The inaugural Ontario Junior Players Invitational Championship presented by Play Golf Myrtle Beach at River Hills Golf & Country Club sees Emily McKee of St. George’s G&CC and Isaiah Ibit of Camelot G&CC emerge as Champions in the Girls and Boys U19 Overall divisions respectively.
Additional divisions recognized were the U15 Girls won by Nobelle Park and U17 Girls won by overall champion Emily McKee. The U15 Boys low score was attained by Dawson Lew (Wyndance GC) and U17 low score went to Luke Smith.
Despite the risk of frost earlier in the morning, competitors were on the range as much as two hours prior to the start of the final round under bright blue skies and temperatures of six degrees. The day’s pairings went off on split tees in the early afternoon, experiencing slightly warmer conditions up to nine degrees as play commenced.
With ten boys starting the day within five shots of Smith, and three girls chasing McKee and Zhao just four shots back, there was great anticipation around which players could challenge for the title of Inaugural Tournament Champion.
As the first few holes were completed, it looked like it was Luke Smith maintaining form from the first round, but it wasn’t long before Ibit started to make his move up the leaderboard, ultimately recording five birdies and only one bogey in the round. After a first round 77 (+5) on Monday, he finished day two with a 68 (-4) and total two day score of 145 cementing a two shot margin over Luke Smith at 147 followed by Zachary Smith (Brampton GC) and Jordan Hwang (Emerald Hills G&CC) at 150.
The in-form player in the U19 Girls Overall division was McKee, as she started the day where she left off Monday evening and never let up. With scores of 72 (E) Monday and 74 (+2) today, she finished at 146 and a two stroke margin over Nobelle Park (RattleSnake Point GC) who made an impressive move up the leaderboard in the final round, and four strokes ahead of Alexa Ouellet (Weston G&CC) at 150.
At the conclusion of play, Tournament Director Connor Doyle remarked on the movement across both divisions on day two. “What an exciting finish to a successful inaugural tournament. Thank you to Play Golf Myrtle Beach for helping make this tournament possible. Every player played their heart out this week and they should be proud of their results.”
During the awards presentation officiated by newly minted CEO Kyle McFarlane, Scott Tomasello of Play Golf Myrtle Beach thanked all competitors for venturing down to Myrtle Beach and later, offered his congratulations to the champions saying, “We’re thrilled to have showcased Myrtle Beach golf to these talented juniors. Congratulations to Emily & Isaiah on their respective victories.”
For more information on the 2023 Ontario Junior Players Invitational presented by Play Golf Myrtle Beach, including the final results, visit our Golf Genius page.
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John Lawrence – Director, Competitions and Performance, Golf Ontario
Nick Taylor, Senior Director, Marketing, Golf Ontario