July 24-25, 2023
Over 80 young golfers came out to compete in the non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Saskatoon stop this week, when Canada’s number one-played junior tour held the MJT Saskatchewan Order of Merit (OOM) Series at Moon Lake Golf and Country Club on July 24 and 25. Players were competing for titles in six divisions plus the chance to qualify for a shortlisted position in the MJT National Team Challenge presented by Canada Life at Royal Niagara Golf Club in Ontario this September.
Tough weather conditions tested the pristine Moon Lake course, and the juniors rose to the challenge. Top finisher scores and winner quotes are detailed below, while results from the TaylorMade Long Drive, PLYR Closest to the Pin, Booster Juice BounceBack Awards and Academy Points, are posted on the MJT website here.
Highlights included two playoffs, first in the MJT Junior Boys Division where Hunter Kutcher, 19, of Regina, SK, fired a final round 67 to come from behind, tie for the lead with 17-year-old Darien Herlick of Weyburn, SK, and then win the final MJT tournament of his stellar career on the first playoff hole with a par. The second was in the MJT Juvenile Boys Division, where Jack Maharaj, 15, of Saskatoon, SK, made a 15-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole to beat both Ryan Mosher, 15, of Saskatoon, and Dane Giesbrecht, 15, of Warman, SK, after all three finished regulation tied with a two-day total of 150. Other notable performances saw Tayla Parry, 14, of Regina, SK, Aricin Franklin, 14, of Saskatoon, SK, and Austin Nesbitt, 12, of Pilot Butte, SK, all return to the winner’s circle on the MJT, while the MJT Girls 15-19 winner, Kaylee Chung, 15, of Vancouver, BC, earned a shortlisted spot in the MJT National Team Challenge along with MJT Junior Boys winner, Kutcher.
There are still openings in next MJT event in the province, is the MJT – PLYR Series at Elk Ridge Resort in Waskesiu, SK, August 12-13 – players can register here. For more information on the non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, please visit the website at www.maplejt.com.
MJT Girls U15: Moon Lake: Par 72, Ydg 4944, Slope/Rating 121/69.1
1 Tayla Perry, Regina, SK, F, 14 81-83 (164)
2 Yuna Lee, Regina, SK, F, 13 95-99 (194)
3 Youran Zhu, Saskatoon, SK, F, 12 93-106 (199)
The MJT Girls U15 title was won by Tayla Perry, 14, of Regina, SK, who posted consistent rounds on the way to her second victory of the season. “The win feels really good as I was really nervous for this event,” said Perry. “It feels good because the golf course may be short, but it is full of trouble.”
MJT Girls 15-19: Moon Lake: Par 72, Ydg 4944, Slope/Rating 121/69.1
1 Kaylee Chung, Vancouver, BC, F, 15 85-75 (160)
Kaylee Chung, 15, of Vancouver, BC, made the trip to the event worth her while, carding an amazing 75 on the second day to win low overall honours among the Girls and a shortlisted spot in the MJT National Team Challenge this September. “This was a great opportunity and experience for me,” said Chung. “I focused on my mental game, and although I didn’t play well on the first day, I’m glad I finished strong.”
MJT Peewee Boys: Moon Lake: Par 72, Ydg 4944, Slope/Rating 106/64.3
1 Austin Nesbitt, Pilot Butte, SK, M, 12 70-73 (143)
2 Jun Lee, Regina, SK, M, 10 74-76 (150)
3 Keaton Kreklewich, Melville, SK, M, 11 79-76 (155)
Winning his fifth event of the season with another MJT Peewee Boys Division title was MJT veteran, Austin Nesbitt, 12, of Pilot Butte, SK, who finished the tournament with an excellent score of one-under par. “The win feels good. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but I still played good.” said Nesbitt. “My mindset was to keep making birdies down the stretch.”
MJT Bantam Boys: Moon Lake: Par 72, Ydg 5484, Slope/Rating 116/67.1
1 Aricin Franklin, Saskatoon, SK, M, 14 73-69 (142)
2 Lucas Sturgeon, Saskatoon, SK, M, 13 74-78 (152)
3 Finn Silver, North Battleford, SK, M, 14 78-76 (154)
The MJT Bantam Boys Division title was won in style by 14-year-old Aricin Franklin of Saskatoon, his fourth win of the 2023 season. “It feels great to win against a strong field,” said Franklin. “Knowing that the wind was a large factor in this event was tough, but it worked out in the end.”
MJT Juvenile Boys: Moon Lake: Par 72, Ydg 6085, Slope/Rating 123/70.3
1 Jack Maharaj, Saskatoon, SK, M, 15 79-71 (150) Won Playoff
2 Ryan Mosher, Saskatoon, SK, M, 15 76-74 (150)
2 Dane Giesbrecht, Warman, SK, M, 15 73-77 (150)
Making birdie on the first playoff hole to capture the MJT Juvenile Boys Division title over Saskatoon’s Ryan Mosher, 15, was Jack Maharaj, 15, also of Saskatoon, who notched up his second win of the season. “It feels amazing to win coming off a poor first round,” said Maharaj. “I battled back on day two. I had a lot of adrenaline, it was tight and the win was a huge relief.”
MJT Junior Boys: Moon Lake: Par 72, Ydg 6085, Slope/Rating 123/70.3
1 Hunter Kutcher, Regina, SK, M, 19 75-67 (142) Won Playoff
2 Darien Herlick, Weyburn, SK, M, 17 69-73 (142)
3 Brett Leonard, Corman Park, SK, M, 18 77-69 (146)
3 Davin Karst, Assiniboia, SK, M, 18 75-71 (146)
3 Joshua Czuy, Warman, SK, M, 18 71-75 (146)
Playing in his final event of his stellar MJT career, Hunter Kutcher, 19, of Regina, SK, finished on top, as he won the MJT Junior Boys Division title on the first hole playoff over Darien Herlick, 17, of Weyburn, SK. “It feels great to win my last event of my MJT career,” said Kutcher. “This tour has been a huge part of my career so to finish on a high is amazing.”
Qualifiers: shortlisted spots
MJT National Team Challenge presented by Canada Life at Royal Niagara GC: Kaylee Chung (Vancouver, BC) and Hunter Kutcher (Regina, SK)
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.
Trent Matson, email@example.com, Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour