The MJT Boys 8U division’s top three: Bennett Love (right), Tiger Zhao (middle) and Matthew Cui. (submitted photo)

GOLF

Three young Surrey golfers are national champs after MJT tourney in Delta

Two-day event held at Tsawwassen Springs course

Preteen golfers from Canada’s western provinces took to Delta’s Tsawwassen Springs course during the MJT Mini Tour National Championship.

Three Surrey-based players topped the leaderboard after the two-day tournament, held Aug. 22 and 23.

Surrey’s Jonathon Xia, 9, came back from being down two shots after the first day to become the MJT Boys 9-10 national champ. Xia (79, 74 = 153) played his last six holes of the tournament at even par, including a birdie on 18 to secure the victory.

“I played good overall,” Xia said in a news release. “I was happy with all parts of my game.”

Another Surrey-based player, Jingwen (Anna) Dai, 11, won the MJT Girls 11-12 national title. Dai, who trailed by one shot after the first round, stayed consistent the entire second day, making 16 pars. “My driver was the strongest part of my game,” she said. “And I made all of my short putts.”

In the MJT Girls 8U Division, Surrey eight-year-old Sky (Haneul) Park shot back-to-back rounds of 80 to finish with a total score of 160.

Extra holes were needed in a playoff to crown the MJT Boys 8U National Champion after Bennett Love, 8, of Red Deer, and Tiger Zhao, 8, of Vancouver, both scored well from the 3,000-yard modified tee at Tsawwassen Springs and tied for the lead at a total score of 146 in their division. In the end, it was Love who stepped up on the first playoff hole and drained a seven-foot birdie putt to win the title.

11-year-old, Michael Li, of Vancouver, fired rock solid rounds of 73 and 76 (149) from the Blue Tees to become MJT Boys 11-12 national champion. Finishing four shots back in second place was Surrey’s Sukhraj Singh Gill, 11, who shot 79 and 74 (153). Third place sent to Andy Liu, 11, of Surrey, who scored 80 and 75 (155).

Full tournament results are posted on maplejt.com.

The non-profit MJT (Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour), presented by Boston Pizza, is billed as “Canada’s number one-played Junior Golf Tour as well as the only national junior tour run exclusively by PGA of Canada Professionals and the ‘Road to College Golf’ in Canada.

Later, at the MJT Big Max Series tourney in Whistler on Aug. 26 and 27, more than 70 young golfers played Whistler Golf Club during the final event of the summer season on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour.

In a battle of Surrey-based golfers aged 11, Andy Liu won the MJT Peewee Boys division over second-place finisher, Sukhraj Singh Gill. “Coming down the stretch, I knew that I was down by three shots,” Lui said. “I tried to keep in the good parts of my round and not think too much about the scores. In the end I caught up and won.”

Liu finished with scores of 75 and 72 (147) to win his first career MJT title. Gill carded scores of 76 and 74 (150) to finish three shots back.

Surrey’s Jingwen (Anna) Dai finished second in the MJT Girls U15 division in Whistler.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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