 MJT Alberta Order of Merit Winner Olivia Johnson, 14, of Calgary, finished third (77, 74, 80 = 231).
Winners of the Long Drive, Closest-to-the-Pin and Booster Juice Bounceback Awards are all posted on the MJT website, along with the full results. All participants received generous gifting courtesy TaylorMade and adidas Golf, and top finishers were rewarded with fabulous prizing from MJT Partners TaylorMade, adidas Golf, Maui Jim, Zeal, and Booster Juice.
This event concludes the very successful 2023 season on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour. The 2023 MJT Early Bird Membership becomes available in early December; 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 SIM metalwoods, SIM 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. Click here for more information.
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 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 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 supported by valued Premier, Tournament and Product Partners. The MJT hosts 100 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 12U and multi-day events for competitive players aged 11-19 which also offer qualifiers for international tournaments. The program has annual awards, scholarships and incentives to help reward 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 the provincial, national, university and professional levels.
Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour