By Darren Matte
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) – It was a tough couple of days on the course, but a successful week of training, for the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) U19 Team Ontario as they competed in the 16th annual Can/Am Matches against South Carolina in Myrtle Beach. Team Ontario last won the competition back in 2010, but their drought continued in 2014 as South Carolina won with an overall point total of 252 to 180.
The team had the opportunity to train earlier during the week at various courses around Myrtle Beach. Team Ontario had nothing but positive things to say about their hosts for the week and thanked all of the courses the team played and trained at.
“Many thanks to great hospitality shown to our team from the staff and members of the Wachesaw Plantation Club throughout the week,” said Manager of Sport Performance Mary Ann Hayward. “Also, a big thanks to the golf courses that hosted us earlier in the week: Debordieu Golf Club, The Reserve Golf Club and The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. Thanks as well to the Legends Golf Resort and True Blue Plantation for allowing our team to train at the facilities.”
On the first day of competition, the teams competed in best-ball matches. Only one Team Ontario pair won their match as Tony Gill and Sam McNulty beat their opponents 10-8. Carter Simon and Max Sear lost 10.5-7.5, Trevor Ranton and Chad Watts Denyes fell 11.5-6.5, Conner Watt and Brendan Seys were downed 11-7, Alyssa Getty and Grace St-Germain took a 10.5-7.5 loss, Annika Haynes and Samantha Spencer fell 11.5-6.5, Kennedy Bodfield and Claire Hernandez lost 12-6 and Monet Chun and Ana Peric lost by that same score.
After the best-ball matches, South Carolina held an 87-57 lead, meaning Team Ontario had their work cut out for them in the singles matches. However, a grand comeback was not in the cards as they could muster only one win and a trio of ties during the second day.
“It was another tough day for our Ontario Team,” said Hayward of the second day of competition. “Although we battled back in several matches, the South Carolina Team would once again prevail. Grace St-Germain, Max Sear and Samantha Spencer all rallied back on their back nines but would still fall short in their matches. Ana Peric played solidly and tied her match. Both Tony Gil and Trevor Ranton holed putts on their final hole to tie their respective matches.”
Even though the team did not bring back the title, there were many positives from the event. No doubt the story for Team Ontario was a day-two singles match win by 13-year-old Monet Chun. Chun took her match by a score of 11-7 while shooting one-under par, the first time she has broken par in a competition. Her feat was even more impressive considering the weather conditions the athletes faced during the second day of competition.
“The weather was less than ideal today – with heavy rain for the latter part of the day. We were impressed by the grit shown by our players today as they all fought hard to the very end,” said Hayward.
As for the rest of the day-two results, it was Peric, Ranton and Gil all drawing their matches with scores of 9-9, Haynes was beaten 10.5-7.5, Hernandez fell 11-7, Bodfield took a 12.5-5.5 loss, Getty was defeated 11-7, Spencer and St-Germain both took 10.5-7.5 losses, McNulty lost 11-7, Denyes and Seys were both narrowly beaten 9.5-8.5, Sear took a 10.5-7.5 loss, Watt was beaten 13-5 and Simon lost 11.5-6.5.