By Darren Matte
(NIAGARA FALLS, ON) – While the golfers needed to brave chilly conditions and tackled challenging winds, the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) inaugural Team Ontario Cup turned out to be a great success. The event, held April 24 to 26 at the Grand Niagara Golf Club in Thorold, concluded on Sunday with both the boys’ and girls’ Team Ontario 1 teams capturing the trophies.
The GAO’s Team Ontario, along with five Regional teams from Ottawa, York, Waterloo, Niagara, and Essex-Kent, all took part in the two-round, team-format event. Team Ontario entered two teams on both the boys’ and girls’ side, while the Regional teams entered two teams of four boys and one team of four girls, with the low three scores for each of the two rounds counting towards the team’s total gross score.
The eventual boys winners, Team Ontario 1 were comprised of Unionville’s Max Sear, Thornhill’s Jason Chung, and London’s Jackson Bowery. As for the girls, Team Ontario 1 was made up of Richmond Hill’s Monet Chun, Ruthven’s Alyssa Getty, and Ridgeway’s Madeline Marck-Sherk.
In addition to the team championship, the event also recognized the low individuals in three categories; Overall, Juvenile, and Bantam.
On the boys side, the Overall Champion was Sear. The 17 year-old came out blazing during the opening round firing a 10-under 62. He finished his second round at 2-over 74, but still captured the title by seven shots.
The Juvenile boys division title was shared by Chung and Team Ottawa member, and Long Sault resident, Ty Celone. Both golfers posted similar scores with opening rounds at even-par 72 and 1-under 71 second rounds.
Taking the Bantam division was Team York member, and Whitby resident, Brendan Dunphy. Dunphy finished the tournament +9 after rounds of 75 and 78.
After round one, the talk on the girls’ side was about Chloe Currie, as the Port Credit native finished with a 3-under 69 and held the lead. Her performance also helped Team Ontario 2 hold the team lead heading into the final round.
However, a 79 during round two opened the door for Chun to not only capture individual honours, but help propel her team to the title. Chun, who finished the opening round at 1-over 73, had an even-par 72 during round two to capture the Overall, Juvenile, and Bantam championships.
The event also featured a banquet for the teams on Saturday night, at the Legends on the Niagara Golf Club, where each team presented their Most Valuable Contributor (MVC) award. The MVC award went to the person who best exemplified leadership, integrity, sportsmanship, team spirit, and work ethic.
Winning the awards for their squads were: Sear (Team Ontario), Kevin Doran (Team York), Tecumseh’s Adam Nunes (Team Essex-Kent), James Parsons (Team Ottawa), Michael Rizzo (Team Waterloo), and Taylor Simoneau (Team Niagara).
Based on the results from the event, the Ontario team for the 2015 Ontario-Quebec Matches, July 27 to 29, at Smugglers Glen Golf Club in Gananoque, was also announced.
The team will be made up of the top two juvenile boys and girls and the top four bantam boys and girls from the Regional teams. Team Waterloo coach Mike Martz will coach the 2015 team.
The roster includes Celone, Mississauga’s Lachlan O’Hara, Dunphy, Windsor’s Shawn Sehra, Toronto’s Dee Xie, Waterloo’s Dylan Henderson, Toronto’s Cynthia Zhao, Niagara Falls’ Sukriti Harjai, Windsor’s Jasmine Ly, Strathroy’s Haley Barclay, Richmond Hill’s Emily Zhu, and Markham’s Hailey McLaughlin.