Junior golfers strut their stuff at Ancaster’s Mystic Golf

Several golfers from the Golden Horseshoe area turned in strong showings at the Maple Leaf Junior Golf tour’s stop at Mystic Golf Club in Ancaster during the Victoria Day holiday weekend.

The Boston Pizza-presented MJT, Canada’s “Road to College Golf”, staged the second tournament in the 17-event Ontario schedule at the challenging Mystic course. Mystic is described as a shot-makers course, with a variety of holes and classic risk and reward decisions. It comes as no surprise, then, that solid ball striking was the key for players who scored well, as was the case for Jamie Cherutti – the overall low finisher of the tournament who also wins a paid entry into the 59th East Aurora International Junior Masters in New York, June 27-July 1

Cherutti, 17, of Aurora, hit a lot of greens in regulation en route to a one shot victory in the Boy’s 17-19 division. It was a close finish and he noted that his tournament highlight was a “birdie, birdie” bounce-back that kept him in the race after a disappointing triple bogey. “It feels great to get a win. This will definitely help my order of merit to try and qualify for the MJT Tour Championship (in Florida),” said Cherutti.

Matthew Speyer, 17, of Cambridge shot 75-79 for a 154 total, earning him runner-up honours, while Andrew Moffat, also 17 and from Brantford, improved on a first day 81 with a second day 77 for a 158 total, claiming the bronze medal.

Luke Atack of Hamilton and Joshua Richard-Monro of Oakville tied for fifth with 162s while Burlington’s Tyler Wiseman had a 175 for 12th. John Monture of Hagersville was 14th with 189.

In the Girls Division, Meghan Bennett, 15, of Pickering, fired her lowest competitive round to date of 76, following a first round 81 (156 total) to capture her division title. Bennett commented that it “feels great with all the hard work over the winter and early spring now paying off”. She continued that her key to victory was “having fun and relaxing with my friends; I played very consistent and was able to grind it out when I was in trouble.”

In second place was Madison Easterbrook, 15, of Burlington who carded rounds of 85-80 (165). Rounding out the top three was Annika Haynes, 14, of Oakville, who shot 81-94 for a 175 total.

John Boncoddo, 15, of Brantford, closed out the Boys 14-16 year old division after taking the round one lead with an opening 73. Following up with a second day 83 (156 total), Boncoddo noted, “ballstriking with my irons was key” together with “staying positive while struggling in round two. I’m honoured to win this tournament on such a difficult golf course.

Finishing only two strokes behind was Joel Albany, 15, of Georgetown, who fired 80-78 (158). Ancaster junior Tyler Gruza, 15, shot 86-78 (164) to tie with Port Stanley’s Drake Gladstone, 16, (85–79=164).

Brock Rogerson of Brantford was fifth with 164. Christian Logue of Burlington was seventh with 167 while Dylan Trull of Oakville was 17th with 193.

The Boys 13 and under division saw a fantastic round two score of 73 by 13-year-old Kyle Gorospe of Mississauga, whose 84-73=157 total secured the gold medal over Bryce Hardie, 13, of Brampton, who carded 83-81 (164 total). Short game was the key to Gorospe’s low finish, who commented that ‘it saved [him] many times over the past couple days’, noting two particular up and downs put the ball to two feet and three feet from 40 and 100 yards respectively. “It feels great to win my first MJT event with such a great field,” Gorospe added. Brendan Seys, 13, of Port Lambton, ON, placed third in the division with rounds of 89-92 for a 171 total.

Oakville’s Jack Jelinek was sixth (186) and Ancaster’s Nick Hofland was 9th (207).

Juniors also competed in skills competitions over the weekend earning great prizes and recognition for long drives, closest to the pin and second day ‘comebacks’. In the Mr. Lube Long Drive, winners in various age groups included: Zach St. Louis of Belle River, Spencer Hudon of Toronto, John Monture of Hagersville and Jenna Banz of Cambridge.

For the Sundog Eyewear Skills Competition, winners were Jack Jelinek of Oakville, Nick Schepens of London, Ben Finlayson of Kitchener and Michelle Ruiz of Mississauga. Golf Town Comeback Award winners in each division were Tyler Nagano of Toronto, Nick Schepens of London, Luke Atack of Hamilton and Alex Amos of Komoka.

The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour continues the Ontario schedule with the MJT Prodigy Series at National Pines Golf and Country Club in Barrie on June 4-5, a qualifier for the Callaway Golf Junior World Championships in San Diego as well as a paid entry into a US Junior Sectionals Qualifier. For full details and online registration, interested juniors can visit www.maplejt.com or call 1-877-859-4653.

The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour Canada’s premier and only national junior tour run exclusively by Canadian PGA Professionals and the ‘Road to College Golf’ for aspiring young players. The organization hosts more than 60 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 7-13 year olds, and multi-day events for competitive players which also qualify juniors for international competitions. The MJT offers annual awards, scholarships, and frequent player incentives to help reward player’s performance and participation throughout each season. MJT alumni include many Professional Tour players and Canadian PGA Professionals, as well as Canadian Amateur, National and Provincial Junior Champions. The MJT aims to develop champions, in golf and in life, promoting the game from grassroots through to provincial, national, university and professional level. For more information please visit www.maplejt.com.