Vancouver, B.C. (April 17, 2017) – There was some superb golf played as the sun came out over the Easter weekend at Morgan Creek Golf Course in Surrey, British Columbia, where a full field of 96 juniors maneuvered their way around the difficult Thomas McBroom layout in the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s Humber College PGM Classic. Humber College, based in Toronto, Ontario, sponsors a series of tournaments on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) and offers graduates a three-year Professional Golf Management diploma recognized as Canada’s premiere golf business program.
Players were competing for qualifying spots into the US Kids Teen World Championship in North Carolina this July as well as for titles in eight different divisions on the Boston Pizza-presented MJT, including the newly created Collegiate Division for 19 to 23 year players. One of these Collegiate competitors, Sarah Lawrence, 19, of Duvall, Washington, posted the lowest under par score for the tournament, firing a five-under-total of 71,70=141 to win Low Overall and the Women’s Collegiate Division title. Lawrence, who has twice been crowned MJT National Girls Champion, continues to impress with her dedication and talent.
Susan Xiao, 15, of Surrey, BC, continued her early season momentum as she won her second MJT Girls 15-18 title in as many starts with a two-day total of 142, including a stellar opening round of 68. “I feel very honoured and proud to defend my title since I won this tournament last year with some very impressive scores,” she said. “The highlight of this event definitely was being able to play on my home course of Morgan Creek. I tried playing my own game and not worrying about others - although there were some pretty competitive and experienced players in the field.”
11-year-old Lauren Kim, 11, of Surrey, BC, was crowned MJT Girls U15 champion after shooting rock-solid rounds of 73,79=152 for a four-stroke victory. Kim commented afterwards, “A highlight was that I played well against 14-year-old girls. A key reason for my win was that I had fun!” She added that her goals for the 2017 season are ‘to do well in the MJT Junior and Mini Tour and play well in the International Tournaments.’
Burnaby resident Ryan Lee, 11, took home honours in the MJT Peewee Boys division after posting rounds of 76,73=149 for a four-stroke victory. Lee stated, “In my opinion, I think that my highlight in this event was getting an eagle on the seventh hole because I was one back of the lead and then I drained that putt to lead by one. The key reasons for my victory was my good (but sometimes lucky) putts on every single hole. Additionally, the fact that I can hit my driver 300 yards and get it in two on most of the par fives also helped me achieve some vital birdies. When I realized I had won this prestigious event, I was so joyful because finally all my hard work has paid off.”
There was an intense battle in the MJT Bantam Boys division which had to be settled in a playoff between Cole Bowering, 14, of Vancouver, BC, and Andy Luo, 14, of Burnaby, after both tied for the lead with two-day totals of 153. Bowering, who won on the first playoff hole, said, “after a struggle on Sunday, I had a final 20 foot right to left putt up the hill - I hit it firm and made the putt to force the playoff. Golf is a funny game that way, it is truly not over until the last putt drops. Winning this tournament feels great as there was good competition and great acts of sportsmanship on the golf course. It also feels great because after having a tough year last year with no wins it feels great to be back in the winner’s circle.
MJT Juvenile and Low Overall Boys Champion was 15-year-old Tony Li, of Vancouver, who shot 71-77=148 for a one stroke victory over Aidan Goodfellow, 16, of Parksville, BC. Li, who earns a direct exemption into the BC Junior Boys Championship, said, “My highlight in the event was my mental game, which helped me stay in the present regardless of what my opponents were doing. I was competing against players that are much longer than me off the tee so I knew that I had to play my own game to have a chance to win this tournament. I feel very honoured to win my division title - it gives me a lot of confidence about my game going into the rest of the season and I look forward to contending in more events like this.
Making the trip out from Medicine Hat, Alberta, worth his while, 18-year-old Michael Valk shot consistent rounds of 77,77=154 for a five-stroke win in the MJT Junior Boys Division, and said in his speech that he was ‘so glad he could come out and play this beautiful golf course.’
The final division title, Collegiate Men’s, was once again won by Kai Ji, 22, of Abbotsford, BC, who followed up his MJT season-opener event title with another one after firing 77, 72 (149) for a seven-stroke victory.
For the PLYR Long Drive, PLYR Closest-to-the-Pin and Golf Town Performance Award winners, please visit the tournament page on the MJT website. The age-eligible players for the US Kids Teen World Championship qualifying spots were Angela Aurora (Surrey), Lex Cameron (Surrey), Emma Yang (Langley), Andy Luo, Tony Li and Susan Xiao.
Two more Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour events run in British Columbia this month – namely the MJT Mini Tour’s IMG Academy Junior Worlds Western Qualifier at Tsawwassen Springs in Tsawwassen on April 23, and then the MJT Ford Series at Chilliwack Golf Club in Chilliwack on April 29 and 30. For more information or to register, please visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-4653.
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.
About Humber College: The 3-year Professional Golf Management diploma program at Humber College is recognized as Canada’s premiere golf business program and is partnered with the best facilities to gain work experience. If competitive golf is your passion, be part one of the best Varsity golf teams in Canada – the Humber Hawks. The Humber Hawks have won 10 of the past 13 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships. In 2014, the Hawks set the all-time record for most consecutive championships (over all sports) for the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) with 9. We have 12 student athletes who have competed in world championships and several that play on professional tours. For more information, please visit our website.