Brittany Marchand Chris Crisologo Hugo Bernard Jaclyn Lee Jared du Toit Joey Savoie Maddie Szeryk Stuart Macdonald Taylor Pendrith Team Canada

Golf Canada names 10 athletes to 2021 Team Canada Young Pro Squad

Golf Canada names 2021 Young Pro Squad

OAKVILLE, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada is pleased to announce the 10 athletes who have been selected to represent the 2021 Team Canada Young Pro Squad. Comprising the 2021 Women’s Young Pro Squad will be returnees Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ont.), Jaclyn Lee (Calgary, Alta.), and Maddie Szeryk (London, Ont.). After becoming a first-time mom in July, Golf Canada is also pleased to welcome back Anne-Catherine Tanguay (Quebec City, Que.) to the Young Pro Squad as she makes her return to the LPGA Tour.

The 2021 Men’s Young Pro Squad features a six-pack of familiar athletes led by Taylor Pendrith (Richmond Hill, Ont.). Other members of the Men’s Young Pro Squad for 2021 include Jared du Toit (Kimberley, B.C.), Chris Crisologo (Richmond, B.C.), Stuart Macdonald (Vancouver, B.C.), Joey Savoie (La Prairie, Que.), and Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.).

For the bulk of the athletes returning to the Young Pro Squad, 2021 is an opportunity to build of off the adversity of 2020 and take a next step in their developing careers.

“This is a very exciting time for young professional golfers in Canada, and we are really looking forward to seeing their continued success in 2021,” said Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Kevin Blue. “For most of the athletes returning to the Squad, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on scheduling, training, and competition in 2020. With the support of our key partners and the drive these athletes have to overcome adversity and succeed, I’m positive we’ll see even more great results from this talented group of athletes.”

Men’s and Women’s National Team coaches Derek Ingram and Tristan Mullally – both award-winning PGA of Canada members – will continue as head coaches for the Young Pro Squad.

Now in its eighth year, the Team Canada Young Pro Squad helps to bridge the gap for top-performing amateurs transitioning into professional golf. Click here to read Team Canada Young Pro Squad player bios.

EMERGING PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Golf Canada Foundation has also announced the creation of a new award – the Emerging Professional Player of the Year Award, presented by Andrew Cook. The inaugural recipients of the award are Young Pro athletes Taylor Pendrith and Maddie Szeryk who will each receive $10,000 towards their continued development in professional golf.

Andrew Cook, a proud Trustee of the Golf Canada Foundation and past President with Golf Canada, established a $20,000 fund to annually recognize a top male and female emerging Canadian professional golfer from the Young Pro Squad having success on golf’s developmental.

“I am very pleased to partner with Golf Canada and Golf Canada Foundation to launch the Emerging Pro Player of the Year Award, as an additional incentive to Canadian professionals around the globe,” said Cook. “As a long-time volunteer of the game, I appreciate the power our heroes have in inspiring the next generation of young players, and my wife (Anne) and I are excited to help continue the tremendous success of the Young Pro Program.”

“We are so excited to announce Taylor and Maddie as our first Emerging Professional Players of the Year,” said Martin Barnard, CEO of the Canada Foundation. “Thanks to the continued generosity of Andrew Cook, we are able to reward these two deserving young professionals with additional financial support that will have an important impact as they chase their dreams.”

Pendrith, a long-time part of Golf Canada’s National Team as an amateur and now a professional, had a breakout year on the Korn Ferry Tour. He currently sits second on the Korn Ferry Tour’s Season Long Points List thanks to five top-3 finishes in 2020. Pendrith also finished T23 at the U.S. Open (finishing as Low Canadian) and jumped from 399th to 128th in the Official World Golf Ranking – all of this just one year after he played on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada.

Szeryk notched her second win as a professional in 2020 in her second year as a pro. In 2020, she also recorded her career-low Symetra Tour finish (T11, FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship) and ended the year as Top Canadian on the Symetra Tour. There were only 10 events on the Symetra Tour last year and the gap between men’s and women’s professional golf opportunities widened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current and former team members of the Young Pro Squad, which was established in 2014, have accounted for 43 wins across various professional golf tours including a record nine LPGA Tour wins by Brooke Henderson along with PGA TOUR wins from Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners.

Funding for this program, in large part, comes from the Golf Canada Foundation with generous contributions from founding partners RBC and Canadian Pacific, as well as supporting partners Citi Canada and Bear Mountain Resort – the Official Training Centre of Golf Canada’s National Team program.

“RBC is proud to support the next generation of Canadian golfers through the Young Pro program” said David Agnew, CEO, RBC Wealth Management Canada, “It’s exciting for us to watch golfers we supported as amateurs, like Corey Conners, Brooke Henderson and Mackenzie Hughes, succeed as professionals.”

“From the CP Women’s Open and our deep involvement with Team Canada to ambassador partnerships with Brooke Henderson and Lorie Kane, CP is proud to support these talented athletes representing Canada on the world stage,” added James Clements, Canadian Pacific. “As the best team in the railroading business knows, precision and excellence require a strong team. We are extremely proud to be part of the great team supporting these young professionals in their golf journey.”

PGA of Canada Team Canada

Derek Ingram named 2020 Coach of the Year

Derek Ingram
Derek Ingram (Tyler Costigan/ Golf Canada)

The topsy-turvy nature of the 2020 golf season ultimately produced one of the busiest years in the history of the game. The sport’s sudden demand required innovation, flexibility, and, perhaps most importantly, hard work and long hours by PGA of Canada professionals from coast to coast. All members of the association are worthy of accolades for their efforts, highlighted by the 2020 PGA of Canada National Award winners.

“I’ve never been so proud to be a PGA of Canada member. The resilience and commitment to safety shown by our association during the early stages of the pandemic and throughout the 2020 golf season was inspirational,” said Teejay Alderdice, PGA of Canada President. “I’d like to congratulate our 2020 PGA of Canada Award winners and finalists. We experienced a year like no other in 2020 and this group led the way in achieving a successful season.”

Among those being honoured is Derek Ingram, Men’s Head Coach of Team Canada’s Young Pro Squad. After training a team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and finding new ways to stay connected, he is being recognized for utilizing innovative coaching methods in the midst of unpredictability.

The 2020 PGA of Canada National Awards ceremony was conducted virtually with TSN personalities Bob Weeks and Kayla Grey, along with St. George’s Golf and Country Club General Manager Ian Leggatt, serving as hosts.

“It is unfortunate that we could not gather in Orlando at the PGA Merchandise Show to celebrate as we normally would, but the show must go on and our virtual rollout ensured our winners were recognized in front of their peers as they so richly deserve,” said Kevin Thistle, PGA of Canada CEO.

2020 PGA of Canada National Award Winners

Ben Kern Coach of the Year – Derek Ingram

Team Canada men’s head coach Derek Ingram took on even greater responsibilities in 2020, overseeing Golf Canada’s entire development program. He was one of the first coaches to use remote connection tools like CoachNow to work with his many students — including PGA Tour winner Corey Conners — and he shared his golf wisdom on social media with his popular Garage Series tips. Derek also operates a high-performance program at Elmhurst Golf and Country Club in his native Manitoba, where many of his pupils are ranked among the province’s top juniors. Derek is now a four-time national award winner, having been the 2003 Junior Leader of the Year and the 2003 and 2007 Coach of the Year.

Click here to view finalists for this award.
Moe Norman Apprentice Professional of the Year – Krysta Schaus

From running tournaments to making merchandising decisions to custom fitting and teaching lessons, Krysta Schaus is an integral and versatile member of the Toronto Golf Club team. Krysta has a strong desire to grow the game among juniors and women — leading clinics at TGC for both groups — and she has been continuous in her pursuit of further education by seeking out mentors and completing various courses and seminars. The Erskine College and Gardner-Webb University alum also represents Toronto Golf Club in various competitive events.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Pat Fletcher Retailer of the Year – Dean Ingalls

Remarkably, Dean Ingalls led the Silver Springs Golf and Country Club shop to a record sales year in 2020. The now two-time Pat Fletcher Retailer of the Year Award winner created Vision 2020, whereby staff members were put in charge of individual categories and asked to maximize sales with creative ideas. Silver Springs also sent members daily value pricing videos that were often injected with humour as shop staff modelled clothing and showcased products. Sidewalk sales, customized water bottles, and constant shop reorganization were other retailing techniques that Ingalls spearheaded.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Tex Noble Award for Professional Development – Derrik Goodwin

Derrik Goodwin continues to show extreme devotion to his craft. The St. Charles Country Club assistant professional devours all things golf education to better himself. This is evidenced by his winning four-straight Manitoba Teacher of the Year and four-straight Manitoba Junior Leader of the Year awards. He’s also won two-straight Manitoba Class A Professional of the Year awards. Derrik is certified in numerous platforms and shares his knowledge with both his peers and students on social media platforms and on his own website.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Stan Leonard Class A Professional of the Year – Derrik Goodwin

Derrik Goodwin continues to add to his impressive trophy case. With thorough knowledge in numerous teaching technologies, such as TrackMan, Foresight Sports, K-Vest, and Quintic, Derrik brings a wealth of knowledge to members of St. Charles Country Club and to the players on the golf teams at the University of Manitoba, where he is the director and head coach. In addition, Derrik is a vital member of the St. Charles golf staff — running leagues, tournaments, club fitting, introductory clinics, the junior program, and the Future Links Learn to Play program. He also volunteers his time to numerous initiatives, such as the PGA of Manitoba’s Future Pros program.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

George Knudson Teacher of the Year – Gareth Raflewski

Gareth Raflewski has the largest and most successful stable of touring pros of any golf coach in Canada. Among his many students on the LPGA Tour are World Number One Jin Young Ko, Lydia Ko, Nelly Korda and Ariya and Moria Jutanugarn. On the PGA Tour, his pupils include Michael Gligic and Hudson Swafford. Based out of RiverBend Golf Community in London, Ontario, in 2020 Gareth partnered with the Slieve Russell Hotel and Golf Club in his native Ireland to open his first golf academy outside of Canada. The short-game specialist has his own line of training aids and an online subscription platform with live lessons and on-course training for all levels.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year – Louis Melanson

Louis Melanson’s name is synonymous with junior golf in New Brunswick. He’s been the provincial coach for Golf New Brunswick for the past 14 years. He is the Atlantic Canada director for the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour. He serves on the New Brunswick Junior Golf Committee. And at the Louis Melanson Golf Academy at Fox Creek Golf Club there were a whopping 156 junior members in 2020 — more than 10 times the number from when Louis first took over the program. The 2017 Sports New Brunswick coach of the year is also a seven-time Atlantic Zone teacher of the year and presides over the only Sport Études program in Atlantic Canada.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Warren Crosbie Community Leader of the Year – Muncie Booth

A 40-plus-year PGA of Canada member, Muncie Booth is the head professional at the City of Vancouver’s McCleery Golf Course and was previously the director of golf at both McCleery and Langara. That means he’s dedicated much of his career to municipal golf. In 1999 Muncie founded the Inner City Youth golf program designed to introduce golf to children of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Despite hurdles along the way, it has doubled in size and continues to teach kids the valuable life lessons golf offers. A leader in inclusive hiring, Munice was recognized by Community Living BC in 2005 with a Widening Our World award.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Dick Munn Executive Professional of the Year – Rene MacKay

Rene MacKay has led Ken-Wo Golf Club through an impressive transformation over the years, broadening club access to women and juniors, incorporating off-season events with golf simulators, and developing a team atmosphere among staff that has not gone unnoticed by members. Ken-Wo’s director of golf operations was a key member of the Nova Scotia Return to Play task force in 2020, and was also Atlantic Canada’s top retailer in 2020. As a testament to his overall dedication, Rene led the Atlantic Zone’s Professional Recognition Program ledger in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Murray Tucker Club Professional of the Year – Dean Ingalls

A double-award winner in 2020, Dean Ingalls is the Cub Professional of the Year as well as the Retailer of the Year. Ingalls showed tremendous leadership in the early days of the pandemic, taking shifts with the turf department and helping food and beverage with curbside pickup. Once the extreme busyness of the season set in, Dean ensured Silver Springs ran smoothly, developing programs for new golfers and leagues for seasoned members. He continued to mentor young pros and he did not let 2020 impede his charitable nature. As one example, Dean used proceeds from customized water bottle sales to buy back $9,000 worth of unsold 2019 inventory and donate the clothing to a women’s shelter.

Click here to view finalists for this award.

Team Canada

National Junior Squad’s Emily Zhu wins Junior Orange Bowl Championship

Emily Zhu

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Canadian golfer Emily Zhu has captured the girls division of the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl Invitational.

The 16 year old from Richmond Hill, Ont., finished 7 under for the 72-hole tournament on Wednesday, three strokes ahead of Antonia Matte of Chile.

“It’s amazing,” said Zhu, “I hadn’t won a tournament in a while, so it’s really nice. It’s a great way to start 2021.”

Zhu, a member of Golf Canada’s national team, was the Canadian junior girls champion in 2019. She also tied for eighth at the Orange Bowl that year.

Zhu took a three-shot advantage into the final day, but saw Matte use four birdies in a seven-hole stretch to close within one with six holes remaining. Two bogeys down the stretch, though, kept Matte from getting any closer.

“I think I understood what I had to shoot,” Zhu said, “and I was just trying to shoot that as best as possible.”

In the Orange Bowl boys event, Jean-Philippe Parr of St-Celestin, Que., was third, seven shots behind winner Sebastian Moss of the U.S.

Moss and Zhu are the newest names set for engraving onto a Junior Orange Bowl International trophy already featuring Tiger Woods (1991), Hall of Famer Inbee Park (2002) and LPGA major winners Cristie Kerr (1994), Lexi Thompson (2009), Ariya Jutanugarn (2010) and Brooke Henderson (2013).

 

 

Zhu goes into the books as Canada’s third champion, following Henderson and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc (2006). With this championship, she ends a winless drought that had reached 17 months and prompted a swing change over the summer.

“It was frustrating that I couldn’t play like I’m capable of playing,” said Zhu, whose most recent win had been the 2019 Canadian Junior Championship. “I couldn’t show it in my scores. That was the most frustrating part. But I’m glad that I’ve settled it and pretty much got my golf in check.”

 

The Golf Championship is one of 15 athletic, artistic and cultural events that make up the Junior Orange Bowl International Youth Festival, which celebrates its 72nd anniversary in 2020-21. The festival draws more than 7,500 youth participants to South Florida’s community each year.

 

Team Canada

Golf Canada announces 2021 National Amateur and Junior Squads

2021 Team Canada golf

OAKVILLE, Ont. – Golf Canada is pleased to announce the names of the 29 athletes, male and female, who have been selected to represent Team Canada as part of the 2021 National Amateur and Junior Squads.

Fifteen athletes will compete on Team Canada’s National Amateur Squad, consisting of eight players on the men’s squad and seven on the women’s squad.

The announcement marks a significant increase in roster size, adding six athletes to the previous year’s team. The roster expansion is due in large part to a restructuring of team resources in addition to increased funding support from the Golf Canada Foundation’s network of Trustee partners.

“We are very pleased to extend the reach of the Team Canada program to support more of the country’s top athletes,” said Derek Ingram, Head Coach of the National Men’s Squads. “The new program structure allows our coaching staff to focus more resources on training and sport science with each athlete’s individual results used to determine their respective competitive schedule.”

Team Canada’s 2021 Squad members have all competed and achieved impressive results at regional, national, and international competitions, including medals at the Pan-Am Games, NCAA tournament wins and victories at prestigious amateur competitions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all athletes from the 2020 Squad were able to return in 2021, provided they met team eligibility criteria.

“We are very excited with the athletes selected – they represent a mix of returning team members as well as talented up-and-coming athletes,” said Tristan Mullally, Head Coach of the National Women’s Squads. “It is a new chapter for amateur golf in Canada and we have a tremendous group of ambassadors representing our country.”

The following athletes have been selected to Team Canada’s 2021 Amateur Squad:

WOMEN’S AMATEUR SQUAD

Taylor Kehoe | Strathroy, Ont. – West Haven Golf & Country Club
Alisha Lau | Richmond, B.C. – Marine Drive Golf Club
Noémie Paré | Victoriaville, Qué. – Club de golf de Victoriaville
Mary Parsons | Delta, B.C. – Mayfair Lakes Golf Club
Sarah-Ève Rhéaume | Québec, Qué. – Club de golf Royal Québec
Brigitte Thibault | Rosemère, Qué. – Club de golf de Rosemère
Brooke Rivers | Brampton, Ont. – Brampton Golf Club

MEN’S AMATEUR SQUAD

Matthew Anderson | Mississauga, Ont. – Credit Valley Golf & Country Club
Cougar Collins | Caledon, Ont. – TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley
Laurent Desmarchais | Longueuil, Qué. – Club de golf de la Vallée du Richelieu
Noah Steele | Kingston, Ont. – Cataraqui Golf & Country Club
Henry Lee | Coquitlam, B.C. – Public Player
Brendan MacDougall | Calgary, Alta. – Glencoe Golf and Country Club
Étienne Papineau | St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qué. – Club de golf Pinegrove
Johnny Travale | Hamilton, Ont. – Glendale Golf & Country Club

Click here to read full player bios.


National Junior Squads

The National Junior Squad—a U19 program—features fourteen athletes (seven girls and seven boys).

In September, Golf Canada hosted a selection camp at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, B.C., to evaluate Canada’s top juniors. In partnership with the Provincial Golf Associations, all golfers were run through a series of testing modules followed by a 54-hole competition.

From March through early June, the Junior Squad will practice out of Golf Canada’s National Training Centre at Bear Mountain—the fourth year that the program has provided centralized training, accommodation and education for athletes during the second semester of their school year. Team members will be immersed in a focused centre of excellence, surrounded by world-class technical coaching staff and experts in the areas of mental performance, physiotherapy, biomechanics, and nutrition.

The following athletes have been selected to Team Canada’s 2021 Junior Squad:

JUNIOR GIRLS SQUAD

Angela Arora | Surrey, B.C. – Beach Grove Golf Club
Katie Cranston | Oakville, Ont. – Oakville Golf Club
Nicole Gal | Oakville, Ont. – Oakville Golf Club
Jennifer Gu | West Vancouver, B.C. – Seymour Golf & Country Club
Lauren Kim | Surrey, B.C. –  Morgan Creek Golf Club
Michelle Liu | Vancouver, B.C. – Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club
Emily Zhu | Richmond Hill, Ont. – National Pines Golf Club

JUNIOR BOYS SQUAD

Willy Bishop | Victoria, B.C. – Victoria Golf Club
Félix Bouchard | Otterburn Park, Que. –  Club de golf de la Vallée du Richelieu
Malik Dao | Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Qué. – Summerlea Golf & Country Club
Ashton McCulloch | Kingston, Ont. – Cataraqui Golf & Country Club
Owen Mullen | Shortts Lake, N.S. – Truro Golf Club
JP Parr | St-Célestin, Qué. – Club de golf Ki-8-eb Golf
Hunter Thomson | Calgary, Alta. – Glencoe Golf & Country Club

Click here to read full player bios.


Team Canada Coaching Staff Announced 

Golf Canada is pleased to announce the 2021 Team Canada coaching staff that will support both the National Amateur and Junior Squads.

For the amateur squads, Derek Ingram of Winnipeg returns as men’s head coach with support from assistant coach Andrew Parr of London, Ont. On the women’s side, Tristan Mullally of Dundas, Ont., returns as head coach.

On the junior side, Robert Ratcliffe of Comox, B.C., will lead the centralized Junior Squads at the National Training Centre in Bear Mountain for the fourth year. He will receive support from newly named coach Jennifer Greggain, also of Comox, B.C.

Players will have access to Team Canada’s sport science staff, which includes physiotherapist Greg Redman and Psychologist Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood supporting the men’s team with physiotherapist Andrea Kosa and mental performance consultant Christie Gialloreto supporting the women. The Junior Squads will continue to receive sport science support from the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific in the areas of strength & conditioning, physiotherapy, mental performance, and nutrition.

“Team Canada has shown tremendous success and the coaching staff is well-positioned to lead the increased roster of athletes along with the centralized training program at Bear Mountain,” said Laurence Applebaum, Golf Canada Chief Executive Officer. “Along with every area of the business, we will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 to ensure the health and well-being of the athletes and coaches. We now look ahead to helping shape the bright futures of Canada’s top up-and-coming athletes looking to follow in the footsteps of graduates such as Brooke Henderson, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes.”

Mullally, Ingram, Ratcliffe, Greggain and Parr are all PGA of Canada members.

Golf Canada will announce the selection of the 2021 Team Canada Young Pro Squad in January.

Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada Team Canada

Team Canada’s Laurent Desmarchais goes wire-to-wire to win Canada Life Series title

Laurent Desmarchais
Laurent Desmarchais (Golf Canada)

CALEDON, Ont. — It was a wild back nine for Laurent Desmarchais during the final round of the season-ending Canada Life Series Championship at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley. The amateur made four birdies and two bogeys to go with two pars—none bigger than the 10-footer he rolled in on the final hole to shoot a final-round 67 that gave him a one-shot triumph over Callum Davison.

While he doesn’t get to cash the first-prize check of $9,000, Desmarchais can walk away knowing he was the best player this week, winning his first pro tournament with a wire-to-wire performance.

“I don’t even have words right now. I made a few big putts down the stretch,” he said.

Desmarchais took control of the tournament with birdies at Nos. 15 and 16, taking a two-shot lead with two holes to play. He made things tough on himself, though, with a bogey at the 17th hole. If there ever were a good bogey, however, that was it. His tee shot landed 20 feet over the green, long and left. Desmarchais tried to hit his second shot into the slope and roll the ball onto the green, but instead the ball rolled back into the collection area. Desmarchais putted up the hill for his third shot, barely getting over the ridge and onto the green. He then rolled in a 10-footer that just crept into the hole.

Things didn’t get any easier on the par-4 closing hole. Desmarchais missed the green with his second-shot approach and had an awkward lie, the ball in front of the green but on a downward slope. He elected to putt from there, and left his birdie try 10 feet short. He calmly rolled the putt, the ball clanking against the flagstick and dropping into the hole for the par and the win.

“I was quite nervous on the last few holes. My tee shot on 17 flew like 20 yards over the green, which I still don’t quite understand, but I made two big putts—one for bogey on 17 and one for par on 18. It’s just insane,” Desmarchais explained. “It’s big for my confidence knowing I can make those putts. Just winning this event is huge for my confidence and for my game.”

Davison made things interesting with his final-round 65 that included three birdies over his last five holes, the capper a birdie on the 18th that allowed him to post in the clubhouse at 16-under. It wasn’t quite enough, and Davison’s bogey on the par-3 17th will haunt him as he, like Desmarchais, was unable to get up and down for par, missing a six-footer. The only consolation is Davison receives the $9,000 first prize as the top-finishing professional.

For a while, Blair Bursey looked like he might make a run at the title when he made three consecutive birdies to begin his back nine, getting to 14-under. He fell into neutral after that, closing the Series with five pars and a 54th-hole bogey. He finished at 13-under and tied for fourth.

All week, though, Desmarchais, the Golf Canada Junior Squad Member and University of Tennessee commit, was the player to beat when he opened the tournament with a 9-under 62. Consecutive 67s to finish the week sealed the deal for the 19-year-old native of Quebec. He ended fourth on the final Canada Life Points List.

Yi Cao was one stroke better than Albert Pistorius on Friday, and that allowed Cao to finish No. 1 on the Canada Life Points List. By virtue of that distinction, Cao earns a playing spot in the 2021 RBC Canadian Open on the PGA TOUR.

 

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BIG congrats to Yi Cao, who won the #CanadaLifeSeries to earn an exemption into the 2021 #RBCCO

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The invitation is courtesy of Golf Canada. He also earns conditional 2021 Mackenzie Tour status and six guaranteed tournament starts. Pistorius finished second, followed by Evan Holmes, Laurent Desmarchais and Callum Davison. Those four players also earn conditional Mackenzie Tour status and two guaranteed 2021 tournament starts.

Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada Team Canada

Team Canada’s Desmarchais shoots 62 to grab early lead at TPC Toronto

Laurent Desmarchais
Laurent Desmarchais (Golf Canada)

CALEDON, Ontario—Although cool and overcast all day, players at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley’s Heathlands Course experienced very little wind, and the scores reflected that in the Canada Life Series’ season finale. Amateur Laurent Desmarchais fired an opening, 9-under 62 to take the lead, and five others were 65 or better during what turned out to be ideal scoring conditions in the first round. They include the 64 shooters Joey Savoie and Brendan Leonard and a trio at 65—amateur Jordan Crampton, Blair Bursey and Tanvir Kahlon.

Nobody, though, was better than Desmarchais on Wednesday. The member of Golf Canada’s Junior Boy’s Squad has played in all three previous Canada Life Series tournaments, making the cut each week. Desmarchais’ tie for 10th in the season-opener remains his best finish. His opening 68 that week was his best 18-hole score until he dismantled the Heathlands Course with his eight-birdie, one-eagle, one-bogey 62 in round one.

Desmarchais, currently the 314th-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, made things look easy.

“Honestly, I just didn’t miss a shot out there. I started with an eagle and got some momentum there, and just kept hitting good shots and making putts,” the Longueuil, Quebec, native explained after his round. “After I turned in 29, I thought maybe there was a chance to shoot 59, but I bogeyed 11. After that, I just focused on hitting a few more good shots and bounced back with a birdie on the next hole.”

The birdie barrage slowed down after that, with his final birdie of the day coming at the par-5 16th. No other mistakes gave him the dream start to fourth and final Canada Life Series tournament.

“I want to win,” Desmarchais said matter-of-factly. “Every time I play in an event, I want to try and win, and so hopefully I can keep playing well and give myself a chance to win this week.” He certainly did.

Desmarchais will have to hold off a contingent of 17 players within four shots of the lead with 36 holes to play.

Three players still have a shot at winning the overall points title, with Cao (first) and Pistorius (second) both distancing themselves from No. 3 Evan Holmes, who could only muster an even-par 71. Holmes is tied for 65th and will have to turn things around Thursday to make the cut. Cao and Pistorius both shot 67s and are tied for 19th. For Cao, it was a case of what might have been. He was 8-under through 16 holes after a birdie on the par-5. Cao gave back half of his gains for the day when he made consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18 for a disappointing close to his day.

Getting off to a fast start is nothing new for Leonard. At last week’s Canada Life Series tournament, also at TPC Toronto, Leonard fired an opening 66 followed by a 2-under 69 that left him tied for the lead with Cao and Andrew J. Funk with a round to play. Leonard closed with a 75 that left him tied for ninth. He seemingly forgot about that frustrating final round, although it took him a while to get going. Playing the Heathlands Course’s back nine first, Leonard made two birdies and two bogeys to turn at even-par. He then turned it on, making four consecutive birdies—and seven total—over his final nine to shoot a 29, matching the low nine-hole score of the Series (Blair Bursey in the third round of the second Bear Mountain tournament).

“Funny enough, I switched my putting grip through six holes and kind of went off after that on the back nine,” said Leonard, who went with the claw grip for his final 12 holes. “It was perfect with no wind and easy to take advantage of it out there. I decided it was worth a change and it worked out.”

Team Canada

Qualifying for Olympic Golf is extended to account for 1-year delay of Tokyo2020

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Lausanne, SWITZERLAND – The International Golf Federation and International Olympic Committee have announced an adjustment to the qualifying system for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games to accommodate the new dates of competition in 2021.

In light of the one-year delay, athletes now will accumulate Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR) points through a period ending on 21 June 2021 for the men and 28 June 2021 for the women. The field for both men and women will consist of 60 players.

The OGR is based on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for men and the Women’s World Golf Rankings (WWGR). On March 20, the Governing Boards of the OWGR and WWGR determined the rankings would be suspended due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. An announcement about the resumption of each respective ranking will be made in due course.

The IGF’s announcement of the revision followed the IOC’s decision to postpone the Olympic Games and its subsequent release of the revised principles for Olympic qualification on 2 April 2020 that included the relaxation of the maximum two-year period and amendments to the qualification deadlines. The IGF revised the dates within the current qualification system to reflect these new dates and submitted the revised version to the IOC Qualification taskforce for approval.

“Having received from the IOC confirmation of the dates for when the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held and the qualification principles, the fairest and most equitable way to determine the qualifying athletes was to align the previous qualification system with these new dates,” said Antony Scanlon, IGF Executive Director. “We are pleased that the IOC swiftly approved these changes to provide clarity on this important area. The IGF will continue to work closely with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 to address the other areas that the postponement of the Games affects our sport and our athletes, to develop the necessary plans to resolve these. We remain fully committed to providing safe and fair golf competitions and a memorable experience for our athletes when these Olympic Games are held in 2021.”

The OGR is calculated as follows: Each tournament earns a strength-of-field rating which determines how many ranking points will be awarded to top finishers.  Points are awarded to players based on their finish positions in each event, with performances in stronger-field events earning more points in accordance with a points distribution table approved by the IGF.

With the revision, ranking points for each player accumulate over a multi-year rolling period with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period weighted at 100 percent of their original value. After the initial 13-week period, points are devalued by 1.1 percent for each of the next 91 weeks (during which the ranking was not suspended) before they drop entirely off the player’s record. Each player is then ranked according to his/her average number of points, which is determined by dividing the total number of ranking points she/he has earned by the number of tournaments in which she/he has played during that period. There is a minimum divisor of 35 events for the Women’s OGR while for the Men’s OGR, there is a minimum divisor of 40 events and a maximum divisor of 52 events.

In the event of ties at any of the 60 starting positions, the ties will be broken by the following criteria, in order:

The top-15 players at the end of the qualifying period will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country. Beyond the top-15, players will be eligible based on the world rankings, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top-15. The host country will be guaranteed a spot, as will each of the five continental regions.

Team Canada

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23 – Aug. 8 in 2021

(Getty Images)

TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 – almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.

“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”

Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

“Nice that they were able to do to it so quickly as now all the (international federations) can work towards fixing their calendars for the summer,” Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee said.

There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.

“Seems like the obvious choice to me,” said Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet, a two-time Olympian. “For athletes, like me, who don’t have a qualifying mark, it gives us the opportunity in 2021 to post a result.”

After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.

“The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “I believe the IFs have accepted the games being held in the summer.”

The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, thank you to the IOC, IPC and Tokyo 2020 for rapidly making a decision on the new dates for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021,” Canadian Paralympic Committee president Marc-Andre Fabien said in a statement. “We recognize the vast amount of work that lays ahead to bring a postponed Games to life and greatly appreciate all of their efforts. We commit to doing our part to make the Games a success.

“This now gives our entire sport community a true sense of clarity and a way to move forward. Now we, alongside our national sport organizations, partners, and athletes, can start preparations knowing we all will unite in Tokyo next summer, one year on from planned, and be able to celebrate how sport brings people together.”

Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.

“These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the IOC said. “The new dates … also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs.”

Both Mori and Muto have said the cost of rescheduling the Olympics will be “massive” – local reports estimate billions of dollars – with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.

Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and testing times deciding how they are divided up.

“Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked. “In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”

Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of sports economics at Kansai University, puts the costs as high as $4 billion. That would cover the price of maintaining stadiums, refitting them, paying rentals, penalties and other expenses.

Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much. All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget.

The Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee is contributing $1.3 billion, according to organizing committee documents. The IOC’s contribution goes into the operating budget.

IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly called the Tokyo Olympics the best prepared in history. However, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso also termed them “cursed.” Aso competed in shooting in the 1976 Olympics, and was born in 1940.

The Olympics planned for 1940 in Tokyo were cancelled because of Japan’s war with China.

The run-up to the Olympics also saw IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, who also headed the Japanese Olympic Committee, forced to resign last year amid a bribery scandal.

Team Canada

Tokyo Olympics officially postponed until 2021

2020 Olympics
(Getty Images)

TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee made the decision after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers.

The IOC said the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said in a statement.

Before the official announcement, Abe said Bach had agreed with his proposal for a one-year postponement.

“President Bach said he will agree `100%,’ and we agreed to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said, saying holding the games next year would be “proof of a victory by human beings against the coronavirus infections.”

On Sunday, Bach said a decision on postponing the games would be made in the next four weeks. But pressure grew as national federations, sports governing bodies and athletes spoke out against having the opening ceremony as planned on July 24.

Four-time Olympic hockey champion Hayley Wickenheiser was the first IOC member to break ranks with Bach’s stance that the games would go ahead as planned when she publicly criticized the body’s unwavering strategy.

After the announcement to postpone the game, she wrote on Twitter that the decision was the “message athletes deserved to hear.”

“To all the athletes: take a breath, regroup, take care of yourself and your families. Your time will come,” she wrote.

The decision came only a few hours after local organizers said the torch relay would start as planned on Thursday. It was expected to start in northeastern Fukushima prefecture, but with no torch, no torchbearers and no public. Those plans also changed.

“For the time being, the flame will be stored and displayed in Fukushima,” organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said.

The Olympics have never before been postponed, and have only ever previously been cancelled in wartime.

Organizers will now have to figure out how to keep things running for another year, while making sure venues are up to date for possible another 12 months.

“A lot can happen in one year, so we have to think about what we have to do,” said Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee. “The decision came upon us all of a sudden.”

The IOC and Tokyo organizers said they hope the decision to postpone will help the world heal from the pandemic.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC statement said. “Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

Inside Golf House Team Canada

Golf Canada Statement on the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Decision to Not Send Team Canada to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Based on the continued information being received from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Canadian Olympic Committee recognizes that due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is not safe for athletes to train in their ordinary training environments to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games.

Therefore, for the health and safety of our Canadian athletes, Canada will not be in a position to send a team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games starting on July 24 or the immediate period thereafter. The Canadian Olympic Committee will continue to encourage the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Games for one year.

Golf Canada is fully aligned with the position of the Canadian Olympic Committee and will continue to work with our Olympic sport partners to ensure that the health and safety of athletes is the number one priority.

Click here for the full statement from the Canadian Olympic Committee