Mackenzie Hughes and Rebecca Lee-Bentham earn top amateur honours in 2011 Order Of Merit

12/16/2011

- Wilson Bateman and Jisoo Keel named Canada’s Top Junior Golfers –

Oakville, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont. and Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Richmond Hill, Ont. have been recognized as Canada’s top male and female amateur golfers as Golf Canada announced the final standings on the 2011 National Order of Merit, presented by Under Armour.

On the men’s side, Hughes, a member of Team Canada’s National Squad, posted several notable victories in 2011, including a win at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship that earned the 21-year old an exemption into the 2012 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Hughes also captured the Glencoe Invitational, earned medalist honors at a U.S. Open Regional Qualifier and reached the Round of 16 at the Western Amateur and the Round of 64 at the U.S. Men’s Amateur.

As a junior at Kent State University, Hughes won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) title and was named to the NCAA First Team All-MAC and NCAA Academic All-MAC squads.

Rounding out the top-five on the Men’s Order of Merit are Team Canada National Squad members Mitch Sutton of London, Ont., Albin Choi of Toronto, Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., and former Team Canada member Richard Jung of Toronto.

On the women’s side, Lee-Bentham edged 2010 Order of Merit champion Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont. to claim top spot in the women’s national ranking. In 2011, the 19-year-old Team Canada graduate posted a victory at the Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, finished tied for fourth at a CN Canadian Women’s Tour event, and reached the Round of 32 at the Ladies’ British Open Amateur before earning full-time status on the LPGA Tour for 2012 by tying for ninth at the Final Qualifying Tournament.

Rounding out the top-five in the women’s national ranking are Kirby and Bath, Ont., native Augusta James, both members of Team Canada’s 2012 National Squad. Nicole Zhang of Calgary finished fourth, while former National Squad member Nicole Vandermade of Brantford, Ont., was fifth.

Wilson Bateman of Spruce Grove, Alta., and Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C., finished atop the CN Future Links Junior Boys and Junior Girls Order of Merit respectively to earn the distinction as Canada’s top junior golfers this past season.

In 2011, Bateman, 18, produced victories at the CN Future Links Pacific Championship, CN Future Links Ontario Championship and the Alberta Junior Boys Championship, while also finishing tied for 6th at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and tied for 3rd at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.

Bateman, a member of Team Canada’s Development Squad in 2011, also reached the Round of 16 at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, and tied for 14th at the William H. Tucker Invitational as a freshman at San Diego State University.

Jung, 2012 Team Canada Development Squad member Kevin Kwon of Pitt Meadows, B.C., Jerry Christiansen of Saskatoon, Sask., and Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., also a member of Team Canada’s Development Squad, round out the top-five on the Junior Boys Order of Merit.

Keel, meanwhile, earned a win at the 2011 CN Future Links Pacific Championship, tied for 2nd at the 2011 Royale Cup Canadian Junior Girls Championship and reached the Round of 16 at the 2011 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Keel also saw success on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour circuit with top-ten finishes at both the B.C. and Quebec events.

 The 16-year-old also made her professional tournament debut at the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open, where she finished tied for 66th and also garnered low amateur honours.

Rounding out the top-five on the 2011 CN Future Links National Junior Girls Order of Merit are Team Canada Development Squad member Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., Augusta James, Coquitlam, B.C. native SooBin Kim and Team Canada Development Squad member Anica Yoo, also of Coquitlam, B.C.

The following are the Top-10 on the Men’s and Women’s 2011 National Orders of Merit presented by Under Armour:

Men's - Top 10
1. Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ont.)  950
2. Mitch Sutton (London, Ont.)   785
3. Albin Choi (Toronto, Ont.)   770
4. Garrett Rank (Elmira, Ont.)   638.75
5. Richard Jung (Toronto, Ont.)  558.5
6. Cory Renfrew Vancouver, B.C.)  520
7. Mark Hoffman (Ashburn, Ont.)  450
8. Wilson Bateman (Spruce Grove, Alta.) 440
9. Eric Banks (Truro, N.S.)   411.5
10. Jacob Patte (Oshawa, Ont.)   400

Women's - Top 10
1. Rebecca Lee-Bentham (Richmond Hill, Ont.) 1382
2. Jennifer Kirby (Paris, Ont.)   1085.9
3. Augusta James (Bath, Ont.)   953.25
4. Nicole Zhang (Calgary, Alta.)   658.8
5. Nicole Vandermade (Brantford, Ont.) 630
6. Jessica Wallace (Langley, B.C.)  618
7. Taylor Kim (Surrey, B.C.)   607.5
8. Jisoo Keel (Coquitlam, B.C.)   591
9. Brittany Henderson (Smiths Falls, Ont.) 570.9
10. Christine Wong (Richmond, B.C.)  561.5

The following are the Top-10 on the CN Future Links Boys and Girls 2011 National Orders of Merit:

Boys – Top 10
1. Wilson Bateman (Spruce Grove, Alta.) 4835
2. Richard Jung (Toronto, Ont.)  3285
3. Kevin Kwon (Pitt Meadows, B.C.)  2750
4. Jerry Christiansen (Saskatoon, Sask.)  2697.5
5. Adam Svensson (Surrey, B.C.)  2550
6. Eric Banks (Truro, N.S.)   2485
7. Lucas Kim (Toronto, Ont.)   2482.5
8. Riley Fleming (Airdrie, Alta.)   2282.5
9. Chris Hemmerich (Kitchener, Ont.)  2270
10. Myles Sullivan (Portage la Prairie, Man.) 2112.5
 
Girls – Top 10
1. Jisoo Keel (Coquitlam, B.C.)   1677
2. Brooke Henderson (Smiths Falls, Ont.) 1436
3. Augusta James (Bath, Ont.)   1178
4. SooBin Kim (Coquitlam, B.C.)  1091
5. Anica Yoo (Coquitlam, B.C.)   1005
6. Taylor Kim (Surrey, B.C.)   957.5
7. Jennifer Yang (Coquitlam, B.C.)  934
8. Jennifer Ha (Calgary, Alta.)   868.5
9. Brogan McKinnon (Mississauga, Ont.) 820.5
10. Anna (Youn Jin) Kim (Toronto, Ont.)  816

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Golf Canada – a member-based organization governed by the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) – is the governing body of golf in Canada, representing close to 350,000 members at almost 1,500 clubs across the country. Recognized by Sport Canada as the National Sports Organization (NSO) for golf in this country, Golf Canada is responsible for promoting participation in and a passion for the game of golf in Canada.

A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada actively conducts championships, programs and services to help shape the present and future of golf in Canada. High performance athlete development, National Golf in Schools, Golf Fore the Cure, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and CN Future Links, Canada’s national junior golf program, are only some of the initiatives the association leads for golf in Canada. As the authority for golf in Canada, the association also administers
the Rules of Golf, amateur status and handicapping and course rating under the respected RCGA brand.

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Matthew Cudzinowski                   
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