Four National Champions Crowned; Easterbrook and Cox awarded AJGA PBE Stars
Kissimmee, Florida, USA – (November 12, 2013) – The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour’s MJT Boston Pizza National Championship at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, which ran November 8th to 10th, marked a successful finish to the best season ever on Canada’s most-played junior golf tour. Four divisional National Champions were crowned out of 72 golfers who qualified to attend from across the country – literally from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, all the way to Bathurst, New Brunswick – and all the players were treated to the privilege of a private 90 minute clinic put on by LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam. The Reunion Resort happens to be the home of the Annika Academy and her Elite Training Program, which is specifically designed to help aspiring golfers achieve their goals both on the course and in life.
Andrew Cox, 17, of the Whistle Bear Junior Performance Team, claimed the Overall Low, MJT Junior Boys 17-19 National Champion’s title and an American Junior Golf Association Performance Star after commandingly managing his way around the Palmer course with scores of 68-72 (140). He cited staying focused and making a lot of clutch putts as his key to victory. “I was pretty sure I was leading coming down the stretch, so just tried to make pars and play it safe,” said Cox. “My goal is hopefully to talk to schools and have a college golf career; it feels awesome (to win), it has not sunk in yet.” Runner-up was two-time past champion Keaton Jones, 18, also from the Whistle Bear Junior Performance Team and a member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Men’s Golf Team, (74-67=141) whose fine second round score put some pressure on best friend Andrew Cox. Zach Sackett, 17, of Winnipeg, MB, also carded a great final round to place third in the division (76-68=144).
Long-time MJT member Madison Easterbrook, 17, of Burlington, ON who trains with Whistle Bear Junior Performance Team Coach Carrie Vaughan, shot 70-76 (146) to win the MJT Boston Pizza National Championship for the Girls Division and an American Junior Golf Association Performance Star. Easterbrook’s key to victory was her iron play. “My approach shots were consistently close to the hole and my drives were in the fairway,” Easterbrook stated. “I have been looking forward to this event all year long. It is my last year to play in it, so this win feels great.” Second place went to Annika Elite athlete Veronica Vetesnik, 16, of Winnipeg, MB, who shot 82-75 (157), and third place to 14-year old Alisha Lau of Richmond, BC, who shot consistent rounds of 79-79 (158).
Madison is looking forward to joining Keaton Jones at Florida Gulf Coast University in the fall of 2014 on a golf scholarship
Coach Smallwood, Mike Skimson and Vaughan are all thrilled at another great showing at the MJT Championship. Smallwood said ” It speaks volumes for our program to follow up our 3 division winners at the 2012 event with our strong showing here again this year. Jordy Denomme and Mackenzie Raines just finished out of the medals in the Bantam Boys with a 6th and 7th place finish. Team member Alex MaKay had a great season to also qualify for the event but was a bit off his game on the weekend.
Smallwood was beaming on how proud he was with all the WB players “We were well represented and we have 5 great young people we can all be proud of down here for this event” stated Smallwood.