Team Ontario Welcomes Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Jon Mills to Training Camp
Tucson, AZ – Team Ontario athletes from across the province were joined by professional golfers Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Jon Mills today at the team’s annual winter training camp at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Arizona.
Twenty athletes along with the Team Ontario coaches are in Arizona for four full days of training at the Tucson facility, joined by Lee-Bentham and Mills who are both new additions to Team Ontario’s Professional Tour Support Team. This new initiative will see a number of Ontario’s professional tour players working in tandem with Provincial Head Coach Jon Roy and Team Ontario’s Integrated Sport Science Team to mentor up-and-coming athletes.
Web.com tour member Jon Mills as well as LPGA members Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Stephanie Sherlock have committed their support to the GAO’s high performance efforts by lending their experience to skill development, course strategy, competitive preparation and practice techniques to Team Ontario athletes.
This week, both Lee-Bentham and Mills will mentor the junior golfers for two days each as Team Ontario trains in the first of two off-season camps in Tucson. They will play alongside the athletes, providing an opportunity to offer personal advice and answer questions about what it takes to become a professional golfer.
“With Jon and Rebecca training and playing alongside Team Ontario, it gives the athletes a concrete view of where their game needs to be, and will also help give them direction on how to get there,” said GAO Sport Development Coordinator Mary Ann Hayward.
Former Team Ontario member Lee-Bentham was happy to lend her support to the program.
“I accepted the role because it gives me the opportunity to gain new experience and allows me the opportunity to serve in a coach/mentor role for the first time in my golf career,” she said.
“I was fortunate enough to be mentored by many people when I was a junior golfer and I know what a huge role that played in my own development, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do same thing for our Team Ontario athletes.”
Mills is also enjoying the chance to mentor the young golfers in Tucson, even joining in on the morning workouts with the athletes.
“I think it’s very important to give back to the young up-and-coming players. I’ve always loved working with junior golfers and showing them fun and exciting techniques as well as sharing my experiences that hopefully would help an athlete to transition from amateur to professional,” said Mills.
Both Mills and Lee-Bentham progressed through the ranks of amateur golf in Ontario before turning professional, with Mills winning the 1996 Ontario Junior Boys’ Championship and the 2001 Ontario Amateur.
Born in Oshawa, Mills developed his competitive game on the St. Lawrence Junior Tour and earned a golf scholarship to Kent State University before turning professional in 2001. Mills is currently a member of the Web.com Tour and was a member of the PGA Tour in 2006 and 2008.
Lee-Bentham, a Richmond Hill native, became the youngest-ever winner of the Ontario Women’s Amateur in 2007 at age 15. She also won the 2010 Canadian Junior Girls’ Championship, the 2011 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, and was a member of the Team Canada high performance program.
In 2011, Lee-Bentham finished tied for 9th at the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament to earn full status for the LPGA Tour in 2012, a feat she bested the following year by tying for first place during Q-school to secure her spot on the LPGA Tour for 2013.
Stephanie Sherlock was born in Barrie and has been a member of the LPGA Tour since 2011. She captured the 2007 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship before earning a CN Canadian Women’s Tour victory as an amateur in 2008.
While at the University of Denver on scholarship, Sherlock was a three-time NCAA All-American (2007, 2008, 2009) and earned eight NCAA victories. Before turning professional in 2010, she was a semi-finalist at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Sherlock qualified for the LPGA Tour on her first attempt and recently placed 10th at Q-school to retain her card through 2013.
The GAO Team Ontario program aims to provide exceptional golf training opportunities and support for Ontario athletes age 18 and younger while preparing them for competition on the provincial, national and international stage. Athletes in the program receive guidance on such areas as strength and conditioning, sports psychology, nutrition, tactical strategies, and technical feedback, and The Professional Tour Support Team of Mills, Lee-Bentham and Sherlock is a new addition to the program for 2012-2013.