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GAO teams set for inaugural Team Ontario Cup

UXBRIDGE – The Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) U19 Team Ontario and five U17 Regional Teams (Ottawa, York, Waterloo, Essex-Kent and Niagara) are gearing up for the inaugural Team Ontario Cup this weekend, which will see all of the teams compete against one another. The event will take place April 24-26 at the Grand Niagara Golf Club in Thorold.

The athletes will compete in a two-day, 36-hole team-format competition with main emphasis being on team results. Results will be determined by taking the three lowest of four team member scores each day for a team gross total. Low gross individuals will be also be recognized, over the 36 holes, in Juvenile and Bantam age categories for both boys and girls, along with an overall boys and girls champion.

Each regional team will enter two teams of four boys and one team of four girls. Team Ontario will enter one team of three boys (all scores to count each day) and a second team of four boys. For the girls’ team competition, Team Ontario will enter two teams of three girls, each with all three scores counting each day. The regional teams will enter a team of four girls each. At the end of the competition, one boys team and one girls team will be crowned champion.

“This is the first event of it’s kind and we are extremely excited to see all the Team Ontario and Regional team athletes competing in the same event,” said Mary Ann Hayward, GAO Manager of Sport Performance. “They have been training as teams for the past seven months and this is their opportunity to go head-to-head. It is a great kick-off to their competitive season here in Ontario and the preparation they have done leading up to the Team Ontario Cup should help them to be much better prepared for the important event qualifiers that begin in early May.”

The event will also be used to select the team for the Ontario–Quebec Matches that will be held July 27-29 at Smugglers Glen Golf Club in Gananoque. The top two juvenile boys and girls and the top four bantam boys and girls from the regional teams will be selected to the Ontario team that will compete in the matches.

In addition, the GAO will take the opportunity to conduct testing of all Team Ontario and Regional players. Players will go through a trackman analysis, physical combine testing and a putting test. The purpose of this testing is to gage how the athletes have improved over the winter training months.

The highlight of the Team Ontario Cup will be the banquet held on April 25 at Legends on the Niagara Golf Club. All teams will be in attendance and many family members will also attend. Each team has selected their own award winner for Most Valuable Contributor (MVC) and these MVC winners will be recognized at the banquet. The MVC award goes to the person on the team that best exemplifies: leadership, integrity, sportsmanship, team spirit and work ethic.

The Team Ontario Cup will be a great event to kickoff the tournament season in Ontario and will showcase the finest junior golfers in the province. Tee times for the competition will be from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. each day, April 25-26, with play starting on both the first and 10th tees. Trophy presentations are scheduled immediately following the completion of play on Sunday, which will be approximately 3 p.m.