Golf Ontario recognized its 2019 Order of Merit winners with an awards ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of these players.
This prestigious awards ceremony occurred during lunch at the shared Golf Ontario/Golf Canada annual meeting at the Hilton Airport Hotel and Suites in Toronto this past weekend.
Golf Ontario maintains an Order of Merit Rankings system that allocates points for performance in Golf Ontario, Golf Canada, USGA and many other sanctioned events throughout Ontario, Canada and internationally to determine the top-ranked athletes in the province.
Female Player of the Year: Emily Zhu
Richmond Hill’s Emiiy Zhu had a strong 2019 campaign, highlighted by wins at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and the AJGA Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.
Zhu also had two runner-up finishes at the 2019 Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship, Duke of York Young Champions Trophy and in the Canada Junior Girls’ division. She has also represented Canada at the past three World Junior Girls Championships.
Zhu said her highlights of the year were winning the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and finishing second at the Ontario Women’s Am.
“It was one of my goals this year to win the Canadian Junior Girls Championships and I did it. It was a surprise for me to finish so well at the Ontario Women’s Am and I hope I can go on to win it next year”.
“My chance to participate in the CP Women’s Open was incredible as it was my first official LPGA event, so I’m very thankful and honoured to have had the opportunity to play.”
Male Player of the Year: Garrett Rank
Rank, the 31-year old NHL referee from Elmira Golf Club, has been the Men’s Amateur leader in Order of Merit ranking for the past four seasons and since becoming eligible for the Mid-Amateur category in 2013 has held on to the coveted top spot in that category as well.
Along with finishing second in the Canadian Men’s Mid Amateur Championships, Rank’s other highlight of the year was winning the 117th Western Amateur Golf Tournament. Rank was the first Canadian to win the event since Vancouver’s Jim Nelford in 1977 and the first non-US born victor since New Zealand’s Danny Lee in 2008.
He credits the momentum and confidence he took from the final round of the Porter Cup as the push he needed going into the Western Am.
Looking at the year ahead Rank said. “I’m looking forward to the Korn Ferry Tour start (an exemption from winning Western Am) and hopefully testing myself at the highest levels.”
Other 2019 Golf Ontario Order of Merit Winners
Bantam Girls Brooke Rivers
Bantam Boys Owen Kim
Juvenile Girls Emily Zhu
Juvenile Boys Thomas Latter
Junior Girls Emily Zhu
Junior Boys Bennett Ruby
Women’s Amateur Emily Zhu
Men’s Amateur Garrett Rank
Women’s Mid Amateur Sarah Dunning
Men’s Mid Amateur Garrett Rank
Senior Women’s Judith Kyrinis
Senior Men’s Ashley Chinner
Volunteer Award Winners
Golf Ontario annually recognizes the hard work and dedication of volunteers.
2019 Volunteer of the Year
Distinguished Service Awards
Honourary Life Director Awards
“This ceremony was a great chance for Golf Ontario to recognize some truly great accomplishments in golf in 2019,” said Golf Ontario executive director Mike Kelly.
“Between volunteer award winners and some amazing championship performances, we were honoured to be recognizing some of the best and brightest in Ontario golf with our 2019 awards. With Lindsay Hamilton as host and a distinguished list of nominees and winners, this was a great event for attendees and winners alike”, said Kelly.