Forty-six teams compete in TaylorMade Pro/Junior Championship
The PGA of Ontario headed to Wooden Sticks for their annual Pro/Junior Championship sponsored by TaylorMade & adidas. Wooden Sticks has graciously hosted the PGA of Ontario members and their juniors for 10 consecutive seasons.
Wooden Sticks is celebrating their 20th anniversary and have hosted another memorable event for the PGA of Ontario. TaylorMade and adidas generously supplied tee gifts and prizing for the junior players.
The TaylorMade Pro/Jr Championship is divided into two divisions, gross and net, and juniors (18 and under) from all skill levels to compete as a team with their PGA of Ontario Professional in a round of Best Ball.
Forty-six teams made the trek to Uxbridge from near and far to play in this annual event. With a much larger field this year, teams would need to bring their “A” game to beat out the field. When all was said done two teams shared the Gross competition lead at 65 7-under and choose to share the win! Jake McNulty and Justin Matthews of Oshawa Golf & Curling Club and Todd McGrath and Grant Gagnon of Thornhill Country Club.
McGrath took a few moments to speak to us about his day with junior Grant Gagnon “Well, Grant and I really couldn’t have “ham & egged” it any better. We both played well but most importantly, when one of us was a little off, the other one made a Par or Birdie. I think we had 8 Birdies and 1 Bogey. Unfortunately we bogeyed the easiest ranked hole on the course, which was a 210 yard Par 3. It really wasn't so easy.... We hit a few close approach shots, made some putts, and I chipped in, but you need those on days like that; if you’re going to have a chance at winning team events like this.”
With the entire day being all about the junior, being the utmost professional wasn’t forgotten and so both teams choose to share the win.
Jake McNulty recalled after the round “I have a bit of a soft spot for Wooden Sticks, I played my first GAO event there, shot my very first under par tournament there when I was 16 and later won the Championship when I was 18, so I was really excited to come and play the course. I met my junior Justin a few years ago and what struck me was how dedicated he was. Now that’s he’s a member at the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club, I see him day in day out, working on his game. It was great to be able to reward Justin's dedication by taking him to play the Pro/Junior and represent our home club. We both hit a lot of great shots yesterday, but my favourite was Justin's iron shot onto the island green, he hit a great shot up onto the back-right tier with about 20 feet for birdie. I hit the water on that hole so that shot of his saved us 2 shots. Overall it was a really fun day, and an event to keep on the calendar for years to come.”
The course was in great shape and many professionals and juniors alike enjoy the inspired holes by famous golf courses. Thank you to Wooden Sticks and their team for making fantastic hosts and giving these junior’s a day they won’t forget.
Todd reflects on his time as a junior saying “I was able to play in a similar event when I was a kid, and it was always one of my most sought after goals each summer and certainly a highlight as a junior. I always like to try and make it one of my top priorities of the season. I feel like I owe it to the game and to do what the Pros did, that I grew up admiring.”
Luiz Martins who recently made the move to the Ontario Zone took home the Net Division free and clear with junior Henry Li carding 56 16-under.
Martins said “I was not aware when I joined the Ontario Zone that the PGA of Ontario organized an event with this format, I was happy to see it and have created an event of the same format in Brazil. I think it's important that the professionals who, in the great majority, are coaches and teachers also take a moment to share the joy of golf with their students and kids, the future of golf depends on it. It was very gratifying for me to see Harry test his skills and find out himself that he could do more. Congratulations, Harry, you've proved yourself worthy to participate in such a tournament.”
Top Six by Division:
Todd McGrath and Grant Gagnon
Jake McNulty and Justin Matthews
Bob Beauchemin and Jakob Ain
Sean Casey and Luke Delgobbo
Brad Kinvig and Sam Hogan
David French and Ryan Kaichis
Luiz Martins and Henry Li
Kieran Harris and Jasymn Andreevski
Dennis Hendershott and Hailey Hendershott
Mark Paterson & India Tory
Doug Lawrie & Cameron Baker
Wes Furlong & Ethan Penny
The PGA of Ontario continues their Team Series schedule on July 22, 2019 for the Head Pro/Assistant Pro at Grand Niagara Golf Club. Registration deadline will be Monday July 15 at Midnight.
For full results and scores from the TaylorMade Pro/Jr Championship CLICK HERE
Did you smile for the camera? Don't forget to check out the images taken at the event!