Amateur

David Mills (1947 – 2021)

Dave Mills (Golf Ontario)

Golf Canada is saddened to learn of the passing of former Golf Ontario executive director and Ontario Golf Hall of Fame member, David (Dave) Mills. The 74 year old passed on Friday June 11, 2021, surrounded by family.

OBITUARY I TRIBUTE WALL I MEMORIAL VIDEO

Mills had been involved with Golf Ontario since 1986. He served on the board of directors from 1989-1997, before being appointed executive director in 1997, where he helped turn around an association that was experiencing significant financial and administrative challenges.

Mills led several initiatives during his time with Golf Ontario, including: the GAO Scholarship Program, educational seminars, Golf in Schools, learn to play clinics, new provincial championships, Team Ontario, participation in Canadian and Ontario Summer Games, a partnership with Ontario Golf Magazine to be official magazine of Association, led the process to establish Ontario Golf Hall of Fame and helped to have golf recognized as an “Official Sport” by Sport Canada.

Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was leading the process to amalgamate the Ontario Golf Association with the Ontario Ladies Golf Association to create one of the largest amateur golf associations in North America.

Mills was also a certified rules official and has volunteered his expertise at numerous GAO events and at the RBC Canadian Open, national amateur championships and Skins Games. He retired from the GAO in 2014, but continued to volunteer at provincial events.

In retirement, Mills also dedicated his time to re-establish the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame. Now known as the Dr. Robert L. Vaughn atrium, this Hall of Fame can be viewed in the Belleville CAA Arena (Yardmen Arena).

Dave Mills had a great love for the game of golf and for his wonderful family, and he cherished every moment he got to tee it up with friends and family.

Golf Canada extends its deepest condolences to the Mills family and friends.

To read more on his impact on golf across the province, click here.

Amateur Media Release

Golf Canada announces revised 2021 championship schedule

Golf Canada

Due to interprovincial travel restrictions and other complexities related to COVID-19, Golf Canada has announced additional changes to its championship schedule for the 2021 season. 

Provincial restrictions had previously forced the cancellation of U.S. Open Local and Final Qualifiers, in addition to the NextGen Pacific, NextGen Western, and NextGen Ontario Championships. With continued pandemic-related uncertainty, the remaining NextGen Championships – NextGen Prairie (Quarry Oaks, June 10-13), NextGen Quebec (Club de Golf Hemmingford, June 27-30), and NextGen Atlantic (Dundarave Golf Course, July 12-15) – will also be cancelled and the 2021 NextGen National Junior Orders of Merit will not be awarded. In some cases, these NextGen events would have conflicted with provincial junior championships around Canada that are being delayed and rescheduled.

The two NextGen Fall Series Championships in September will proceed as scheduled. Each field will feature 99 junior boys and girls and exemptions into the 2022 Canadian Junior Championships will be awarded.

Golf Canada National Amateur Championships are still scheduled to proceed but will only move forward after approval from regional and provincial health authorities. Operational plans for amateur competitions have been adjusted to incorporate rigorous health and safety protocols. Final decisions about the feasibility of conducting national championships will be made approximately four to six weeks prior to the start of each championship. The safety of championship competitors, tournament staff, volunteers, and host site members will remain the top priority guiding these decisions.

At this time, Golf Canada is able to announce the following changes to its National Amateur Championship schedule:

A complete list of Golf Canada’s competitions is available here.

Amateur

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley launches junior golf event series

Michelle Liu
AURORA, CANADA - AUGUST 22: Michelle Liu of Canada hits her second shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the CP Women's Open at Magna Golf Club on August 22, 2019 in Aurora, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Caledon, Ont. – TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley announced on Tuesday the creation of The Road to TPC Toronto presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF, a new event series for junior golfers taking place across Ontario this summer culminating in a series Finale at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley.
 
Designed to provide junior golfers with tournament opportunities to compete and improve their games, The Road to TPC Toronto will consist of six 36-hole regional qualifying tournaments for girls and boys, with the chance to earn a spot in the season-ending finale in August.
 
“Junior golf has seen a remarkable explosion in popularity in recent years and we’re incredibly excited to launch this new event series of competitive opportunities in Ontario this summer,” said TPC Toronto Tournament and Programming Director Brad Parkins. “We’re so thankful for the support of our partners at COBRA PUMA GOLF in helping to launch The Road to TPC in 2021.”
 
Each regional qualifying tournament field will be open to girls and boys, aged 18 and under as of August 1, 2021 on a first come-first serve basis. The top six boys and three girls from each regional qualifier will advance to the finale at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, in Caledon, Ontario, August 16-17, 2021. At The Finale, 60 of the province’s best junior golfers will compete in the 36-hole finale, with prizing for top boys’ and girls’ finishers. 
 
Beginning in June, The Road to TPC Toronto presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF will get started at Loyalist Golf and Country Club in Bath June 29-30, followed by Ottawa’s eQuinelle Golf Club July 12-13 and Niagara’s Bridgewater Golf & Country Club on July 19 for 36 holes in one day. Durham’s Lakeridge Links will play host on a date to be determined in July followed by Sudbury’s Idylwylde Golf & Country Club and Timberwolf Golf Club on July 29 and 30, respectively, with the final qualifying event heading to London’s Tarandowah Golfers Club August 4-5.
 
COBRA PUMA GOLF will provide equipment and apparel prizes for outstanding junior golfers at each event, with the boys’ and girls’ champion following the finale at TPC Toronto earning a prize pack, including a custom fitting for a new KING RADSPEED driver.
 
“We are excited to partner with TPC Toronto to deliver this innovative, competitive event series for juniors across the province,” said Dwayne Boecker, Head of Golf for COBRA PUMA GOLF – Canada. “The program not only aligns with our overall investment in the youth category but also shines a spotlight on our brands in multiple communities. In addition, TPC Toronto’s 54-hole facility is one of Canada’s premier golf experiences and we’re confident the Road to TPC Toronto will become one as well.”

Competitions will be operated with detailed COVID-19 safety protocols in place in accordance with each host facility’s established practices.
 
Online registration for tournaments is now open at theroadtotpctoronto.com.
 

Amateur

Canadians MacDougall, Meek finish 2nd at U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

Brendan MacDougall and Sam Meek
Sam Meek and his teammate Brendan Macdougall celebrate their victory at the 19th hole during the semifinal round at the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Robert Beck/USGA)

Canadians Brendan MacDougall and Sam Meek finished second at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball on Wednesday.

MacDougall of Calgary, and Meek of Peterborough, Ont., came back after being down by two to win their semifinal match in an extra hole earlier in the day on Wednesday.

The pair then almost immediately began the final match against Kiko Francisco Coelho and Leopoldo Herrera III.

MacDougall and Meek took the early lead after the second hole, but Coelho and Herrera were up by two by the time they reached the 12th hole.

They were still down by two heading into the last four holes but were able to come back once again and tie it by the time the match arrived at 18. The match would once again be pushed into an extra hole, where Coelho and Herrera won.

MacDougall and Meek have been teammates at the University of Nevada for the 2020-21 season, and McDougall has been a member of Team Canada’s Amateur Squad for the past three years, while Meek was on it in 2020.

As a result of coming second, MacDougall and Meek have received exemptions into the next three U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships.

This was the sixth U.S. Amateur Four-Ball conducted by the USGA, and the first to be played at Chambers Bay, in University Place, Wash.

There have been seven USGA champions from Canada, with Judith Kyrinis being the most recent champion when she won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in 2017 at the age of 53.

The next USGA event is the U.S. Women’s Open from June 3 to 6.

Amateur

Golf courses among Ontario rec facilities set to reopen May 22

Ontario golf courses will be busy over the long weekend.

Many of the provincial government’s restrictions on outdoor recreation facilities will come to an end Saturday after first coming into effect on April 17.

While Ontario Premier Doug Ford walked back moves on increased police power and the closing of playgrounds one day after making an announcement on additional restrictions related to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order on April 16, he kept outdoor sport facilities closed.

Ford gave the green light for outdoor recreation facilities to reopen on Thursday with restrictions in place, including physical distancing. Also, no team sports can be played or practised.

Ontario was the only jurisdiction in North America to ban golf, and the golf community has been vocal about its disagreement.

With COVID-19 far more transmissible indoors than outdoors, many have argued the resumption of outdoor sports can be beneficial for Ontarians at a challenging time.

Gratitude was evident across social media following the announcement.

Amateur

Manitoba announces changes to Public Health Order effecting golf

The Province of Manitoba has announced additional public health order restrictions will take effect Saturday, May 22 at 12:01 a.m.

Outdoor gatherings with anyone from outside a household are no longer allowed, which applies to all recreation spaces including playgrounds, golf courses, parks and sports fields.

Additionally, only one person per household will be allowed to enter a business, with some exceptions, such as a single parent with children, or someone who requires a caregiver.

The new changes to public health orders will be in place until 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26.

As golf courses in Manitoba remain open, the Manitoba Allied Golf Associations (Canadian Society of Club Managers, Golf Manitoba, Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association, National Golf Course Owners Association Canada and PGA of Manitoba), continue to encourage all member clubs to remain vigilant to ensure that all public health measures are met or exceeded at all of our golf courses.

Physical distancing (2 meters / 6 feet) is mandatory with people from outside your household across the province.

Amateur Team Canada

Team Canada’s Brigitte Thibault Advances to NCAA Women’s Golf Championship

Fresno State Athletics

OAKVILLE, ONT. – Team Canada member, Brigitte Thibault has advanced to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.

Thibault, a senior at Fresno State, secured her spot in the Championship, shooting 2-under par 211 (70-73-68) at Standford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif.

The Rosemère, Que. native shot her best round on Wednesday with a 3-under 68 driving her to a qualifying spot at the National Championship.

Thibault’s 211 was the lowest score by a Fresno State Bulldog at an NCAA regional event, beating her own record of 216 set in 2019.

 “Coming here, I wanted to beat myself from two years ago so it was nice to keep on that. I finished with a birdie when, last time, I finished with a bogey. I am super happy with it and I am glad that I got it.”

Brigitte Thibault

Brigitte won the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur Championship and was T3 up at the 2020 Arizona Wildcat Invitational.

The 2021 NCAA Women’s Golf National Championship will be played at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. on May 21-26.

Amateur

Ontario’s stay-at-home order extended to June 2 — golf courses not exempted

A "Course Closed" sign is seen at the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, on May 13, 2021. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty)

TORONTO — Ontario is extending its stay-at-home order until June 2 to bring down high rates of COVID-19, a move Premier Doug Ford said was necessary to bring infection cases down and “save the summer.”

That means thousands of businesses and public schools will remain closed until the order is lifted. Outdoor recreational facilities will also remain closed, a decision public health experts have said is misguided and has consequences for people’s physical and mental health.

The government’s science advisers have said banning outdoor activities will not control COVID-19 and disproportionately harm children and those who don’t have access to their own green space. And Golf Ontario has told the Ford government that “golf is safe” and urged it reopen courses.

Ford acknowledged the criticism but said that measure would stay in place to limit mobility and other behaviour that could contribute to spread of the virus.

“They pick up another buddy, two or three go out, go golfing, there’s nothing wrong with golfing,” he said. “The problem is, then after golf they go back, they have some pops. That’s the problem.”

Ford said the goal was to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19 in the next few weeks.

“These are precious weeks,” he said. “By June 2, so long as we stay the course, we will be able to reopen outdoor recreation. And by then, we will provide more details on our plan to carefully and safely begin to reopen.”

The premier blamed Ottawa for the third wave of the pandemic, suggesting a significant number of cases of the COVID-19 variants had entered Ontario through its land, air and water borders a claim that has been disputed by experts.

“The reality is, existing border measures have failed to keep the contagious variants out of Canada,” Ford said. “This brutal third wave is fuelled almost entirely by variants that pass too easily through our borders.”

Ontario declared a state of emergency and invoked the stay-at-home order in early April amid skyrocketing cases.

It initially gave police sweeping new powers to enforce the order but rolled those back amid intense backlash.

Amateur

NAGA announces new golf rules for Alberta

The National Allied Golf Association (NAGA) Alberta chapter has informed industry stakeholders of new rules for golf in the province that go into effect Sunday, May 9th at 11:59 pm.

To be part of the solution and battle the third wave of COVID-19, golfing in Alberta will be limited to members of your household or if living alone, to two close contacts.

“With the recent announcements based on surging case numbers, we are fortunate to have been provided with an opportunity to remain open for the enjoyment by Albertans. However, this needs to be done responsibly,” said Erica Beck, the president of NAGA Alberta, in her letter to stakeholders. “Today, we were informed that golf was on the list of industries to be closed, however, the industry’s commitment to being responsible and ensuring protocols were put into place to maintain the safety and well-being of golfers were the key deciding factors in the industry being permitted to remain open. We strongly urge all golf courses to continue to remain vigilant as the safety of staff and guests remains our utmost priority and we ask that all facilities do their part to adhere to all AHS guidelines.”

To read the full statement from May 6th, click here.

Amateur US Open

Megan Osland and Noémie Paré qualify for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open

Noémie Paré (Photo: MassGolf.org)

OAKVILLE, ONT. – Canadians Megan Osland and Noémie Paré clinched their spots in the field for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open by capturing one of the precious tickets available in their respective qualifying events.

Noémie Paré, member of Team Canada’s amateur squad, won the 2020 Québec Women’s Amateur Championship and was runner up at the 2020 Alberta Ladies Amateur Championship.

Native of Victoriaville, Que., Paré qualified in Massachusetts on May 5th after tying Christina Kim with 137 total strokes at Dedham Golf & Polo Club.

In a post round interview with MassGolf.org, Paré said:

“This is amazing, it’s just the right step in the right direction. I haven’t had time to process it yet, but I just can’t wait to experience the whole thing.”

The 2021 U.S. Women’s Open will be Paré’s first major championship appearance.

After making her first appearance in 2019, Osland will be returning to the U.S. Women’s Open in 2021 as a result of placing second at a qualifying tournament in Ormond Beach, Florida.

The Kelowna, B.C. native remained close behind Kim Metraux of Switzerland, shooting a pair of 71s and finishing second at the 36-hole qualifier held at Oceanside Country Club.

The U.S. Women’s Open takes place from Thursday, June 3 to Sunday, June 6 at The Olympic Club in San Fransico, Calif.