MYRTLE BEACH, SC — March Break is approaching and for many kids it is a welcomed break from their classes. But for Golf Ontario’s U19 Team Ontario it brings an annual tradition, the Can/Am Matches with the South Carolina Junior Golf Association (SCJGA).
With the matches, Team Ontario also takes the opportunity to conduct their third training camp of the winter. They train throughout the week in preparations for the Matches, which will be held this year on March 18-19. In addition to their week of training, the team is introducing a new event this year: the Ontario Spring Break Challenge.
“The event came together when we learned that many Ontario juniors were heading to train in Myrtle Beach during March Break,” said Delaney Howson, Golf Ontario Community Play and Compete Coordinator. “Many players were already going to be there with their personal coaches, so we thought it would be a great way to bring everyone together with a preseason competition.”
The Ontario Spring Break Challenge, is a new 18-hole, stroke-play event that Golf Ontario will run on March 16 at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach. The tournament will see 83 players from Ontario, ranging in age from 12 to 18, compete in six divisions (Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Juvenile Boys, Juvenile Girls, Bantam Boys and Bantam Girls). The competition will feature all of the members of Team Ontario.
“We were blown away by the number of players who registered. We figured we might get about half of what we did. From our perspective, this is a great opportunity for us to get a first look at some of the top Ontario junior golfers before summer tournaments begin,” added Howson.
While Golf Ontario is happy to be running this event, Keith Stanzel, Marketing Director at Whispering Pines is just as pleased to welcome the juniors. “I have been working spring events for Canadian juniors for more than 20 years at Myrtlewood Golf Club, the TPC of Myrtle Beach and now Whispering Pines. I have enjoyed watching some of Canada’s top juniors but more so, truly value the friendships acquired over the years. I look forward to another event and hope there will be even more in the future!”
After the challenge, Team Ontario’s sights will turn to the Can/Am Matches. In addition to the current members, Team Ontario will welcome back Richmond Hill’s Monet Chun and Langton’s Peyton Callens, who are both currently on Golf Canada’s National Development Squad. Ontario will look to defeat South Carolina for the first time since 2010.
The Wachesaw Plantation Club in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina will once again play host to the Matches, which have been running in their current form since 2010. Before that, the Matches were a junior boys competition. Day one will see the teams compete in four-ball, team matches. Day two will feature singles matches.
In addition to Whispering Pines and the Wachesaw Plantation Club, Team Ontario will also train and play at The Dunes and True Blue Plantation. Make sure to follow Golf Ontario (@TheGolfOntario) and Team Ontario (@teamontariogolf) for updates throughout the week.
For complete information on the Ontario Spring Break Challenge, including participants and scoring, visit the tournament site at: https://gao.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/gao17/event/gao1733/index.htm.