Meet the men of 2012 Team Canada
Get better acquainted with the men of Team Canada’s 2012 National Team and Development Squad
Published on Tuesday, Nov. 01, 2011 11:17AM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, Nov. 01, 2011 11:19AM EDT
Toronto’s Albin Choi returns to the National Team for the second straight year and looks to build upon a successful rookie campaign.
In June, the 19-year-old Toronto native won the prestigious Monroe Invitational. At the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in Winnipeg, he nearly defended his title, finishing alone in second, two shots off the pace of Mackenzie Hughes.
Now in his sophomore year at N.C. State University, Choi was recently named one of the top 50 college golfers to watch this year. As a freshman, he captured two tournaments—the Rod Myers Invitational and the Wolfpack Intercollegiate—and finished top 10 in three others. At season’s end, he received numerous honours including; ACC Freshman of the Year; NCAA All-Freshman Team; All-ACC Team; Honourable Mention All-America Team; and All-Region Team.
Choi is the highest ranked Canadian male on the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Rankings at No. 63.
Dundas, Ont.’s, Mackenzie Hughes took his game to the next level in his first year on the National Team and he’ll look to continue that trend in 2012.
Hughes’ biggest win of his career came in Winnipeg at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship where he bested a field of the country’s best male golfers. Earlier in the summer, he also won the Glencoe Invitational and captured medalist honours at the Canadian Tour’s ATB Financial Classic Monday Qualifier. Stateside, he was the medalist at a U.S. Open Regional qualifier; was the lone Canadian to make it through to the Sweet-16 at the Western Amateur; and qualified for match play at the U.S. Men’s Amateur Championship. As a junior at Kent State University, the 20-year-old won the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate and the MAC Championship. He was also named to the All-MAC Team and the All-MAC Academic Team.
Garrett Rank asserted himself as one of the top male amateur golfers in 2011 and has been rewarded with a spot on Team Canada’s National Squad.
The Elmira, Ont., native won the Toronto Star Amateur in July and also earned medalist honours at a U.S. Men’s Amateur qualifier. The 24-year-old had a number of other solid outings, including runner-up at the Canadian University/College Championship; a fifth place finish at the Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship; a third at the Glencoe Invitational and a sixth at the Porter Cup. Rank also reached the round-of-64 at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
The University of Waterloo product also moved up more than 500 spots on the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking during a 10-week span during the summer.
Twenty-year-old Mitch Sutton enters his third year as a member of the National Team with an eye ondeveloping his talents further.
The London, Ont.’s, native’s 2011 could be divided into two segments: spring and summer.
During the spring the N.C. State University sophomore took home medalist honours at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate and was co-medalist at the NCAA Florida Regional. He earned nods to the All-ACC Team, All-Region Team and Honourable Mention All-America Team. In the summer Sutton earned medalist honours at a U.S. Men’s Amateur Qualifier; finished T4 at the Monroe Invitational and made it through to the round-of-32 at the U.S. Men’s Amateur.
Sutton is a two-time Canadian Junior Boys winner, capturing the championship in 2008 and 2009.
Eric Banks is the lone 2011 Development Squad member to make the jump to the National Team in 2012.
This past summer the Truro, N.S., native became just the second player in history to win the Nova Scotia Men’s Amateur and Junior Boys in the same year. In his last competitive year as a junior, Banks also finished second at the CN Future Links Atlantic Championship and T9 at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship. At the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, Banks posted a T20 showing.
Banks is a freshman at the University of Florida.
Sixteen-year-old Kevin Kwon joins the Development Squad in 2012 after a dominating performance at this year’s Canadian Junior Boys Championship. The Pitt Meadows, B.C., native lapped the field, winning by a remarkable 11-shots (16 under), matching the tournament record for margin of victory set previously by Brent Franklin in 1984 and equaled by Nick Taylor in 2006. Kwon also registered a pair of runner-up finishes earlier in the year at the CN Future Links Pacific Championship and the B.C. Junior Boys’ Championship.
Adam Svensson returns to the Development Squad for the second-straight year after another impressive campaign in 2011. The 17-year-old Surrey, B.C., native successfully defended his B.C. Junior Boys’ Championship and finished second at the CN Future Links Ontario Championship. Svensson has verbally committed to attend UNLV in September 2012.
A native of Airdrie, Alta., Riley Fleming joins the Development Squad after strong performances in 2011. He was a runner-up at the Alberta Junior Boys Championship and finished fifth at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship. The 18-year-old is also a multiple winner on the Maple Leaf Junior Tour.
Blair Hamilton of Burlington, Ont., joins the Development Squad in 2012 and looks to build upon the solid year he had in 2011. On the provincial level, the 18-year-old finished T9 at the Ontario Junior Boys Championship and sixth at the Ontario Junior Boys Spring Classic. On the national scene, Hamilton finished 15th at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and T11 at the CN Future Links Ontario Championship.