NextGen Championships

Eileen Park and Matthew Wilson claim NextGen Pacific Championship to open 2024 season

Eileen Park & Matthew Wilson - 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship Winners
Eileen Park & Matthew Wilson - 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship Winners, Summerland Golf & Country Club. Photo: Graham Filek/Golf Canada

Summerland, B.C. – The 2023 Canadian Junior Girls Champion, Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. lead from start to finish, while Matthew Wilson of Nanaimo, B.C. finished strong to win the 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship at Summerland Golf Club in Summerland, B.C.

Park recorded rounds of 74-73-72 to finish the tournament at 3-under and nine shots clear of Elisa Wu of Vancouver and Jenny Guo of West Vancouver in the Junior Girls Division. Park, the Team Canada NextGen member was in control over all three rounds. On Saturday, the leaders began on the back nine and finished on the front nine. During her second nine, Park went birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey to remain one-under for her final round before a bogey on the sixth hole. Park convincingly ended her round with an eagle on the par five ninth hole to win.

“The best part of my game this week was my driver, I hit probably 80% of the fairways. I also tried to focus on my short game because the greens are firm here, which worked pretty well,” said Park.

After missing a short birdie putt on the eighth hole, Park said her goal was to finish with a birdie on the par five, ninth, but was able to do one better, “I hit my driver really well, then hit my 3-wood onto the green as hard as I could and it rolled up there and I had an 18-footer for eagle and I just putted towards the hole and it went in.”

With the win, Park is one of nine players to book her place in the Canadian Junior Girls Championship presented by BDO, July 22-25 at Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver. What makes this extra special, is Park will be heading to Vancouver as defending champion.

“I think of this tournament as preparation for the Canadian Junior Girls and it will also give me more confidence for bigger tournaments this season,” added Park.

Eileen Park - 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship
Eileen Park – 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship, Summerland Golf & Country Club. Photo: Graham Filek/Golf Canada

NextGen Pacific Championship – Advancing to Canadian Junior Girls Championship

*Top 8 plus ties qualify

1. Eileen Park (Red Deer, Alta.)-3
T2. Elsa Wu (Vancouver, B.C.)+6
T2. Jenny Guo (West Vancouver, B.C.)+6
T4. Sydney Bisgrove (Calgary, Alta.)+7
T4. Aastha Savadatti (Calgary, Alta.)+7
T4. Kaylee Chung (Vancouver, B.C.)+7
7. Rosie Bee Kim (Edmonton, Alta.)+8
T8. Charlotte Tam (Burnaby, B.C.)+9
T8. Sarah Armstrong (Medicine Hat, Alta.)+9

In the Junior Boys Division, Wilson led after an opening round of 5-under 67 on Thursday. Joshua Ince of Surrey, B.C. found himself atop the leaderboard after Friday, firing a 5-under 67 of his own that moved him to 7-under for the tournament and two shots ahead of Wilson heading into Saturday’s final round. Both players were paired together on Saturday and Wilson started to pull away thanks in large part to recording two eagles on his first nine holes (playing back to front) on 13 and 18, both par five’s. Wilson continued his hot streak with three straight birdies on the front nine before back-to-back double bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes reducing his lead to just one over Ince.

Both players exchanged pars on the seventh and eighth holes and closed with birdies, giving Wilson the championship at 8-under (67-72-69), one shot better than Ince.

“I chipped in twice for eagle, it was a bit of an up-and-down round, a lot of good shots, a lot of bad shots. That eagle on 18 really got me going to make three (birdies) in a row and hit some great shots. The double on five just kind of happened and then another one but I didn’t get mad, it just happens and I just grinded it out. It was definitely nerve wracking the last four holes,” said Wilson.

The win ensures that Wilson has secured his spot along with seven others in the 2024 Canadian Junior Boys Championship, presented by BDO taking place August 13-16 at Innisfail Golf Club in Innisfail, Alta.

“It means a lot, it’s my last year as a Junior and I’m off to school after Canadian Juniors and it will be my last junior tournament so just being able to play in that and give myself a chance to win a national title,” added Wilson.

Matthew Wilson - 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship
Matthew Wilson – 2024 NextGen Pacific Championship, Summerland Golf & Country Club. Photo: Graham Filek/Golf Canada

NextGen Pacific Championship – Advancing to Canadian Junior Boys Championship

*Top 8 players qualify

1. Matthew Wilson (Nanaimo, B.C.)-8
2. Joshua Ince (Surrey, B.C.)-7
T3. Maddox Nielsen (Orem, Utah)-1
T3. Maxim McKenzie (Chilliwack, B.C.)-1
5. Eric Joo (Coquitlam, B.C.)E
6. Ryan Vest (Vernon, B.C.)+2
7. Nathan Szpakowicz (Vancouver, B.C.)+4
8. Louis Chun (Port Coquitlam, B.C.)+5

The 54-hole stroke play competition began on Thursday, May 2. After 36 holes, the field was cut to the top 50 Junior Boys and top 20 Junior Girls, including ties. The starting field featured 155 male and female competitors – 111 Junior Boys and 44 Junior Girls – vying for spots into their respective Canadian Junior Championship later this summer.

The next stop on the NextGen Championship is schedule is next week at Fire Rock Golf Club in Komoka, Ont. for the NextGen Ontario Championship.

For the final leaderboard from the NextGen Pacific Championship, click here.

About the NextGen Championships
The NextGen Championships are a high-performance junior golf series which totals six competitions. From May to July, six championships will take place across Canada where the region’s best junior golfers will compete to earn exemptions into their respective 2024 national championships. NextGen Championships provide junior players an opportunity to develop and showcase their skills at the highest level of tournament golf.