Hamilton’s Ross selected to national amateur golf team

Andrew Ross of Dundas joins Cambridge golf celebrity Victor Ciesielski and six other players as newcomers to the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s men’s and women’s National Golf Team program.

Ross, who plays out of the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, was ranked fourth in the province by the Golf Association of Ontario.

Victor Ciesielski contemplates a putt at the 2006 Canadian Open in Ancaster.
(Photo: Ron Bernardo)

Ciesielski gained instant fame during his play at September’s Canadian Open, played at the HG&CC. Playing as an amateur, the University of waterloo student,
earned a spot in the Canadian Open field via the Monday qualifier and became the week’s Cinderella story and crowd favorite at Hamilton Golf and Country Club by making the cut and finishing among the top Canadians.

He was followed around the course by a gallery of students from Waterloo U.

Joining Ross and Ciesielski on the men’s team are Jordan Irwin of Calgary, Louis-Pierre Godin of Champlain, Que., 2006 Canadian Mid-Amateur champion Kris Wasylowich of Lethbridge, Alta. and Calgary’s Todd Halpen, runner-up at the 2006 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. Holdovers from the 2006 team include Keven Fortin-Simard of Roberval, Que. and Graham Hill of Bright’s Grove, Ont.

On the women’s side, junior sensation and 2006 Royale National Junior Girls’ Champion Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Windsor, Que. takes the next step in her development graduating from the junior team in 2006 to the senior team. Other National Team newcomers include Lisa Maunu of London, and Karly Pinder of Exeter, Ont. as well as Royale Cup National Women’s Amateur Champion Jessica Potter of Coquitlam, B.C. Veteran returnees include Laura Matthews of Essex, Ont. and Kira Meixner of Delta B.C. who represented Canada at the World Amateur Team Championship in October as well as Meghan Leblanc of Calgary and Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont.

Four players – Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., James Love of Calgary, Andrew Parr of London, and three-time Amateur champion Richard Scott of Kingsville, Ont. – made the jump to the professional ranks from last year’s men’s team.

“We are very excited to welcome each of our new and returning athletes to the 2007 National Amateur Golf Team,” said Jeff Thompson, RCGA Managing Director of Player & Program Development.

“The team had some significant accomplishments in 2006 culminating with strong finishes at the World Amateur Team Championships and four athletes graduating to the pro ranks.”

The 2007 coaching and support team remains intact with Henry Brunton returning as the men’s coach and Dean Spriddle back as the women’s coach. Derek Ingram will continue as assistant men’s coach while the assistant women’s coach will be named in the coming weeks. World renowned sports psychologist, Dr. Dana Sinclair who has worked with several Olympic and professional sports teams will return to aid the team as a sport science consultant in the area of mental management while Dr. Greg Wells, an Exercise Physiologist at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Canadian Sport Centre in Toronto, will manage the performance enhancement team and each athlete’s strength and conditioning program.

The National Amateur Team program is designed to offer athletes a year-round environment which incorporates state of the art coaching and sport science expertise. The intent of this aggressive program is to aid Canada’s top up and coming amateur players in all areas of their development to produce the best golfers in the world.

The program is year round in scope and will encompass fitness, sports psychology, nutrition, technique development and exposure in international competition. Leaders in the field of sport science are an integral aspect of building and executing the program from the perspective of mental management, strength and conditioning as well as planning and periodization.

The national amateur teams will focus on defending their titles (women’s, men’s and overall) at the 2007 Copa de las Americas’ hosted for the first time by Canada from June 18 – 23 at Beacon Hall Golf Club in Aurora, Ont. The women’s team will also compete internationally at the Commonwealth Matches in South Africa from May 6 -11. The format will pit Canada against four other commonwealth nations in a Ryder Cup format. As well, the men’s team will challenge for the Four Nations Team Championship in Australia with six players squaring off in Ryder Cup format.