Canadian Amateur Co-host Islington Golf Club (Golf Canada photo)
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (August 4, 2017) -- The world’s best amateur golfers are set to gather in Canada for the 113th playing of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at both The Toronto Golf Club and Islington Golf Club from Aug. 7-10.
Up for grabs is the Earl Grey Trophy; the champion also earns an exemption into 2018 RBC Canadian Open and 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship.
The championship returns to The Toronto Golf Club for the ninth time – the most in the championships history. Islington Golf Club will co-host the competition for the first two rounds while the field of 264 players from nine different countries take on two of the best courses Canada has to offer.
This year’s festivities features four rounds of stroke play, the first time a champion will be determined in Toronto in that fashion. The previous eight editions concluded with a 36-hole match play final, including the tournament’s most recent visit in 1995 won by American Garrett Willis, a future PGA Tour winner.
“We are incredibly excited to be welcoming back the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship to The Toronto Golf Club for a record ninth time,” said John Gravett, General Manager and COO for The Toronto Golf Club. “Alongside our co-host Islington Golf Club, we are looking forward to challenging the deep international field on two of the country’s most memorable golf courses.”
Longtime head professional Doug Rankin expects Toronto to be a taxing test, both mentally and physically. Meanwhile, the relatively open nature of the 6,800-yard layout, with its collection areas and run-offs surrounding the greens, will give strong short iron and wedge players the upper hand.
“They have to get off to a good start,” Rankin told Golf Canada magazine earlier this summer. “The front nine is a par 34, but it can play like a par 36 at times because of the length and difficulty of some of those par-4 holes. I know that’s how I feel and that’s how some of the better playing members feel on how to post a good score.”
“Guys will need good iron play for second-shot holes and a really good short game.”
The Toronto Golf Club was established in 1876 and is the third oldest golf club in Canada. It has also had the honor of hosting the RBC Canadian Open five times. Islington Golf Club was designed by famed Canadian Golf Architect Stanley Thompson in 1923 and features tree-lined, parkland-style golf holes, rolling terrain, and the meandering Mimico Creek. Olympic golf gold medalist George S. Lyon won three of his record eight Men’s Amateur titles at Toronto.
"In the spirit of Harry Colt and congruent with the vision of Martin Hawtree, the Heathland style Colt course has been prepared to play firm and fast," said Al Schwemler, Property Manager. "Mother Nature is not being very cooperative. Fortunately, it only takes a very short time for the sandy soils to drain and the course to firm up. Players should expect a classic challenge where a premium will be placed on course management and a deft short game."
In 2016, Team Canada’s Hugo Bernard (Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que.) shot a final-round, 5-under-par 65 to claim a two-stroke victory at The Royal Ottawa Golf Club. It was his third win of the season after he walked away with champion honors at the Alexander of Tunis and the NCAA Division II Championship.
Current PGA TOUR Canadians Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ont.) and Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, B.C.) are recent winners of the event. Taylor won it in 2007 while Hughes won back-to-back titles from 2011-2012 – the last player to win in consecutive years.
A full field of competitors will compete for the Earl Grey Trophy and the title of Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, including Team Canada National Amateur Squad Members Bernard and Austin James (Bath, Ont.). Also in the draw are Team Canada Development Squad members Max Sekulic (Rycroft, Alta.), Chandler McDowell (Springbrook, Alta.), Peyton Callens (Langton, Ont.) and A.J. Ewart (Coquitlam, B.C.).
An inter-provincial team championship will be played in conjunction with the first 36 holes of the competition with three-member teams vying for the Willingdon Cup. Team Newfoundland and Labrador comprised of National Team members Blair Bursey, Chuck Conley and Nathan Peters claimed the province’s first victory with a two-stroke win in 2016.
The Canadian Men’s Amateur Qualifier will be played at The Toronto Golf Club on Aug. 4 – a minimum of five spots into the tournament will be awarded. Additional information can be found here.
The field will be reduced to the low 70 and ties for the final two rounds contested at The Toronto Golf Club.
In addition to claiming the title of 2017 Canadian Men’s Amateur champion, the winner will earn exemptions into the 2017 U.S. Amateur at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and the 2018 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont. The champion will also be eligible to receive an exemption into the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Amateur or the U.S. Senior Amateur, if applicable.
Hugo Bernard of Mont-Saint-Hilarie, Que.The 22-year-old member of Canada’s National Amateur Squad is the event’s defending champion. He is fresh off winning medallist honors at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier in Maine. In 2016, he also won the Alexander of Tunis Championship and the Division II Championship (NCAA).
Andy Zhang of Winter Garden, Fla.The 19-year-old is the highest ranked competitor in the field at No. 37. He finished runner up to Bernard last year and made history at the age of 14 when he became the youngest to compete at the U.S. Open in 2012.
Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont.In 2016 he earned his third straight championship win at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur and is the highest ranked Canadian golfer in the field at No. 65. He recently earned medallist at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Granite Golf Club while setting a course record.
Chandler Phillips of Huntsville, TexasThe 20-year-old just completed his sophomore year at Texas A&M during which he was honored as a Second Team PING All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America. His most recent win came at the John Burns Intercollegiate last February, and he is currently ranked 42nd in the world.
Austin James of Bath, Ont.The member of Team Canada’s National Amateur Squad won the Big South Men’s Golf Championship (NCAA) in 2016. James, 21, is currently ranked at No. 465 and finished fourth in 2016’s Ontario Men’s Amateur.
Lawren Rowe of Victoria, B.C.This season, the 21-year-old finished T2 at the U.S. Amateur Qualifying in Pullman, Wash., and fourth at the Canadian University/College Championship. During his past season playing for the Victoria Vikes he was victorious in four of his eight regular season tournaments in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Zach Bauchou of Forest, Va.The 21-year-old finished T11 at the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship and is currently ranked 49th in the world. In 2016, he won the Faldo Series Grand Final at The Greenbrier and was the runner up at the 2016 Southern Amateur Championship.
Shintaro Ban of San Jose, Calif.In 2016, Ban captured the California State Amateur Championship and the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 69th in the world.
Jimmy Jones of Tampa, Fla.The son of Canadian Golf Hall-of-Famer Dawn Coe-Jones. A junior at University of South Florida, Jones posted six top-25 finishes in 2016-17 to lead the team. He was a semi-finalist for the 2016 NCAA Division II Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Award.
Championship was first contested in 1895 at the Ottawa Golf Club.
The third oldest amateur championship in the world after the British Amateur Championship and Australian Amateur Championship.
T.M. Harley was the inaugural champion.
Hall of Famer George S. Lyon has won the championship a record eight times, all between 1898 and 1914.
Originally began as a match play tournament until it changed to stroke play in 1969. Between 1995 and 2007 it briefly returned to match play in celebration of event’s reaching the centennial mark.
The winner receives the Earl Grey Cup.
Tournament has been held every year since 1895 except between 1915-1918 and 1940-1945 due to World War I and World War II.
There is an inter-provincial competition held in conjunction with the first two rounds of play. The wining team receives the Willingdon Cup.
Canadian Golf Hall of Fame members who have won the title: Moe Norman, Gary Cowan, Doug Roxburgh, Ross Somerville, Jim Nelford, and Brent Franklin.
Four players have won both the U.S. Amateur and Canadian Amateur Championship: Ross Somerville, Dick Chapman, Harvie Ward and Gary Cowan.
Current PGA TOUR players who have won the event include Mackenzie Hughes (2011, 2012) and Nick Taylor (2007).
The defending champion is Canadian Hugo Bernard.
The Toronto Golf Club will be hosting event for the ninth time, the most in the championship’s history.
Mackenzie Hughes was the last player to win the competition in back-to-back years (2011-2012). Fellow Canadian Cam Burke accomplished the feat in 2008-2009 – he will look for his third title after regaining amateur status in 2017.
Eleven of the last 15 championships were won by a Canadian, including in 10 straight years from 2003-2012.
ABOUT THE COURSES
The Toronto Golf Club
Established in 1876.
Third oldest golf course in North America.
Designed by English architect H.S. Colt.
Has hosted the RBC Canadian Open five times.
Has hosted the Men’s Canadian Amateur Championship more than any other club (nine times).
The Toronto Golf Club will play as a par 70 with a maximum yardage of 6836.
Islington Golf Club
Established in 1923.
Designed by famed Canadian golf course architect Stanley Thompson.
Features tree-lined, parkland-style golf holes across rolling terrain with Mimico Creek running through the heart of it.
Islington Golf Club will play as a par 70 with a maximum yardage of 6458