By Darren Matte
(UXBRIDGE, ON) – The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO), is pleased to announce the seven boys and six girls that will comprise Team Ontario for 2015. The announcement comes on the heels of the GAO’s recent partnership with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. An agreement that will provide Team Ontario athletes with Adidas clothing and access to TaylorMade equipment. The team, which began training in October, is set for a full winter of work as they prepare for the official start to the competitive season in May with the GAO Investors Group Junior Spring Classic.
“Overall the team looks very good, with many of the players already having achieved bench mark successes in their junior golf careers,” said Mary Ann Hayward, GAO Manager of Sport Performance. “All of the players are highly motivated to make the national development team and our coaching staff is prepared to work very hard to help them get there.”
This year’s team highlights the quality of the GAO’s high performance programs as eleven members of the team are either returning Team Ontario members or graduates from the GAO’s Regional (U17) Team Program.
With a pair of Team Ontario players, Trevor Ranton and Grace St-Germain, moving up to the National Development Team, Team Ontario features five returning players in 2015:
- Max Sear, 17, from Markham and York Downs Golf and Country Club, coached by Ian Crebbin
- Jason Chung, 15, from Thornhill and Pheasant Run Golf Club, coached by Charlie Woo
- Brendan Seys, 16, from Port Lambton and Maple City Country Club, coached by John Dengel
- Alyssa Getty, 17, from Ruthven and the Kingsville Golf and Country Club, coached by Reggie Millage
- Monet Chun, 13, from Richmond Hill and The Summit Golf and Country Club, coached by Ian Leggatt and Don Lee
Joining the returnees, are the following graduates of the GAO Regional Team Program:
- Jackson Bowery (Team Waterloo), 17, from London and Greenhills Golf Club, coached by Len Foran
- Kyle MacDonald (Team York), 16, from Burlington and Rattlesnake Pointe Golf Club, coached by Rich Storey
- Jake Bryson (Team Ottawa), 15, from Dunrobin and Eagle Creek Golf Club, coached by Kevin Haime
- Madeline Marck-Sherk (Team Waterloo), 17, from Ridgeway and Bridgewater Country Club, coached by Mary Kraus
- Diana McDonald (Team Ottawa), 17, from Kingston and Loyalist Country Club, coached by Chris Barber
- Isabella Portokalis (Team Waterloo), 13, from London and London Hunt and Country Club
Rounding out the team are:
- Kelvin Lim, 13, from Thornhill and Station Creek Golf Club
- Chloe Currie, 15, from Mississauga and Mississauga Golf and Country Club, coached by Nick Starchuk
“It is great having six of our new players coming out of regional programs. They are accustomed to the team training environment and come with a good base in their technical and physical training,” added Hayward.
Team Ontario coaching staff is led by GAO Head Provincial Coach Reggie Millage, a Class ‘A’ PGA of Canada professional from Milton. Millage enters his second season with the team after taking over the position last November. Also returning this year are Athletic Therapist Andrew Hoermann and Mental Skills Coach Judy Goss. New to the coaching staff this year is Nick Martichenko, who fills the role of Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“This year’s team is obviously a very different group, especially with the make up of seven boys and six girls,” said Millage. “Most of them are already well established and are willing to work hard to reach the next level. The coaches have already been working one-on-one with them, making the changes we feel are necessary as we work towards the spring.”
Millage also spoke about the very experienced coaching staff. “We are very excited to have Andrew back as Athletic Therapist. He is the longest serving member of the coaching staff and very good at what he does working with the athletes. Adding Nick to the team is also exciting because he is a very qualified and dedicated Strength and Conditioning Coach. Nick is very committed to working with golfers and he and I have worked together in the past and have enjoyed good success in taking athlete’s golf games to the next level.”
The team is already an accomplished group and they will look for even better results in 2015. Some highlights from the 2014 season included: Getty capturing the CN Future Links Quebec Championship, Marck-Sherk taking the gold medal at the Ontario Summer Games (Juvenile Girls’ Championship), Currie winning the Ontario Bantam Girls’ Championship and the Ontario Junior Tours Championship, Lim victorious at the CN Future Links Quebec Championship, and Sear successfully defended his Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) individual championship title.
Looking ahead Team Ontario will train indoors during the winter months at The Golf Lab in Vaughan. ClubLink’s Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Florida will be the new host venue for Team Ontario training camps in January and February. During March Break, the team will head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a training camp as well as take part in the Can-Am Matches which is an annual team match event between the top junior golfers from Ontario and South Carolina.