Seventeen young athletes have been named to the Golf Canada Team Canada program for 2019. It consists of several returning members, plenty of new talent, and marks the continued guidance of a strong coaching group.
Seven players have been named as part of the National Amateur team while the Junior Program will be composed of ten up and coming athletes.
“Golf Canada is pleased to select this outstanding group of elite athletes based on their remarkable performances this past season,” said Jeff Thompson, Golf Canada’s chief sport officer. “These squads are a product of an immersive training environment led by our head coaches alongside sport science staff, parents, the provincial high-performance programs along with member clubs. They will be fantastic representatives of Canada on the global golf stage.”
With the exit of Maddie Szeryk and Grace St-Germain there are two holdovers on the Women’s National Amateur team – Jaclyn Lee of Calgary (currently deferring LPGA status she earned at the recent Q-Series) and Naomi Ko of Victoria. Joining them as the trio who will represent Canada is Brigitte Thibault of Rosemère, Quebec who attends Fresno State University.
On the Men’s squad, 2018 member Hugo Bernard has turned professional, leaving room on the four-person team for Brendan MacDougall of Calgary, Alberta. Maintaining their spot on the team are Joey Savoie of La Prairie, Quebec, Chris Crisologo of Richmond, B.C., and Josh Whalen of Napanee, Ontario.
For the second year the Team Canada Junior Team will be a residential program in Victoria, B.C. at the Bear Mountain Golf Resort. The centralized structure allows the students to complete high school while being readily available for a comprehensive training program.
Returning the girls team are: Céleste Dao, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Quebec, Ellie Szeryk, Allen, Tex., and Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ontario. New to the team are Emily Zhu of Richmond Hill, Ontario and Sarah Beqaj of Toronto.
The Boys junior program is adding four new faces with Christopher Vandette of Beaconsfield, Quebec being the only player to remain. His new teammates for 2019 are: Laurent Desmarchais, Longueuil, Que., Jeevan Sihota, Victoria, B.C., Olivier Ménard, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., and Kai Iguchi, of Banff, Alta.
The team of Class A PGA Professionals guiding Team Canada remains with Derek Ingram continuing as Head Coach of the Men’s Amateur Squad, Robert Ratcliffe overseeing the Men’s Junior Team, Tristan Mullally remaining as Head Coach of the Women’s National Team, and Matt Wilson leading the Women’s Junior program.
“Derek and Tristan have had tremendous success with Team Canada athletes and the evolution of our national team program will see Robert and Matt play a more significant role through the centralized training environment at Bear Mountain,” added Thompson. “We are excited to build on the success of Team Canada’s new centralized program in helping our young stars make the jump to the next level in their careers.”
In concert with the announcement, Golf Canada revealed that they expect to name the 2019 Team Canada Young Pro Squad in December.