Stollery family makes major gift of $2M in support of Team Canada women’s coaching position
Cailey Stollery (Jeff Vogan/ Golf Canada)
Golf Canada in partnership with the Golf Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation have announced a major gift from the Stollery Family that will see the official title of the women’s national team head coach renamed as the Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach and Stollery Family Olympic Women’s Head Coach.
The Stollery Family, long-time supporters of Canadian golf and especially the women’s game including junior girls and high-performance activities, have donated a total $2M to the Golf Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation in support of the Team Canada program to help fund the Women’s Head Coach position over a 30-year term.
“We are so honoured that the Stollerys, a family with such a long history of philanthropy and promoting sport, has chosen to make this meaningful gift in support of women’s golf,” said Golf Canada President Liz Hoffman, who also sits as a Board Member on the Golf Canada Foundation. “We are excited for what this means for the growth of the women’s game, and the powerful statement it makes in support of coaching across Canada.”
Salimah Mussani, recently promoted by Golf Canada to lead the women’s team will be the inaugural Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach.
Seven sisters –Cailey, Victoria, Gillian, Lindsay, Claire, Sarah, and Hannah – have proudly carried on the family legacy of support for the game initiated by their late father Gordon Stollery. Among other successful business ventures, the Stollery Family are the owners and operators of Goodwood Golf Club in Goodwood, Ont. as well as Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont. which has played host to numerous major golf championships including the CP Women’s Open (2001), the Telus Skins Game (2001), the RBC Canadian Open (2002, 2007) and the golf competition of the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Angus Glen is also proud host of the annual World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargeant Farms, set to return October 12-15, 2022. The Stollery Family have also been long-time supporters of the Golf Canada Foundation including events such as the popular Wine, Women’ & Shoes Fundraiser. The generosity of the Stollery Family has supported numerous charitable legacies including a $5M donation to Markham Stouffville Hospital which named the Stollery Family Centre for Childbirth and Children in their honour.
“Our family recognizes and values the critical role that women’s golf and high-performance coaching can have on the overall growth of a sport that has meant so such much to us all,” said Cailey Stollery who sits on the Board Directors of both the Golf Canada Foundation as well as the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
The Stollery Family’s major gift to fund the Women’s Head Coach position is the first of its kind for a Canadian National Sport Federation head coaching position.
The Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach will also be a first for a Canadian Olympic Team coach as the Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach will also guide Women’s Golf Team that is named by the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Team Canada at future Olympic Games.
“This gift from the Stollery Family is remarkable, and a clear indication of the entire family’s shared belief in the transformational power of sport,” says Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. “This contribution is truly inspiring and will help shape the exciting future of women’s golf in Canada for years to come.”
Thirty Canadian Players on the LPGA and PGA TOUR by 2032
Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kevin Blue, Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer
The performance of Canadian golfers on the world stage has improved significantly since the implementation of the Team Canada player development program in 2005. Canada is currently represented by 13 players with status on the LPGA or PGA TOUR, a substantial increase from the eight players with major tour status when the national team program was launched. Since 2014, members or graduates of the Team Canada Young Pro Squad have produced 50 professional tournament wins worldwide.
Canada is positioned to take another leap forward in global golf achievement. Today, Golf Canada is announcing an enhanced commitment to the Team Canada player development program. Our goal is for Canada to reach 30 players with status on the LPGA and PGA TOUR by 2032, completing our transformation into a truly world-class golfing country where Canadians are regularly in contention on both tours.
The pursuit of this ambitious goal is made possible by significant new philanthropic support from a group of generous donors who are making major gifts to fund enhancements in the Team Canada player development program—beginning with an investment of $13.5 million through Golf Canada Foundation to support the strategic goals of the program.
Paul McLean, CEO of Turf Care and former president of Golf Canada and Golf Canada Foundation has made a lead gift of $5 million to increase the breadth and depth of financial support for Canadian players across the stages of development for the next ten years. Paul has been a pillar of the Canadian golf community with close relationships to many Canadian touring professionals. We are grateful for Paul’s leadership and support.
Major gifts have also been committed by The Kavelman Fonn Foundation, John Francis, Jean Monty, David Kaufman, Steve Lister and Dr. Molly Rundle, and a pair of donors who wished to remain anonymous creating an initial pool of $13.5M in incremental funding to support new player development investments over the next decade. These generous donors are part of the Golf Canada Foundation Trustee program, which provides critical philanthropic support for important Canadian golf initiatives such as player development and First Tee. Golf Canada Foundation is continuing to identify Trustees who are interested in supporting the Team Canada player development program and expanding First Tee across Canada.
Our ambitious strategy for player development is based on extensive research over the past year along with input from stakeholders in Canadian high-performance golf – including those involved at the very highest levels of the professional game. The full analysis and strategic plan can be read in draft form here. In addition, we invite you to attend Golf Canada’s virtual annual general meeting on March 2 for an in-depth presentation about the future of the player development system in Canada.
In summary, Golf Canada’s updated player development strategy includes the following priorities:
Sharpen the specific focus of the player development system on the objective of increasing the number of Canadian players on the LPGA and PGA TOUR, with the goal of 30 players on these tours by 2032.
Foster an open and inclusive culture of collaboration among all stakeholders in Canadian high-performance golf – including players, coaches, facilities, professional tours, and provincial associations.
Invest in Canada’s player development system at a level that matches and competes with aspirational peers like Australia and England.
In partnership with PGA of Canada, increase the depth and diversity of Canadian coaching talent.
Broaden the player development system at the junior level by including more players in the national program and creating a national talent identification system for the most promising early-stage juniors.
Combine late-stage amateurs and young pro players into an expanded Team Canada cohort that is singularly focused on helping players to launch and sustain successful professional golf careers. Team Canada – NextGen, currently called the National Junior Squad, will include both juniors and developing amateurs. These changes will occur in 2023.
Provide housing and training facility access in the US for transitioning professional players.
Increase the breadth and depth of support for young professional players. Assign funding based on an individualized analysis of specific player needs.
Pay particular attention to off course support in areas such as mental health. Ensure a supportive environment that is in full compliance with Safe Sport policies.
Create a need-based system of financial aid for junior and amateur players in the player development program to ensure that financial assistance is provided to families with the most significant financial needs.
Build a digital library of educational resources featuring Canadian tour player role models that is available to aspiring Canadian players and their families.
Refine the analytics used to evaluate player development progress. Emphasize a data-driven and methodical approach.
Re-evaluate the infrastructure and pathway for Canadian professional women’s golf. Develop alternatives to the four-year NCAA pathway while maintaining educational opportunities for the most advanced women. Increase the number of domestic professional playing opportunities for women.
Especially emphasize how we can support the development of Canadian golf champions from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, building on the more diverse participation base that will be created by First Tee – Canada.
These items will be implemented over the course of 2022 and 2023. One of the first enhancements to occur will be the creation of a national infrastructure for identifying and developing the most promising early-stage juniors in Canada (i.e., ages 10-14). Over time, this infrastructure will increase the volume of high-performing juniors in Canada who have the potential to develop into LPGA and PGA TOUR players.
To move forward with this system enhancement, Team Canada Women’s Head Coach Tristan Mullally will transition to the newly created position of National Talent Identification Director. In this new capacity, Tristan will provide additional resources to parents and coaches who work with the most promising young juniors in Canada and provide direct coaching to identified early-stage juniors who don’t otherwise have local coaching support. He will also facilitate the development and implementation of local talent identification camps in every province. Tristan’s globally recognized technical skills and extensive experience with elite players will be a significant asset for helping to accelerate the development of Canada’s most promising young juniors.
Tristan’s transition into this new role will occur gradually over the next several months. A search will begin immediately for a head coach to oversee the women’s program and for an additional assistant coach to complete the remainder of the women’s coaching staff.
Many people across our country are deeply passionate about Canadian golf and excited for Canada to continue its emergence as a world-class golfing country. Every stakeholder in the Canadian golf industry is involved in developing Canada’s top players in one way or another. Golf facility operators create affordable opportunities for competitive juniors to access courses, PGA of Canada professionals provide important mentorship and coaching to young players, and partners and philanthropists provide critical support so the Team Canada player development program can be resourced for global success. Our goal is to unify the entire Canadian golf community behind this player development effort, as our Canadian players have the best chance to emerge on the world stage when everyone is part of the journey with them.
If you’d like to ask questions, provide feedback about our plan, or find out more about becoming a donor to the program, please send us an email using this link.
Since starting out in golf, Maddie Szeryk has dreamt of playing the sport at the highest level. After securing LPGA Tour status for 2022 last December in Alabama, the 25-year-old has realized her childhood dream and is ready to take on the world’s best this season.
The long time member of Golf Canada’s National Team Program recalls her humble beginnings when she got started at the age of seven thanks to the encouragement of her dad, Neil Szeryk.
“I remember my dad initially signed me up for lessons at a summer camp and I went out with everyone; and then after I got an individual coach. I really liked the sport and I’ve been doing it ever since,” she reminisced.
Szeryk, whose parents Neil and Karen relocated from London, Ont., shortly after being married – found her passion and a lot of success on the golf course.
“I remember really enjoying being out on the golf course and I also remember winning a lot of local tournaments growing up and so I wanted to work hard as I could to continue getting better,” she recalled.
With the top 45 plus ties earning LPGA Tour membership and playing status for 2022, Szeryk shot a 68 in the eighth and final round of the LPGA Q-Series to finish in a tie for 35th spot.
It should give Szeryk and her supporters a lot of confidence in knowing that when it mattered most she was calm and cool as a cucumber. The talented young Canadian birdied her last two holes to finish inside the top 45 by one stroke – finishing five under for the eight day qualifying tournament which was held in Alabama.
Szeryk says the achievement last December was a very meaningful one – not only for herself but those that have been in her corner through the ups and downs.
“Everyone was so happy and excited. My parents both cried because we all put in so many sacrifices for this dream. To finally have it come true is amazing; and knowing all that hard work paid off,” she said. “We went out for dinner when I got back home and I got to celebrate with friends – so it was really special.”
The long time National Team member also received a heartfelt message from her Golf Canada head coach Tristan Mullally after the thrilling finish at the LPGA Q-Series.
“Gutsy Performance from @mszeryk who barely missed a couple of years ago through @roadtolpga top 10 and has patiently been working away. Class on and off the course and couldn’t be happier for her. #faith #dragonheart,” he Tweeted.
The former University of Texas A&M All-American is quick to credit the support from Golf Canada for playing a key important role in her success.
“They have been a huge part in terms of getting me to this point. I was on the amateur team all through college and had a lot of great experiences. During my time with the National Team Program, I got to play in high level events and had a chance to test my game against the best amateurs in the world. I also got to play in a number of LPGA events, including the CP Women’s Open,” said Szeryk.
“The coaching and support has played a big role in getting me to where I am. Golf Canada has been awesome in support of my journey.”
The 25-year-old will be joining Canadians Maude-Aimée Leblanc and Brooke Henderson this season on the LPGA Tour. She is also excited to be entering her rookie season with a few of her good friends.
“Dewi Weber, Sophia Schubert, and Haylee Harford are close friends that I played with on the Symetra Tour – now the Epson Tour – and it’s great that we will all be rookies on the LPGA Tour this year,” she said.
Szeryk plans to start her season at the beginning of March on the Epson Tour and play her first LPGA Tour event in late March or early April. And she’s been working hard in preparation for the season ahead.
“On average I’ve been putting in about five or six hours of practise on the golf course each day. But it’s really about quality over quantity in terms of the work. I’ve been doing my best to be prepared physically and mentally.”
Having realized her childhood dream through the LPGA Q-Series in December, Szeryk was asked about her thoughts and goals heading into her first season playing against the best of the best.
“I’m really excited. I got to play a few LPGA events before so I kind of know the atmosphere. It’s really cool to be playing as an LPGA member this season and luckily I have a few friends that will be rookies also to share the experience,” she replied.
“I’m going to try to have good finishes and have good results; but also just try to stay in the present and enjoy every week and have fun out there.”
Étienne Papineau’s unforgettably wild (and loud) debut on the PGA TOUR
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 11: Etienne Papineau of Canada at the 18th green during the second round of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 11, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
Adam Stanley/ Golf Canada
At first Étienne Papineau didn’t know if he should go up to Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas to ask for a photograph. Hopefully it wasn’t going to be his only time sharing a locker room with some of golf’s superstars, he thought, but he worked up the courage, picked their brains a bit, and got the selfies.
Add it to the list of pinch-me moments for the Golf Canada National Team member who made his PGA Tour debut last week at the WM Phoenix Open.
“At first I didn’t know if I should,” said Papineau with a laugh, “but they were actually super nice.”
Both Thomas and Spieth congratulated Papineau on making his Tour debut and asked how things had gone so far.
It had been a nice stretch of golf for Papineau to that point, so he had much to celebrate. He shot 59 at another course in Arizona just two weeks prior and earned his way into the WM Phoenix Open field through the Monday Qualifier – his first-ever Monday effort for a tournament that wasn’t the RBC Canadian Open.
Papineau would go on to shoot 73-73 and miss the cut at 4-over. But he said he’ll take a ton of great learnings away from the week as he starts to put together a 2022 campaign.
“I was a little disappointed with missing the cut and overall not playing better around the green. But from tee to green, it was a really good week,” he said. “I gave myself a lot of great opportunities on the greens but unfortunately I wasn’t able to capitalize on them.
That particular PGA Tour event happens to be the rowdiest of any on the schedule, with upwards of a quarter-million fans on site through the week. Spectators on TPC Scottsdale’s par-3 16th (some 17,000 on Friday and Saturday) bared witness to two holes-in-one on the weekend and showered the green with beer.
Papineau nearly made a birdie on 16 in the first round – once he hit the green with his tee shot the crowd went nuts and he lifted his arms in the air to get them hyped up even more – but he three-putted No.16 in his second round.
“I got booed a lot, but I just laughed,” he said. “It was still awesome. It was not the right place to make a three putt, but even though I got booed, it was fun.”
The native of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que. admitted he was trying to navigate some serious nerves prior to teeing off Thursday. He was warming up on the driving range prior to his opening round and he said he had his caddie – fellow Golf Canada team member Chris Crisologo – try to calm him down.
“But once I stepped on the tee and they announced my name it was time to play. I was a little nervous then, but a great feeling,” said Papineau.
Papineau played the first two rounds with Sahith Theegala, who was in the field on a Sponsor Exemption. Theegala would end up playing in the penultimate group on Sunday and finished just one shot out of a playoff (the tournament was eventually won by Scottie Scheffler). Papineau said the second round, with Theegala leading, lots of people were out following them. The crowd was “going nuts” as Theegala climbed the leaderboard.
Despite the missed cut, Papineau stuck around TPC Scottsdale for the weekend and actually cheered for Theegala on Sunday in person. Papineau walked around the course and popped his head back into the locker room on Saturday before spending all of Sunday with his dad and three friends in a hospitality area near the 17th green – with tickets courtesy the PGA Tour.
As far as what’s next for Papineau, he said he’d be returning to Montreal for two weeks to see his family and girlfriend. Papineau’s sister just gave birth to a daughter, he said, so he’s especially excited to see his new niece. Afterwards he plans to return to the U.S. to prepare for PGA Tour Canada Q-School in March and is keen to parlay his WM Phoenix Open appearance into a few Sponsor Exemptions on PGA Tour Latinoamerica, where he has conditional status. “It’s kind of back to normal,” said Papineau, “but hopefully I’ll keep playing some good golf like the last month and keep things rolling.”
Brendan MacDougall: A positive and patient approach
Brendan MacDougall/ Golf Canada
Brendan MacDougall was introduced to the game of golf during his early childhood and it’s become his biggest passion in life. Today, the 24-year-old is one of Canada’s top amateur prospects and has ambitions of competing professionally at the highest level one day.
“I was fortunate that my parents introduced me to the sport at a very young age,” recalled MacDougall, a fourth year member of Golf Canada’s National Team Program.
“When I was three I was hitting plastic golf balls in our backyard and a couple of years later I started hitting actual golf balls,” said MacDougall, who was born in Newport Beach, Calif., and moved to Calgary during his childhood years.
While California had consistent golf weather year round, when young Brendan moved to Alberta his love for the sport remained consistent.
In the seventh grade, MacDougall remembers having thoughts that he was going to be a professional golfer one day.
“It may have just been a pipe dream at the time because I was so young but having that goal made me work a bit harder and be a bit more disciplined.” he noted.
MacDougall says he didn’t spend much time socialising outside of school or going to parties. Instead, he realized golf was his hobby and passion and he was happy to be spending five or six days a week working on his game in practise.
MacDougall’s talents on the golf course would earn him a Division I scholarship to High Point University in North Carolina.
“After I got to High Point University that’s when I really started thinking that my childhood dream of playing golf professionally could be a reality,” he said. “I was determined to put everything I had into and see where it took me.”
After completing his freshman year, he scored a big victory at the 2017 Alberta Match Play Championship. MacDougall beat out a talented field of amateurs to secure the most significant win of his career up to that point.
“Some of the guys in the field were older than me by a few years and I remember looking up to them in high school. So to win that tournament against those fantastic golfers it gave me confidence and made me believe that I could take golf as far as I wanted to take it,” said MacDougall, who would repeat as champion in 2018.
The talented young Canadian would score his first NCAA tournament victory in 2018 as he captured The Big South Championship.
“I started off a little slow but I got incredibly hot for the last 45 holes and I ended up winning the tournament by five or six shots,” he pointed out. “Some don’t get to win a tournament in college and to have my first win at a conference championship was something really special; and it got me into my first NCAA regionals.”
Another notable NCAA triumph came in March of 2020 when he won The Challenge at the Concession.
“We were in Florida for our spring break and it was the last tournament before everything shut down because of the pandemic,” he recalled.
“It was great to win the tournament but it was also super rewarding that as a team we came in second in front of a lot of great teams. And the best part was the bus ride back with the team.”
For his fifth year of NCAA eligibility, MacDougall transferred to the University of Nevada and played in all eight events during his final season of eligibility with the Wolf Pack.
MacDougall says his success wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the National Team Program.
National Team head coach Derek Ingram says the 5-foot-8-inch amateur standout has come a long way during his time in the program.
“Brendan is much more mature and professional in his approach to playing the game. He is longer off the tee and he had to add distance to compete at the highest level – it’s a work in progress but he’s made a lot of improvements,” Ingram noted.
“I love Brendan’s routines – quick, committed and athletic. His pre-shot routine reminds me of Corey Conners or Ricky Fowler. He rides positive momentum really well and is both aggressive and smart.”
For his part, MacDougall has nothing but praise for his National Team head coach.
“Derek is such a great coach and a great person and is dedicated to helping us be the best version of ourselves on the golf course and off. I truly appreciate everything Derek and Golf Canada has done for my game.”
MacDougall points out that one of his biggest short-term goals is to gain status on the MacKenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada.
Ingram says if the talented young Canadian amateur continues to apply himself and make the necessary adjustments, he likes MacDougall’s chances of competing professionally at the highest level one day.
“Brendan needs to continue to gain more distance and be more explosive. This will give him shorter clubs in on holes and allow him to play out of the rough much more effectively. He also needs to continue to work on not getting too down and beating himself up – as golf tends to do. I like a positive and patient Brendan MacDougall’s chances,” said Ingram.
As he prepares for a transition from amateur to the professional ranks, the fourth year member of the National Team Program is motivated by the success of others who have gone through the program such as Taylor Pendrith, Mackenzie Hughes, and Corey Conners – just to name a few.
“Its inspiring to know that these players have all been where I am. And I know if I’m working hard and doing what I should be doing, there’s a chance that I could be where they are in five or six years,” said MacDougall.
“It’s a credit to them for being able to pave the way for players like me coming up. And one day I would really like to be able to do that for the younger players also.”
Golf Canada names athletes selected to 2022 Team Canada
Golf Canada is pleased to announce the group of 46 junior and amateur athletes selected as part of the Team Canada player development program for 2022. Professional players who will be part of Team Canada in 2022 will be determined and announced in January.
The announcement marks a significant roster increase, adding 17 additional male and female athletes to the previous year’s Team Canada amateur and junior squads. The larger program size will increase the number of top developing players who receive nationally supervised coaching and support and will grow the pool of future high-potential Canadian professional golfers.
The athlete roster expansion reflects a restructuring to accommodate the growing talent pool in Canadian golf and is financially supported by contributions from Golf Canada Foundation’s network of Trustees, Golf Canada corporate partners, and a slight reallocation of Golf Canada resources. Golf Canada will also expand its group of Team Canada coaches to effectively support the larger roster of athletes.
“This is an exciting period for Canadian golf, and we are intensifying the National Team Player Development Program,” said Kevin Blue, chief sport officer with Golf Canada. “We are in the process of additional analysis and strategic planning, and we look forward to further system enhancements in 2022 with the goal of helping more Canadian players reach the LPGA and PGA TOUR.”
Team Canada’s 2022 National Amateur Squad consists of 21 athletes, including eight women and 13 men. The Junior Squad totals 25 athletes including 12 female and 13 male U19 athletes ages 14-18.
The athletes representing Team Canada have all achieved impressive results at regional, provincial, national, and international competitions, including NCAA tournament wins and victories at prestigious amateur and junior competitions. The athletes have also benefited in their development from support though their respective provincial golf associations, personal coaches, home golf clubs and families.
“Supporting the Team Canada program and the next generation of Canadian golf talent is a major priority of the Foundation and our Trustee donors,” said Martin Barnard, Golf Canada Foundation CEO. “Together with program partners we are proud to provide a network of support for the continued growth of Canadian golf at the highest levels.”Athletes named to the Team Canada Amateur Squad who are expected to turn professional in 2022 will continue to receive support from Golf Canada during their transition.
The National Junior Squad features 25 athletes (12 women and 13 men).
In September, Golf Canada hosted a selection camp at TPC Toronto in Caledon, Ont., for additional training and performance opportunities for junior golfers in contention for the National Junior Squad. In partnership with the Provincial Golf Associations and personal coaches, all golfers participated in a series of testing modules followed by a 54-hole competition.
National Junior Squad players will be supported with coaching from the Golf Canada national coaching staff and by experts in the areas of mental performance, physiotherapy, biomechanics, and nutrition.
From March through early May, some Junior Squad members will practice out of Golf Canada’s National Training Centre at Bear Mountain—the fifth year that the program has provided spring training for athletes during the second semester of their school year.
Golf Canada is pleased to announce the 2022 Team Canada coaching staff that will support both the National Amateur and Junior Squads.
For the amateur squads, Derek Ingram of Winnipeg, Man., returns as men’s head coach with support from new assistant coaches Benoit Lemieux of Montréal, Qué., and Louis Melanson from Moncton, N.B. On the women’s side, Tristan Mullally of Dundas, Ont., returns as head coach, supported by assistant coach Salimah Mussani of Vancouver as well as an additional women’s assistant coach to be named in the coming weeks.
On the junior side, Robert Ratcliffe of Comox, B.C., will lead the Junior Squads, supported by assistant coach Jennifer Greggain, of Langford, B.C.
Athletes will also access Team Canada’s sport science team, which includes physiotherapists Greg Redman and Andrea Kosa, psychologist Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, and strength and conditioning coach Bryan Katz. Junior athletes will also receive supplemental support from the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific in the areas of mental performance and nutrition.
Ingram, Mullally, Ratcliffe, Greggain, Mussani, Lemieux and Melanson are all PGA of Canada members.
Golf Canada links with PUMA Golf to infuse style and performance into Team Canada program
Golf Canada and PUMA Golf have announced an expansion of their partnership, naming PUMA as the Official Apparel and Headwear Partner of Golf Canada’s National Team Program.
As part of the three-year agreement, Team Canada players, coaches, and support staff with the National Amateur and Junior Squads will exclusively wear PUMA’s premium golf apparel and headwear when representing Team Canada. In addition, athletes and coaches named to Team Canada for the 2024 Olympic Golf Competition in Paris will also wear PUMA Golf’s apparel and headwear as part of the field-of-play uniform kit.
“PUMA Golf has become an incredibly strong and integrated supporter across a number of Golf Canada programs and properties, and we are extremely proud to extend that partnership across high performance and our National Team Program,” said Golf Canada Chief Commercial Officer John Sibley. “This a very exciting period in Canadian high-performance golf and we are excited to begin outfitting Team Canada athletes, coaches and support staff in PUMA’s extensive collection of advanced performance apparel and headwear.”
That collection includes numerous innovative technologies, including the company’s breakthrough CLOUDSPUN and MATTR material in its apparel. The extension of Puma Canada’s support into Golf Canada’s National Team Program represents a deeper, stronger, and more integrated partnership with the National Sport Federation that dates back many years. In 2014, COBRA PUMA GOLF became the official headwear, apparel, footwear and equipment partner for Golf Canada’s Junior Skills Challenge, an interactive program focused on developing the key golf skills of putting, chipping, and driving among youth.
“We are very excited to support all the talented athletes and staff within the Team Canada High Performance Program and strengthen our partnership with Golf Canada,” said Dwayne Boecker, Head of Golf at COBRA PUMA GOLF – Canada. “This opportunity to connect with the next generation of great players in this country will broaden our brand appeal and presence in golf. The iconic PUMA Cat owns a rich history in international competition, and we look forward to seeing Canada’s best amateur golfers continue that success in our gear.”
Team Canada athletes, coaches and support staff will wear official PUMA Golf apparel and headwear when representing Canada beginning November 1, 2021, through to the end of 2024. The full roster of 2022 Team Canada athletes and coaches named to the National Amateur and Junior Squads will be announced next week.
Canada captures 2nd place finish in combined team event at Spirit International
TRINITY, Texas – A pair of Canadians made their mark south of the border in Saturday’s final round of the Spirit International at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Johnny Travale of Stoney Creek, Ont., led the way for the Canadians in the men’s division. The 20-year-old held the lead for the opening two rounds and closed with a solo third finish at 3 under par (67-71-75). Teammate Henry Lee of Coquitlam, B.C., finished the stroke play event at 2 over par — good for a ninth place tie.
Collectively, the Canadian men finished alone in third place with a combined score of 431 (137-143-151). Pacing the group were the Swedes, who finished two strokes ahead at 3 under par, followed by the Americans at 2 under.
In the women’s division, former Drive, Chip & Putt champion Savannah Grewal impressed with a third place finish. The Mississauga, Ont., native played a consistent tournament with rounds of 71-69-71 to close at 5 under par. Fellow countrywoman Noémie Paré of Victoriaville, Que., finished in a tie for 27th at 15 over par.
Together the women finished in sole possession of sixth place at 10 over par collectively. The United States took home the title, followed by Switzerland in second and France in third.
In the combined event, Canada finished in second place behind the United States with a score of 7 under. The 54-hole competition combined each country’s top-three scores from each round of play, with the high score being discarded.
Coach Salimah Mussani accompanied the teams in Texas and was more than pleased with the results.
“We’re very proud of what this group accomplished this week in such a prestigious event on the calendar,” said Mussani, a PGA of Canada Class ‘A’ member. “There are many positives to build on and we can’t wait to get back to work to keep striving for strong results across the board.”
The Spirit alumni have gone on to win over 650 professional titles, 25 major championships and 17 Olympic appearances. They include 16 PGA Tour winners, 25 European Tour winners, 23 LPGA Tour winners and 21 Ladies European Tour winners.
The event featured world-class amateurs from over 20 countries across six continents. Conducted at the Whispering Pines Golf Club since its inception in 2001, the Spirit is a biennial event alternating years with the World Amateur Team Championship. The Spirit is hosted by the World Health & Golf Association, a charitable organization dedicated to promoting amateur golf for the benefit of health related reasons.
Conners, Hughes & Pendrith inducted into Kent State Hall of Fame
Mackenzie Hughes, Corey Conners, Taylor Pendrith (Getty Images)
Lara Kuipers/ Golf Canada
The Canadian trio of Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes, and Taylor Pendrith were inducted together into the Kent State University Varsity “K” Hall of Fame as members of the 2021 Class on Oct. 9.
“Kent State has meant the world to my family. I met my wife Jenna there. We named our first son, Kenton, after Kent,” said Hughes in a tweet on Monday.
Hughes, from Dundas, Ont., was the first of the three current PGA TOUR golfers to make the journey to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio to play for the men’s golf team. Hughes played on the team between 2008 and 2012 and was named the MAC Freshman of the Year in his first season and was named to the First Team All-MAC in his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.
Conners, from Listowel, Ont., and Pendrith, from Richmond Hill, Ont., joined their fellow Ontario native at Kent State for the 2010-2011 season, and they both played for the Golden Flashes until 2014.
Both Pendrith and Conners were named to the First Team All-MAC in their corresponding sophomore, junior and senior seasons. And while Conners was named the MAC Golfer of the Year for the 2011-12 season, Pendrith grabbed the MAC Golfer of the Year title for the following season. Conners and Pendrith were named the MAC Golfer of the Year together in their senior season.
Following his time at Kent State, Hughes went to the Mackenzie Tour the following golf season in 2013, where he finished first on the Order of Merit, earning him Korn Ferry Tour status for the 2014 season. Hughes eventually earned PGA TOUR status a few years later, for the 2017 season, where he’d go on to win The RSM Classic in just his fifth event of the season.
In 2020, Hughes advanced to the TOUR Championship for the first time, finishing on the FedEx Cup standings at No. 14.
Following his time playing for the Golden Flashes, Conners joined the Mackenzie Tour in 2015, and then the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2016. He earned status on the Korn Ferry Tour for 2017, and after just one season, Conners quickly moved up the ranks to join his Kent State teammate, Hughes, on the top tour. In April 2019, Conners entered the Monday Qualifier to get into the Valero Texas Open field, and then went on to earn his first career PGA TOUR win at the event. He’d later advance to the TOUR Championship that same season, and again in 2021.
Joining his Kent State teammates on the PGA TOUR for the first time this season is Pendrith, who earned his status after finishing No. 7 on the Korn Ferry Tour’s point list for the combined 2020-21 season. Like Conners, Pendrith first joined the Mackenzie Tour in 2015. He’d go on to bounce between the Canadian tour and the Korn Ferry Tour over the course of five years before breaking through to the PGA TOUR in 2021.
Salimah Mussani named Assistant Coach of Golf Canada’s National Women’s Amateur and Young Pro Squads
Salimah Mussani has been named Assistant Coach of Golf Canada’s National Women’s Amateur and Young Pro Squads. Working alongside head coach Tristan Mullally, Mussani will play an integral part in the development of Canada’s top female amateur and professional golfers.
Mussani is a PGA of Canada class “A” professional who was born in Ontario and now resides in Vancouver. She played golf and graduated from Stanford University before competing as a professional on the Symetra and LPGA Tours, as well as the former Canadian Women’s Tour.
A two-time Ontario Junior champion and two-time Canadian Junior champion, Mussani brings a wealth of competitive experience having won seven professional events worldwide – including an event on the Symetra Tour, two Canadian Women’s Tour events, and the PGA of Canada Women’s Championship.
“Salimah brings a wealth of high-performance experience, both playing and coaching from her time on various Tours and coaching in the NCAA,” said Mullally, head coach of the National Women’s Amateur and Young Professional Squads. “She is an amazing addition to our coaching staff and an essential part of supporting Canadian players in their quest for professional success.”
Mussani’s first coaching assignment was as an assistant coach of the women’s golf team at Stanford University from 2008-2010. Since returning to Canada, Mussani has served as a volunteer assistant to the University of British Columbia’s Golf Team and currently works as an instructor at a number of established clubs in British Columbia, including the Vancouver Golf Club.