The Boston Pizza-presented Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) has announced the players receiving exemptions into the 2019 US Kids Golf (USKG) World Championship to be held in Pinehurst, NC, in August, and Yorkton’s Ella Kozak is among them.
“This is probably a bit bigger than most events I’ve been in,” the 13-year-old Kozak told Yorkton This Week, adding the event in August will have players from around the world competing.
“I’m a little bit nervous, and a little bit excited as well... It will be a new experience.”
The weeklong tournament will include three rounds of championship golf, a parent/child tournament, a team challenge, a parade of nations, closing ceremonies, and the World Horn Cup challenge; all of the events take place on the Pinehurst No 2 golf course, the same that played host to the 2014 US Open Championship.
A qualifying series took place across Canada on the MJT where players were shortlisted for spots into the tournament with the final winners determined by multiple factors including scores in relation to par/rating, scoring conditions, and others at the respective qualifying golf course.
So now Kozak will have just over a month to prepare.
“I’m probably doing some bigger tournaments ...and will do lots of practice,” she said.
As for how she expects to do in the big event, Koazk said she isn’t yet sure what her goal will be.
“I like to set goals,” she said, adding some are general such as doing better one round after another, or playing a hole that gave her trouble one round, better the next time.
But she also likes to have event goals, adding it’s a bit early for those in regrads to the North Carolina tournament.
“I just want to place well, and play well,” she said.
Other players who will be representing MJT and Canada at this year’s USKG World Championship:
Boys 6u: Bentley Hoogerdyk, Victoria, BC
Boys 7: Dustin Zhao, Maple, ON
Boys 8: Jayden Arnold, Calgary, AB
Boys 9: Lucas Sturgeon, Saskatoon, SK
Boys 10: Jim Zhu, Vancouver, BC
Boys 11: Harvey Liu, Surrey, BC
Boys 12: Jayden Brar, Calgary, AB
Boys 13: Aaron Huang, Vancouver, BC
Boys 14: Isaac Bedwell, Abbotsford, BC
Boys 15-18: Nicolas-Guy Landry, Calgary, AB
Girls 8: Aleah Shields-Rodipe, Calgary, AB
Girls 9: Sarah Kim, Victoria, BC
Girls 10: Eileen Park, Red Deer, AB
Girls 11: Elaine Liu, Vancouver, BC
Girls 12: June Hsiao, Coquitlam, BC
Girls 14: Erin Lee, Langley, BC
Girls 15-18: Sara Cumby, Canaan, NS
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.