Golf Ontario Summer Recap: August Edition

This week we look back at the sunny days of August in the fourth installment of our 2019 Golf Ontario Season Review. This month saw some majestic events, including two hosted at the beautiful Woodington Lakes GC. The prestigious Ontario Open returned, with a storied history dating back to 1923 including past champions of Canadian and International golf, that includes the immortal Sam Snead, Canadian golfing legends George Knudson and Moe Norman, as well as seven-time champion Nick Weslock. Also hosted at Woodington Lakes was the inaugural Ontario Disability Championship. Focusing on player development, this inclusive event helped ensure a proper pathway and better competition opportunity for some of the highest performing athletes with disabilities. August also saw provincial events like the Ontario Junior (U19) Match Play Championship, Ontario Bantam (U15) Championship, and the always fun Ontario PeeWee (U13) Championship. Please join us in recapping another jam-packed month of exciting Golf in Ontario.

 

August Championships

 

Unfortunately, rain introduced day one of the annual Ontario Junior Boys Match Play Championship from Listowel GC beginning August 6th. All eyes were on last year’s champion Cody Clark (Oliver’s Nest GC), who arrived looking for his second title in two years. After two rounds, Clark proved he came to compete, winning 6&4 in the morning and 3&2 in the afternoon.

Day Two started with 16 remaining players as they tried to make the round of 4 in the tournament. After this day’s two rounds, it was Josh DiCarlo (Pointe West GC) who stole the show. Going up against the reigning champ in the first round of the day, DiCarlo came out hot early and took the lead in the first few holes. With some steady play and a few fantastic putts down the stretch, DiCarlo was able to hold the lead and advanced to the quarter-finals in the afternoon.

It was then a battle of the titans to move on to the semi-finals, with DiCarlo being the most steady player throughout the tournament, and Luke DelGobbo (Lookout Point CC) being the heaviest hitter. DelGobbo had advanced with scores of 9&8, and 7&5, and after 18 well-fought holes, it was DiCarlo who was yet again victorious.

DiCarlo, Thomas Latter (Credit Valley G&CC), Kavith Ranchagoda (Beacon Hill GC), and Carson Duffy (Bigwin island GC) all started day 3 in hopes of moving on to the finals in the afternoon. After 18 well fought holes between the two pairings, it was Latter and Ranchagoda who would advance.

The match between them was back and forth the entire way through. Ranchagoda had an early lead in the front nine but heading onto 16 the two were still all square. Ranchagoda however, would make some fantastic shots on the final two holes and crown himself the 2019 Junior Boys Match Play Champion.

The original write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the event can be found here

 

Meanwhile, with a day staggered in opening rounds, the Ontario Junior (U19) Girls Match Play Championship kicked off. After two well-fought rounds, it was Ella Weber (Rattlesnake Point GC), Sarah Gallagher (Blue Springs GC), 2017 champion Vanessa Chychrun (Beacon Hall GC), and Megan Miron (Hamilton G&CC) who made it to the semi-finals. With three playoffs in just the first round alone, the two rounds proved to be highly competitive.

On day two the semi-finals matches were a tight race throughout, but after 18 it was Weber and Gallagher who advanced to the finals. Teeing off at 12:50, it was a back and forth battle for who would wear the crown, but by the end of 18, it was Weber who was crowned champion.

The original write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the event can be found here

 

The best bantam boys and girls came out to Deer Creek GC for the 2019 Ontario Bantam (U15) Championship which got underway August 12th.

After round one, it was Carter Jarrett (Renfrew GC) and William Lin (Station Creek GC) for the boys who were able to climb ahead of the pack and take the lead heading into the final day. On the girl’s side, it was Alexa Ouellet (Credit Valley G&CC) and Krystal Li (The Summit G&CC) who came out above the rest.

Much like the first day, the second round of the boy’s portion of the championship was a tight race. With the top of the leaderboard suffocated with low scores from a wide range of players, it wasn’t an easy task to take the top spot, but it was Andres Diogenous (Whistle Bear GC) who prevailed.

Coming all the way down to the wire in the girl’s portion, it was Ouellet who came out on top by a single stroke. The 12-year-old Ouellet wowed the crowds with today’s round, carding three birdies on the front nine of her round. Trailing closely behind Ouellet the whole way through was Li and Kelly Zhao (Station Creek GC). The duo would finish the tournament only a single stroke behind.

The original write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the event can be found here

 

August 20th, Greenhills GC welcomed the Ontario Juvenile Boys and Girls (U17) Championship. The Ontario Juvenile Boys’ Championship is a 54-hole competition that features the province’s best junior golfers under the age of 17 competing for the Mike Weir Trophy. Notable past champions include Josh Whalen, Brandon Ng, Tim McCutcheon, Peter R. Knechtel, Bob Panasiuk and Gary Cowan. The Ontario Juvenile Girls’ Championship features the province’s best junior golfers under the age of 17 competing for the Sandra Post Trophy. Past champions of the event include Sandra Post, Jessica Shepley, Alena Sharp, Stephanie Sherlock, and Rebecca Lee-Bentham.

With only two strokes separating the top five players it was a tough battle for the top, but after 18 it was Carson Duffy (Bigwin Island GC) who came out ahead for the boys half. With a score of -3, Duffy had quite the impressive showing on his back nine, carding four birdies after going 1-over on his front nine.

Much like the boy’s portion of the tournament, the Juvenile girls saw some hot play and competitive scores throughout. Although it was a tight leaderboard, it was Kelly Zhao who was able to propel herself above the rest and build a four-stroke lead with a score of -2.

Round two proved to be much of the same as the talented field competed for the top spot heading into the final day. After day two it was Tommy McKenzie (Northridge Public GC) and Ty Stansfield (Thornhill Club) who came out on top and took the lead into the final round.

As the girls took to Greenhills GC for their second round, the question on many minds was if Zhao could hold the lead. 18 holes later, Zhao silenced the doubters with yet another impressive round, carding a -1 on the day, entering the final round with a final score of -3.

It was a crowded leaderboard entering into the final round of the championship. With only two strokes separating the top five boys, it was clear early on that everyone came out with the intentions of an early strike, but it was Ellis Kinnaird (Mississippi GC) who came out on top. With a majority of the scores above par, Kinnaird found a way to card the low score of the day with a -3, resulting in a -2 total.

Unlike the boys, there was a clear leader on the girl’s side the entire way through the first two days of the tournament. All eyes were yet again on Zhao as she took to the course for her round. Leading since the very first day, it was Zhao yet again at the top of the leaderboard. Finishing the tournament with a total score of -1, the 12-year-old showed poise and maturity way beyond her years.

The original boy’s write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the boys can be found here

The original girl’s write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the girls can be found here

 

From here we switch to an exciting week of golf hosted at the prestigious Woodington Lake GC. Starting a packed end of August schedule, we were extremely proud to get the inaugural Ontario Disability Championship underway. 29 players took to the beautiful course in hopes of being the first champion in tournament history.

With some hot scores throughout, the day proved to not only be a celebration of new beginnings, but also a look to the future of how competitive such a championship can really be.

In the men’s portion of the event, it was Tracy Ramin from Montrose, MI who came out on top after 18. Ramin got his round underway wit a thunderous drive off the tee and continued that momentum throughout. Both Kurtis Barkley (Winchester, ON) and Josh Williams (Baden, ON) sat in second, only two strokes of the leader heading into round two.

While the men found themselves in quite the tight race, the women also showcased an impressive outing. Natasha Stasiuk (Oakville, ON) ended her round with a score of +10 to take the lead, while Elina Pylkkanen (Espoo, Finland), and Tessa Troan (St. Catherines, ON) sat in second and third.

Sunny skies welcomed the players to Woodington Lake GC for the final round of the Inaugural Ontario Disability Championship. The leaders took to the course to see if they could pull ahead of the rest of the field, and become the first Ontario Disability champion.

After 18, it was Kurtis Barkley (Cedar Glen GC) who came out on top in the men’s side of the category. Trailing Ramin coming into today’s round, Barkley kicked his round off with two birdies on his first five holes to immediately take the early lead. His solid round ended in an eventual tap-in on 18, followed shortly by a thunderous cheer from the crowd that circled the green. He would finish the tournament with a total score of +5, and would be crowned the first-ever Ontario Disability Men’s champion.

“Today was a grind, but I made a few key putts to keep myself in it,” said Barkley. “Ramin’s a great competitor, so it’s definitely a success to be able to come out on top.” When asked what it feels like to win, he couldn’t help but smile. “It’s awesome,” he said. “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling like right now, but it’s definitely great.”

For the women’s overall portion of the tournament, it was Stasiuk who came out on top. Carding 6 pars in the first 10 holes, the Oakville resident came out again in the second round proving she belonged at the top of the leaderboard. Despite the tough competition from her nearest competitors, Stasiuk maintained composure over the course of the two days and was able to crown herself a champion.

“It was a great tournament,” said Stasiuk. “I had a great time playing with the other competitors. For the first time, I felt like I belonged. Thanks Golf Ontario for such a great tournament.”

Stasiuk finished the tournament the first-ever Ontario Disability Women’s champion with a score of +16 overall.

The Inaugural Ontario Disability Championship was one for the books, and with so many smiling faces and laughs around the course, it is safe to say that it was a success from all aspects.

“As a physiotherapist, I continuously notice the importance of golf in the rehabilitation process for people with disabilities,” said Mark Smith, an EDGA Eligibility Assessor. “It was amazing to watch such skilled players come out and not only perform at such a high standard but to also enjoy themselves.”

The original write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the event can be found here

 

From there we brought back The 96th Ontario Open, with a storied history dating back to 1923, making this Championship one of the oldest Championships in the world. A full field of 144 players qualified for this exciting event and competed for a guaranteed purse of $40,000. The excitement was echoed by this pre-tournament quote from our Executive Director, Mike Kelly.

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the Ontario Open, one of the oldest golf Championships in the world in 2019” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of Golf Ontario. “This Championship is a true open championship and has attracted some of the best golfers in Ontario and beyond to test their games on the beautiful Woodington Lake Golf Club. With a purse of $40,000, and with names like Nesbitt, Whalen, Choi, and King, we can’t wait to see the level of competition as the players compete to have their names engraved on the champions trophy, along with the likes of Sam Snead, Moe Norman, and George Knudson” continued Kelly.

2 special exemptions to the championship were CFL Hall of Famer Damon Allen, along with former Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart.

After round one, it was Matthew Scobie (Deer Creek GC) who came out ahead with some impressive play down the stretch. Carding back to back birdies on 7 & 8, and another two on the back nine, Scobie was able to come out of the tough round with a score below par, eventually resulting in him placing first heading into the second round.

“It was tough out there,” said Scobie. “The weather definitely wasn’t in our favour but I knew I had to keep on pushing.”

Clear and sunny skies welcomed the players to Woodington Lake GC for the second round of the Ontario Open. Things were very close with only two strokes separating the top eleven players, making the moving day very important. Gregory Eason (Kissimmee, FL) would eventually steal the spotlight on this day. Finishing -1 after 18, Scobie was seen as the early favorite heading into today’s round, but the story quickly changed once Eason caught on fire. Eason would card a birdie on his eleventh hole, and an eagle on the thirteenth. Finishing the day with a round score of -5, a tournament low, Eason quickly found himself at the top of the leaderboard.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had the lead in a tournament, so this is a great feeling,” said Eason. “Tomorrow will be good fun. I’ve got to keep hitting the ball well if I want to stay ahead of the talented field behind me.”

Light breezes welcomed the players to the final round of the Ontario Open as they arrived at Woodington Lake GC in hopes of leaving a champion. Following his momentum from yesterday, Eason maintained composure and made sure to have another solid start to his round. Finishing the front nine at even-par, the 27 year old kept to his game plan and made sure not to make any mistakes, letting the game come to him. The strategy was working, but Eason would eventually find himself with some pressure on the back nine.

Branson Ferrier (Barrie, ON) caught some heat through the later stages of his front nine. Sitting only two strokes behind Eason after 10, it looked like things we’re going to be a lot tighter than some had assumed.  Eason however, would fend off the charge and head down the 18th fairway with a comfortable lead while appreciative fans began to crowd around the green.

“It was such an amazing moment,” said Eason. “There was quite a few people about to see me finish my round, which is always delighting.” Eason would tap in the final putt to the roars from the crowd, as they cheered on the newest Ontario Open champion.

As for Ferrier, he would finish in second place with a total score of -3. Trailing behind the two leaders in third was Russell Budd (Toronto, ON). Budd also had an impressive round to move up four places on the leaderboard for the third-place medal.

As for the amateur portion of the tournament, it was Thomas Giroux (Georgetown, ON) and Sudarshan Yellamaraju (Mississauga, ON) who came out of on top with total scores of +7 after three rounds.

A successful week has many excited for next year’s tournaments already. Stay tuned for exciting news on both the Ontario DIsability Championship and Ontario Open from Golf Ontario in the very near future.

The original write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the event can be found here

 

Also during this busy week of golf, the Ontario Peewee (U13) Boys and Girls Championship got underway from the scenic Marlwood G&CC for two days of fun and exciting youth golf. The majority of these kids were playing in their first provincial tournament and you could hear the excited giggles and see the nervousness off the first tee with a large crowd on-hand. After some early fog rolled through and nerves settled down, some great golf played out and produced more big smiles than not.

On the Peewee Girls side, the leaderboard became quite crowded at the top by the end of the day. Alexa Ouellet (Credit Valley G&CC) and Hannah Lee (Cambridge GC) both shot a (+9) 80 to share the lead after day 1 of the two-day championship.  Bridget Wilkie (Bayview G&CC) sat 2 shots back at +11 while Sophie Foulds (Public Player) and Angela Cai (Heron Point Golf Links) found themselves 3 strokes back at +12.

The Peewee Boys saw Jordan Hwang (York Downs G&CC) go off in the first group of the day to take the lead early and hold onto it the entire round. Hwang put together a very nice (+2) 73 to claim top spot hallway through the two-day tournament. Hot on his heels was Manay Bharani (Brampton GC) who sat two shots back after an opening 75. Tied for third were Kurt Rivers (Brampton GC) and Luke Smith (Thornhill GC) who found themselves just 3 strokes back of the lead after 76 rounds.

The final round got underway with scattered showers and brisk winds from the scenic Marlwood G&CC.  When the final putt rolled in, two days of very fun and exciting youth golf had showcased some incredible emerging talent in Ontario.

The Peewee Girls side saw Wilkie take charge of the leaderboard, building a very large lead and running away with it on the back nine with some great play. Wilkie would shoot an impressive +1 (72) to take the championship by 10 strokes. Coming in second place was Ouellet who shot a +13 (84) on the day. Tied for the bronze medal were Lea Lemieux (Timberwolf GC) and Lee.

Over on the Peewee Boys side, day one leader Hwang led early on, only to lose the lead briefly to Smith, but then recover and hang on down the stretch. Hwang fired a +2 (73), his identical score as day one to capture the trophy by two strokes over Smith and Bharani. Smith shot a +3 (74) while Bharani fired a +4 (75). In fourth place was Gabriel Yazdani (London Hunt &CC) who carded a +3 (74) on his final round.

Golf Ontario strongly supports the development of Junior Golfers through our many initiatives that help Grow the Game! ”

We enjoy being able to host championships like the Peewee Girls’ and Boys’ Championships to develop the talent of Junior Golfers in Ontario.  Through participating in our events, we hope that junior golfers learn values that will help build them as golfers, and citizens for years to come.” – Mike Kelly, Executive Director of Golf Ontario

The original write-up can be found here, visit the tournament page here

All photos from the event can be found here

 

Phew! An incredibly busy month of August was clearly packed with top-notch tournaments and exciting golf from some incredible venues. Before we say goodbye to our 2019 season, join us next week as we finish off our series with a look at a stellar Septemeber.

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