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Aussies rule at major-ranked MJT National Team Challenge presented by Freedom 55 Financial

Niagara on the Lake, ON – (September 23, 2019) – The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour closed out its fifth annual MJT National Team Challenge (NTC) presented by Freedom 55 Financial at the Royal Niagara Golf Club in Ontario, a unique event for Canadian junior golf featuring collegiate style scoring. From September 20 to 22, a total of 15 teams comprising 90 competitors from across Canada, USA, Mexico, and Australia, gathered in Niagara-on-the-Lake to compete in this 54-hole major event, featuring rankings by World Amateur Golf Ranking, Golf Canada, and the AJGA (PBE status).

The Australian team from the Jack Newton Junior Golf Tour were crowned as champions in all three categories: individual boys, individual girls and in the team competition, where they won by nine shots with a three-day team score of 893 (298-296-299) after leading wire-to-wire. It was an all-around effort with every team member, Taylah Ellems, Annika Rathbone, Hamish Murray, Bart Carroll, Josh Robards and Jeff Gaun, contributing to the scoring throughout the tournament. 

Leading the way for Australia was Jeffrey Yu Guan. The 15-year-old rising star carded 72, 69, and 70 to finish the tournament at five-under and win the individual title of NTC Junior Boys Champion by four shots over Kiko Coelho, 16, of Sean Foley Performance, Lake Mary, FL (70, 72, 73). “The best memory is going to Canada itself because this is is my first time in Canada,” Guan said. “Playing golf at a different style of course and meeting people globally was all new and exciting. To make things even better, the team and I topped it off with a win! That’s be something we will all cherish and treasure.”

The other driving force behind Team Australia’s first place finish was Annika Rathbone, 16. Rathbone took home the NTC Junior Girls Champion’s title with scores of 71, 80, 74 (225), for convincing 11-shot win over Iris Wang, 16, of Sean Foley Performance, FL. “The best memory from my time in Canada is making such great friends and playing at a different course than the ones in Sydney,” Rathbone said. “I feel honoured to be able to have won such a great event!"

About the MJT: 

The non-profit Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour presented by Boston Pizza is 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. The organization is presented nationally by Boston Pizza and supported by valued Premier, Tournament and Product Partners. The MJT hosts close to 80 events across Canada, including free Ford Go Golf Junior Clinics, the MJT Mini Tour for 7 to 12 year olds, the Collegiate Tour for 19 to 23 year olds, and multi-day events for competitive players aged 11 to 18 which are also qualifiers for international competitions. The program offers annual awards, scholarships, and frequent player incentives to help reward player's performance and participation throughout each season. MJT alumni include many Professional Tour players and PGA of Canada Professionals, as well as Canadian Amateur, National and Provincial Junior Champions. The MJT aims to develop champions, in golf and in life, promoting the game from grassroots through to provincial, national, university and professional level.

Article courtesy of Maple Leaf Junior Tour. For more information, see

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