MURRELS INLET, S.C.— While it was one of their strongest performances since last winning the Can Am Matches back in 2010, Team Ontario suffered a narrow 219-213 loss to the South Carolina Junior Golf Association (SCJGA) March 18-19 at the 2017 Can Am Matches.
The Matches, held at the Wachesaw Plantation Club in Murrels Inlet, South Carolina, capped off a week of training for Team Ontario. Unseasonably cold temperatures caused a number of adjustments to the team’s plan, but in the end the Matches remained in tact.
The team arrived on March 12 but saw their scheduled training cancelled due to a course closure because of weather. They played their Can Am Matches practice round on March 13, because the course had plans to tarp the greens the following two days. That moved the annual Junior/Member day to Friday, March 17, a first in the event’s history. “For the first time ever, it included juniors from both Team Ontario and South Carolina,” said Reggie Millage, Golf Ontario Head Provincial Coach. “It was a lot of fun to see and meet members of the South Carolina team before the matches. While it was unintentional, it could become an annual tradition.”
The opening day featured team, four-ball matches. The format for the matches is unique in the sense that, unlike traditional match play, all matches are played in full and points are awarded for each hole.
When the Matches got underway Team Ontario came out of the gate flying. The boys had a strong round in the four-ball matches and held a one-point lead. “It was really exciting to see the boys’ matches as they were all exceptionally close,” said Millage.
The even play carried over into the girls’ matches as three of the four finished tied. Team Ontario squeaked out a victory in the fourth girls’ match and held a two-point lead at the end of the first day.
Round two featured individual matches and was another close round. Through 14 matches, Team Ontario was clinging to a one-point lead. However, they would come just short, giving up points in the last matches to fall 219-213.
“When you play the format that the Matches are, things can change drastically very quickly,” noted Millage. “In the end we lost by six, but that’s really only three holes throughout the course of the weekend. I thought our play was good. It shows we are getting closer and how strong our athletes are. It is a big boost to play well coming out of our winter when you consider South Carolina is in the middle of their season.”
Despite seeing the positives, Millage did admit that the loss was a bit harder to handle this year. “It is tough because we were so close. Leading after the first day was something we thought was a first in the event’s history. I could tell it was hard for some of the senior players, knowing how close we were and that it was their last Can Am Matches.”
|Matthew Anderson/ Robbie Latter||9.5||Brady Hinkle/Ryan Marter||8.5|
|Tyler Nagano/ Jake Bryson||8||Patrick Golden/ Tyler Gray||10|
|Johnny Travale/ Zack Mason||10.5||Zach Gordon/Levi Moody||7.5|
|Peyton Callens/ Ty Celone||8.5||Trent Phillips/ Jacob Bridgeman||9.5|
|Hailey McLaughlin/ Alyssa DiMarcantonio||9||Jensen Castle/ Emily Cox||9|
|Sarah Beqaj/ Hailey Katona||9||Baylee Evans/ Kathleen Sumner||9|
|Emily Ward/ Isabella Portokalis||9.5||Smith Knaffle/ Jodee Tindal||8.5|
|Monet Chun/ Victoria Zheng||9||Gracyn Burgess/ Anna Grace Brock||9|
|Hailey McLaughlin||9||Baylee Evans||9|
|Victoria Zheng||9||Anna Grace Brock||9|
|Alyssa DiMarcantonio||8.5||Smith Knaffle||9.5|
|Hailey Katona||6.5||Jensen Castle||11.5|
|Emily Ward||11.5||Emily Cox||6.5|
|Isabella Portokalis||6||Jodee Tindal||12|
|Sarah Beqaj||8.5||Kathleen Sumner||9.5|
|Monet Chun||11||Gracyn Burgess||7|
|Jake Bryson||7.5||Brady Hinkle||10.5|
|Robbie Latter||7.5||Ryan Marter||10.5|
|Matthew Anderson||10.5||Tyler Gray||7.5|
|Zack Mason||9||Patrick Golden||9|
|Tyler Nagano||12||Zack Gordon||6|
|Johnny Travale||9||Levi Moody||9|
|Ty Celone||7||Jacob Bridgeman||11|
|Peyton Callens||7.5||Trent Phillips||10.5|
In addition to playing at the Wachesaw Plantation Club, the team trained at True Blue Golf Club and Tradition Club in Pawleys Island. The team also hosted and competed in the first Ontario Spring Break Challenge, on March 16 at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach. Full results of the one-day event can be found here: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao17/event/gao1733/index.htm
Golf Ontario would like to thank all of the courses, along with their staffs and members, for hosting the team. Thanks also to their SCJGA for their continued support of the matches.