There will be a first for Canadian golf in 2016. For the first time ever, two Canadian clubs will play host to U.S. Amateur championship qualifiers.
Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver will host a qualifier for the men on July 18, while Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont., will host a qualifier for the women on June 27.
“Golf Canada has been working on several initiatives with the USGA to strengthen our partnership and these qualifiers are the beginning of what we hope to be larger collaborations,” says Mary Beth McKenna, manager of rules and competitions for Golf Canada. “With Canadian golfers experiencing more and more success on the professional and amateur level, it was likely a natural fit for the USGA to expand these qualifiers into Canada.”
Brampton Golf Club
At Brampton, Head Professional Emerson Mahoney says the club is “very excited” to host the qualifier and is “looking forward to having the best women amateurs in the area vying for a spot in the very prestigious event.”
Built in 1963, the Robbie Robinson layout also hosted the 2014 Ontario Women’s Amateur. And unlike hosting a weeklong event and coordinating course availability with members, the qualifier is only a one-day event.
“The club has been very supportive of the idea,” Mahoney continues. “The management is very excited to showcase the golf course, and it’s an opportunity that’s good for golf overall, which is something our membership is all about.”
Meanwhile, at Marine Drive, the longtime director of golf Tim Tait told the Vancouver Province that he was contacted and asked if the club would be interested in hosting a sectional qualifier in Canada for the U.S. Amateur, and of course he said yes.
“Actually, I said yes and then I went to my board and they said yes. It happened quite quickly,” he tells the newspaper.
Marine Drive has long been a hotbed for Canadian golf greatness, as a number of Canadian Golf Hall of Famers like Richard Zokol and Stan Leonard have been involved with the club for a number of years.
According to McKenna, this year is hopefully just the start of a long-standing relationship between the USGA and Golf Canada in terms of qualifiers for their historic championships.
“Golf Canada is excited to offer the opportunity for Canadian players to compete at home to earn their way into the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur,” says McKenna.
The U.S. Amateur will take place from Aug. 15-21 at Oakland Hills Golf Club in Michigan, while the U.S. Women’s Amateur goes Aug. 1-7 at Rolling Green Golf Club in Pennsylvania.
In 1988, the Cherry Hill Club in Ridgeway, Ont., hosted a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur qualifier.
For more information on USGA championships, click here.