By Darren Matte
(UXBRIDGE, ON) – The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) is pleased to announce the 12-players and four coaches that will comprise Team Ontario for 2014. The team, which began its selection process in late September, is currently in the training portion of their program as they prepare for the start of the season in May with the Junior Spring Classic.
The GAO made changes to the program this year by creating just one provincial U19 team as opposed to the combined U19 and U17 teams in the past. Now, the best golfers in Ontario will be on the provincial team while three regional feeder teams have been set up for an additional 36 players.
“It is a big shift for us from last year having 20 players on one team to having a provincial team and regional teams,” explained GAO Manager of Sport Performance Mary Ann Hayward. “We have selected the best players in the province that all have a realistic chance to move on to the national team,”
This year’s squad will see seven returning players join five new faces. On the girls side are: Monet Chun, 13, returnee, from Richmond Hill and The Summit Golf & Country Club, coached by Don Lee; Alyssa Getty, 17, rookie, from Leamington and Kingsville Golf & Country Club, coached by Sean Foley; Annika Haynes, 17, returnee, from Oakville and Credit Valley Golf & Country Club, coached by Ann Carroll; and Grace St-Germain, 15, returnee, from Orleans and Hylands Golf Club. The boys side includes: Jason Chung, 15, rookie, from Thornhill and Pheasant Run Golf Club, coached by Charlie Woo; Sam McNulty, 17, returnee, from Port Perry and Granite Golf Club; Tyler Nagano, 15, rookie, from Toronto and Station Creek Golf Club, coached by Jon Roy and Jeff Overholt; Trevor Ranton, 17, rookie, from Waterloo and Whistle Bear Golf Club, coached by Mike Skimson and Dave Smallwood; Max Sear, 17, rookie, from Markham and York Downs Golf & Country Club, coached by Ian Crebbin; Brendan Seys, 16, returnee, from Port Lambton and Maple City Golf & Country Club, coached by John Dengel; Connor Watt, 17, returnee, from Mississauga and Piper’s Heath Golf Club; and Chad Watts-Denyes, 17, returnee, from Hamilton and Cedar Brae Golf & Country Club.
Joining the players are four coaches. Reggie Millage, was named the GAO’s Head Provincial Coach in November and has been working with the team since the fall. Millage is a Class ‘A’ PGA of Canada professional who continues to play competitively. Joining Millage are Mental Skills Coach Judy Goss, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jordan Foley and Athletic Therapist Andrew Hoermann.
“This is a very talented young group of players,” added Hayward. “We are trying to keep the momentum going from last year where we put two boys on the National Team. Hopefully we’ll place more players on the team for 2015.”
The players themselves already have many accolades to their name. Chun finished 11th at the Ontario Junior Girls’ Championship in 2012 as an 11-year-old and was second at the event in 2013. St-Germain won the 2013 Ontario Juvenile Girls’ Championship and 2013 Ontario Junior Girls’ Match Play. McNulty was the 2013 Ontario Juvenile Boys’ champion and also won the Canadian Junior Golf Association Mizuno National Golf Championship. Ranton was the International Junior Masters champion and Sear captured the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) title.
The team has already attended one training camp in Arizona and will travel back there in February for their second. Ten of the team members will play in Can-Am matches in Myrtle Beach during March Break before they all attend a final spring camp in Ontario.