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Canada's #1 Junior Golf Tour

Canada's #1 Junior Golf Tour

The Road to College Golf, run exclusively by PGA Professionals

Press Release

July 2-4, 2024
Calgary, AB

Six Champions crowned at MJT Ford Series Junior Championship in Calgary; Tong holds off a 62 from Gillespie to defend title

An elite field of 105 young golfers gathered in Calgary, Alberta, over July 2-4 for the MJT Ford Series (PGA of Alberta) Junior Championship, a three-day major tournament on the non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour circuit. Held at the picturesque McKenzie Meadows Golf Club, a championship course, the 54-hole major-ranked event on Canada’s number one junior golf tour saw participants compete for titles in six divisions as well as for the chance to win a new Ford Escape with a hole-in-one. 

The challenging golf course was impeccably maintained, and the weather cooperated moderately on day one, however, players faced a formidable second day with gusty winds and rain. Fortunately, the day three brought more favourable conditions for those who made the cut to advance to the final round plus stand a chance to be short-listed for MJT Team Canada to the Jack Newton International Junior Classic in New South Wales, Australia, in October, and the National Team Challenge in Fenwick, ON, this September.

Victory redux as the reigning champion, Josiah Tong, 18, from Heritage Point, AB, shot an impressive 14-under-par to clinch the Boys Low Overall and MJT Junior Boys Champion titles with exceptional rounds of 68, 68, and 66. Joining him as Low Overall Girl was Texas native, Aleah Shields-Rodipe, 13, hailing from The Woodlands, TX, who triumphed in the MJT Girls 15-19 division with scores of 73, 76, and 74.
Division Champion titles were also won in style by Chase Lassman, 15, from Parkland County, AB, in MJT Juvenile Boys (211), Jayden Arnold, 13, of Calgary, AB, in MJT Bantam Boys (206), Alessandra Sundquist, 13, of Calgary, AB, in MJT Girls U15 (235), and Erik Petersen, 12, from Okotoks, AB, in MJT Peewee Boys (224). Top finisher scores and quotes from the winners are featured below along with the list of qualified players.
Results from the London Drugs Long Drive, PLYR Closest to the Pin, Booster Juice BounceBack Awards and Academy Points can be found here.
The next MJT Junior Tour stop in the province is the MJT Maui Jim Series at Innisfail Golf Course, Innisfail, AB, on July 16-17. For more information, please visit the website at www.maplejt.com.
Top Finishers by Division
MJT Girls U15: McKenzie Meadows GC: Par 72, Ydg 5132, Slope/Rating 120/68.1
1. Alessandra Sundquist (13), Calgary, AB | 82, 77, 76 (235)
2. Kaleia Kurylo (12), Edmonton, AB | 87, 79, 82 (248)
3. Elle Banister (13), Calgary, AB | 82, 83, 83 (248)
Alessandra Sundquist, a 13-year-old from Calgary, AB, was sure of what contributed to her winning the MJT Girls U15 Champion’s title. "I listened to an inspirational speech before playing, as well as training to make sure I was physically prepared," Sundquist revealed. "I didn't over-focus on my bad shots and focused on one shot at a time." Sundquist's secret? Mixing motivation with muscle.
MJT Girls 15-19: McKenzie Meadows GC: Par 72, Ydg 5989, Slope/Rating 127/73.1
1. Aleah Shields-Rodipe (13), The Woodlands, TX | 73, 76, 74 (223)
2. Olivia Johnson (15), Calgary, AB | 79, 78, 72 (229)
3. Kali Yeske (15), Calgary, AB | 76, 73, 81 (230)
Aleah Shields-Rodipe, 13, from The Woodlands, TX, clinched the Girls' Low Overall and 15-19 Champion’s titles with laser-like focus, bringing her win back stateside. "I take it one hole at a time, never getting ahead of myself. I make sure I take my time on every shot," Shields-Rodipe explained. "This win means I can go into my next tournament prepared and ready. This course was tough, and I was proud to win it." With a strategy like that, Shields-Rodipe’s not just playing golf—she’s playing chess out there, one careful move at a time!
MJT Peewee Boys: McKenzie Meadows GC: Par 72, Ydg 5132, Slope/Rating 119/67.3
1. Erik Petersen (12), Okotoks, AB | 77, 77, 70 (224)
2. Oscar Gosgnach (11), Edmonton, AB | 74, 77, 74 (225)
3. Jacob Brunette (12), Calgary, AB | 76, 76, 76 (228)

Twelve-year-old Erik Petersen from Okotoks, AB, fired rounds of 77, 77, and 70 for a one stroke victory, taking the MJT Peewee Boys Champion’s title. "I played a practice round with one of the best players in Alberta, and he helped me a lot with lines and good spots to miss," Petersen said. "I was trying to stay not frustrated with some bad shots, and that helped me mentally a lot." 
MJT Bantam Boys: McKenzie Meadows GC: Par 72, Ydg 5989, Slope/Rating 121/69.2
1. Jayden Arnold (13), Calgary, AB | 67, 73, 66 (206)
2. Chase Strang (14), Airdrie, AB | 66, 77, 69 (212)    
3. Luca Marengo (14), Calgary, AB | 75, 76, 66 (217)
4. Benson White (13), Calgary, AB | 72, 69, 76 (217)
In a stunning display of skill and focus, Jayden Arnold, 13, from Calgary, AB, swooped in with an impressive performance and a scorecard boasting 13 birdies and an eagle to win the title of MJT Bantam Boys Champion. Reflecting on his victory, Arnold quipped, "It means a lot to get this win, especially because it was my first major win. Shooting the low rounds really boost my confidence for the rest of the season and I plan to take this into the next few events." When asked about his strategy, he shared, "I went into this event with the mindset of one shot at a time. Not focusing on the final score really helps me stay in the present."
MJT Juvenile Boys: McKenzie Meadows GC: Par 72, Ydg 6605, Slope/Rating 132/72.2
1. Chase Lassman (15), Parkland County, AB | 68, 73, 70 (211)         
2. Liam Czirjak (15), Rocky View County, AB | 71, 76, 74 (221)          
2. Jalen Apedoe (15), Calgary, AB | 74, 72, 75 (221)

Chase Lassman, 15, from Parkland County, AB, soared to victory with two eagles and eight birdies, firing a 68 in the first round that pulled him away from the competition. "This win signifies the end of a slump and boosts my confidence to keep working harder," Lassman reflected. "I practiced very hard in the weeks prior and watched videos and documentaries of Tiger Woods' mentality." Lassman's blend of birdies, eagles, and Tiger wisdom proves that hard work pays off.
MJT Junior Boys: McKenzie Meadows GC: Par 72, Ydg 6605, Slope/Rating 132/72.2
1. Josiah Tong (18), Heritage Pointe, AB | 68, 68, 66 (202)    
2. Charlie Gillespie (17), Calgary, AB | 70, 71, 62 (203)          
3. Parker Riou (17), Strathmore, AB | 70, 71, 71 (212)           
3. Kenny Taylor (17), Edmonton, AB | 74, 66, 72 (212)
In a triumphant defence of his 2023 title, Josiah Tong, 18, from Heritage Pointe, AB, fired an impressive 13 birdies and one eagle to edge out victory as MJT Junior Boys and Low Overall Champion, holding off a hard charge by Charlie Gillespie who closed with an incredible round of 10-under 62.  Tong, who carded scores of 68, 68, and 66 for a total of 202, shared, "Preparing for this tournament after my win last year, I mentally had to make sure my expectations were reasonable and achievable. My coach, Paul Horton, was especially important to my success." He continued, "This season has been filled with a lot of second places, so I am grateful I was able to overcome. Going into the rest of the season, I can mentally visualize what I was able to have in order to respond to uncertainty and adversity." 
Qualified Players:
Team MJT at the National Team Challenge Short-Listed Position: Aleah Shields-Rodipe and Charlie Gillespie

MJT Team Canada to Australia (JNJG International) Short-Listed Position: Chase Lassman and Charlie Gillespie
About Ford Canada: Ford of Canada and the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) are proud to continue with the successful MJT Ford Go Golf! Junior Clinics - an initiative that introduces golf for free to young people, teaching them a game they can benefit from their entire lives. Many thousands of kids have participated in this program since 2006. Clinics have been held in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan where participating Ford Dealers offer free MJT Ford Go Golf! Junior Clinics conducted by PGA of Canada Professionals to children in their community. Ford and the Ford Dealers Association wish to support amateur sport in their communities by introducing children to golf, encouraging them to learn the fundamentals, and rewarding them for their efforts. www.ford.ca

About the MJT: The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour is Canada’s #1 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 partners across various tiers, including Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. The MJT hosts more than 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.
Media Contact: Jessica Parker, marketing@maplejt.com 
Marketing Manager, MJT