Golf Ontario announces 2019 Order of Merit Winners and Volunteer Award Winners

Zhu and Rank take home Player of the Year Honours


TORONTO — Golf Ontario celebrated and recognized the 2019 Golf Ontario Order of Merit player winners for 2019 with an awards ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of these players. This prestigious awards ceremony occurred during lunch at the shared Golf Ontario / Golf Canada annual meeting at the Hilton Airport Hotel and Suites in Toronto.


Golf Ontario maintains an Order of Merit Rankings system that allocates points for performance in Golf Ontario, Golf Canada, USGA and many other sanctioned events throughout Ontario, Canada and internationally to determine the top-ranked athletes in the province of Ontario each year. This awards ceremony recognizes and celebrates the top performing players in all of the various Order of Merit categories.


Golf Ontario Players of the Year

The Golf Ontario Female Player of the Year, and the Golf Ontario Male Player of the Year. Nominees for PLAYER OF THE YEAR awards are voted on from the leaders in the Golf Ontario Order of Merit categories for 2019.


Female Player of the year:  Emily Zhu

The Richmond Hill, Ont., native had a strong 2019 campaign highlighted by wins at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and the AJGA Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior. Zhu also notched two runner-up finishes at the 2019 Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship and the 2019 Duke of York Young Champions Trophy and a runner-up finish in the Canada Junior Girls’ division. She has also represented Canada at the past three World Junior Girls Championships.

Zhu said her highlights of the year were winning the Canadian Jr Girls Championship and finishing 2nd at the Ontario Women’s Am. “It was one of my goals this year to win the Canadian Jr. Girls Championships and I did it. It was a surprise for me to finish so well at the Ontario Women’s Am and I hope I can go on to win it next year”. She also added, “my chance to participate in the CP Women’s Open was incredible as it was my first official LPGA event so I’m very thankful and honoured to have had the opportunity to play.”


Male Player of the year:  Garrett Rank

Rank, the 31-year old NHL referee from Westmount Golf & Country Club, has been the Men’s Amateur leader in Order of Merit ranking for the past 4 seasons, and since becoming eligible for the Mid-Amateur category in 2013 has held on to the coveted top spot in that category as well.

Along with finishing 2nd in the Canadian Men’s Mid Amateur Championships, Rank’s other highlight of the year was winning the 117th Western Amateur Golf Tournament. Rank was the first Canadian to win the event since Vancouver’s Jim Nelford in 1977, and the first non-US born victor since New Zealand’s Danny Lee in 2008. He credits the momentum and confidence he took from the final round of the Porter Cup as the push he needed going into the Western Am.

Looking at the year ahead Rank said. “I’m looking forward to the Korn Ferry Tour start (an exemption from winning Western Am) and hopefully testing myself at the highest levels.”


Other 2019 Golf Ontario Order of Merit Winners

Bantam Girls Brooke Rivers
Bantam Boys Owen Kim
Juvenile Girls Emily Zhu
Juvenile Boys Thomas Latter
Junior Girls Emily Zhu
Junior Boys Bennett Ruby
Women’s Amateur Emily Zhu
Men’s Amateur Garrett Rank
Women’s Mid Amateur Sarah Dunning
Men’s Mid Amateur Garrett Rank
Senior Women’s Judith Kyrinis
Senior Men’s Ashley Chinner


Volunteer Award Winners

Volunteers are a critical piece of the Golf Ontario organization, and Golf Ontario annually recognizes the hard work and dedication of our volunteer team.  Each year we celebrate our award winners during volunteers day, and we would like to once again congratulate the following winners:


Joyce McCrae

Margaret Grieve
Gilles Hurtubise

Kathy Pilkey
Ian Murray
Chris Osborne


Mike Kelly, Executive Director of Golf Ontario, expressed his pride in the winners across both the Order of Merit and our Volunteer Award Winners. “This ceremony was a great chance for Golf Ontario to recognize some truly great accomplishments in golf in 2019. Between volunteer award winners, and some amazing Championship performances, we were honoured to be recognizing some of the best and brightest in Ontario golf with our 2019 awards. With Lindsay Hamilton as host, and a distinguished list of nominees and winners, this was a great event for attendees and winners alike”, said Kelly