Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas goes into this week’s Investor’s Group Ontario Junior Boys’ Match Play Championship seeded No. 3 to dethrone the defending champion.
The 15-year-old Hughes is coming off a successful Men’s Match Play tournament where he advanced to the quarterfinals after beating some of the provinces best golfers. Hughes will be trying to unseat last year’s winner, Michael Oudyk, of Oshawa, when the tournament begins Tuesday (August 1) at the Burlington Golf and Country Club. Play concludes on Friday.
The 16-year-old Oudyka, the No. 1 seed, will attempt to become the first player to wear consecutive crowns. But in addition to Hughes who should challenge, Oudyka can expect Cambridge golfer Brad Larente to throw a roadblock in his path.
Larente lost to his Oshawa rival in last year’s final and was the champion in 2004. Also taking aim on being the first two-time title bearer, Larente tees off as the No. 2 seed in a strong field. The 18-year-old Larente will finish his junior career in Ontario before heading to Eastern Michigan in September on a golf scholarship.
Also in the mix of contenders is Mississauga’s Graham Baillargeon, who carries the No. 4 banner on the Burlington course. A win would be an ideal birthday present for Baillargeon who turns 17 on Aug. 3 and an addition to an already successful golfing summer. He won the Junior Boys’ title at the CN Future Links Quebec Championship earlier this month.
Other Hamilton and area golfers chasing the Match Play prize include, Hamilton’s David Crawford, 16, Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club; Georgetown’s Andrew Albrecht, 17, North Halton Golf and Country Club; Cambridge’s Ben Deignan, 17, Galt Country Club; Burlington’s Michael Gligic, 16, Hidden Lake Golf Club; Niagara-on-the-Lakes Mark Hicks, 16, public course player; Burlington’s Adam Hunter, 17, Trafalgar Golf and Country Club; Ancaster’s Ben Mcfaul, 18, Oak Gables Golf Club; Cambridge’s Michael McKenzie, 18, Golf Country Club; Campbellville’s John (JJ) Regan, 17, Burlington Golf and Country Club; Burlington’s Jonathan Ross, 17, Burlington Golf and Country Club; Georgetown’s Ryan Thomson, 15, North Halton Golf and Country Club; Brantford’s Traynor Turkiewicz, 15, Brantford Golf and Country Club; and Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Ricky Watson, 16, Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club; Mt. Pleasant’s Ryan Terdik, 16, Brantford Golf and Country Club.
Play begins at 7:30 a.m on Tuesday with rounds 2 and 3 scheduled for Aug. 2. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place Aug. 3, leading to the finale on Friday with a 36-hole final.
Hughes will teeoff at 10.42 a.m., paired with Mcfaul.