GATINEAU, Que. – History abounds at the 112th playing of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. A number of significant milestones surround this year’s edition of the world’s third oldest amateur golf competition to be co-hosted by The Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Gatineau, Que., and Eagle Creek Golf Club in Dunrobin, Ont., from August 8-11.
The championship returns to The Royal Ottawa Golf Club – the inaugural tournament’s host venue – in celebration of the club’s 125th year. Eagle Creek will co-host this historic competition as part of its festivities surrounding its 25th anniversary. The 2016 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship will also mark the first time the event has been staged in two provinces.
“This year’s Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship is going to be special,” noted Tournament Director Adam Helmer. “The beginnings of Canadian golf have their roots at The Royal Ottawa – both this prestigious tournament and Golf Canada itself. Every year, this competition offers players the opportunity to add their names to the story of golf in Canada.”
In 2015, Billy Kennerly shot a final-round 2-under 70 to claim a six-stroke victory at Weston Golf & Country Club. The Alpharetta, Ga., native added the victory to an already impressive amateur career before turning professional earlier this year.
A full field of competitors from seven countries will compete for the Earl Grey Trophy and the title of Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, including Travis Smyth of Shellharbour, Australia. The 21-year-old, who is No. 62 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, claimed a runner-up result at the 2016 Australian Amateur Championship and a T4 at the 2016 Players Amateur. Also in the field is No. 76 Kristoffer Ventura of Rygge, Norway, who is coming off a 5th-place finish at the 2016 European Men’s Team Championship.
Mont-St-Hilaire, Que., native Hugo Bernard and Elmira, Ont., product Garrett Rank earned shares of second last year and translated that result into success in 2016. Bernard was named to Team Canada’s National Amateur Squad, then claimed medallist honours at the 2016 NCAA Division II Championship before capturing this year’s Alexander of Tunis. Rank went on to defend his Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title before competing in the 2016 RBC Canadian Open and then securing medallist honours to earn entry into this year’s U.S. Amateur.
Joining Bernard will be teammate Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C., who is hoping to build upon a season which has included a T9 at the RBC Canadian Open to earn the Gary Cowan Medal as low amateur and a T4 at the Porter Cup. Eric Banks of Truro, N.S., Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald and Blair Hamilton from Burlington, Ont., will complete the Amateur Squad contingent.
The five members of the National Team Development Squad will also be in contention. Tony Gil of Vaughan, Ont., captured the CN Future Links Pacific title in his final year of eligibility on the junior circuit. He will be joined by teammates Thomas ‘Jack’ Simpson of Aurora, Ont., Québec City’s Charles-Éric Bélanger, A.J. Ewart of Coquitlam, B.C., and Calgarian Alexander Smith.
An inter-provincial team championship will be played in conjunction with the first 36 holes of the competition with three-member teams vying for the Willingdon Cup. Team British Columbia comprised of National Team members Macdonald and du Toit, alongside Kevin Kwon of Maple Ridge, B.C., claimed a three-stroke victory in 2015.
The Canadian Men’s Amateur Qualifier will be played at The Royal Ottawa Golf Club on August 5. A minimum of five spots into the tournament will be awarded. Additional information can be found here.
Two days of practice rounds are slated for August 6 and 7 before competitors take to both courses on August 8 and 9 for the championship’s opening 36 holes. The field will be reduced to the low 70 and ties for the two final rounds to be contested at The Royal Ottawa.
In addition to claiming the title of 2016 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and the 2017 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont. The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.
Admission to the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship is free during tournament week. Additional details regarding the championship are available here.