MAPLE LEAF JUNIOR GOLF TOUR
The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, Canada's number-one played junior tour, successfully hosted the sixth annual MJT National Team Challenge (NTC) presented by Canada Life at the Royal Niagara Golf Club in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., from Sept. 15 to 17. Participants came from across Canada and the United States to compete in this prestigious 54-hole tournament, which is ranked by organizations such as the World Amateur Golf Ranking, AJGA, Junior Golf Scoreboard, Junior Golf Hub, and the Golf Association of Ontario. The scoring system followed a collegiate-style approach, where the top four individual scores from each Team contributed to the team's overall score. Additionally, young golfers had the opportunity to vie for individual titles in both Boys and Girls 19U divisions.
Leading the way in the Team Division was Rattlesnake Point Academy (one) coached by Sean Casey and Rich Storey, who dominated all weekend and posted an imposing 36-shot victory, finishing at two-under par. Their team, consisting of Nobelle Park (Oakville, Ont.), Grace Anderson (Burlington, Ont.), Crayton Kirkpatrick (Burlington, Ont.), Matthew Simpson (Etobicoke, Ont.), Jake Wojtowicz (Burlington, Ont.), and Dawson Lew (Toronto, Ont.), fired great scores of 287-292-283 (862).
Runner-up in the Team Division with daily totals of 312-293-293 (898) was Team MJT, made up of Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour members Astoria Yen (Toronto, Ont.), Kiana Chen (North York, Ont.), Austin Krahn (Christina Lake, BC), Christian Hansen (Okotoks, Alta.), Finley Dober (Kelowna, BC) and Ben De Castro (Toronto, Ont.), who had qualified provincially to make the travelling team.
Third place with scores of 314-296-296 (906) was Team World Stars led by Head Coach Marty Laroche, who all flew in from Las Vegas, Nev., to compete in this year’s event. Team World Stars consisted of Zoe Parker, Bing (Demi) Du, Junze (Joe) Zhou, Sixian (Kody) Li, Jimmy Chen and Jun-Ting (Jack) Yu.
There were impressive wire-to-wire victories for both the Boy and Girl NTC Champions in the individual component of the tournament. At only 14 years old, standout Dawson Lew of Toronto, Ont., (Rattlesnake Point Academy), was crowned NTC Junior Boys Champion after he fired fantastic rounds of 70-68-69 (207) to finish at nine-under par.
“It feels great to win on a good week,” said Lew. “I didn’t think about winning, I controlled what I could and just played my game. I knew I could get it done after round two.”
NTC Junior Girls Champion was another young star, 13-year-old Nobelle Park of Oakville, Ont., who blazed her way around the challenging Royal Niagara course to shoot 70-71-70 (211) for her fifth MJT title this season. Park drove the ball remarkably straight and hit pin-point irons into many greens to help Rattlesnake Point Academy take the Team competition.
“It feels great to win this championship,” said Park. “I knew it was close, but I did not actually know I won until I signed my scorecard on the last day.”
Individual results, closest-to-the-pin, long drive winners and a photo gallery can be viewed on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour website.
The MJT National Team Challenge presented by Canada Life wraps up another successful season in Ontario, and the MJT wishes to thank all the players and families for their on-going support. Early Bird memberships for 2024 will be available in December. More information on Canada’s number one-played Junior Golf Tour, as well as details on the upcoming invitation-only MJT National Championship in Phoenix, Arizona, this November, can be viewed online.