Excitement building for 2022 Elk Ridge Open

The organizing committee of the Elk Ridge Open is continuing to build excitement for the first full-field event at the resort, the third stop on the PGA Tour Canada schedule this season.

During a virtual media conference today, Elk Ridge Resort Managing Partner Ryan Danberg said hosting the scaled down event last year provided the group a so-called test run at hosting a world-class golf championship.

“We’re very grateful that we had that event last year,” Danberg responded to the question posted by paNOW’s Jeff D’Andrea. “I think it gave us a taste of what to expect this year. I’ve learned that the PGA Tour Canada is very in depth, and they do a wonderful job of covering off every little logistic. The stage is much different this year, this field is going to be full of immense talent.”

Danberg added that 200 volunteers are needed at an event to this magnitude. He also said last year with border issues still a concern the field was loaded with Canadians and locals. This year they have had to turn down upwards of 60 sponsor exemption requests.

“Believe me, it’s been one of the hardest parts is declining all the sponsor exemption requests, obviously this field is going to full of immense.” he said.

The field will consist of 156 players competing for a purse of $200,000 from June 23 to 26. Roman Timmerman, the 2021 Saskatchewan Amateur Champion and Josh Nagy, an Elk Ridge junior player now attending Robert Morris University are two already announced entrants.

Two-time Saskatchewan amateur champion and PGA Tour professional Graham DeLaet is the event ambassador once again. He said Elk Ridge is a capable venue and has everything world-class players need in a facility.

“It’s in good shape, it’s fair, pace of play moves along well, you get treated well, you have other amenities other than golf and I think that’s what Elk Ridge has. Even though it’s not in a big city like some other stops along the PGA Tour Canada, but there are things to do and places to stay. Elk Ridge really ticks all the boxes,” DeLaet said.

More sponsor details will be announced in the future. The 2022 season gets underway on June 2 in Victoria at Uplands Golf Club for the Royal Beach Victoria Open.

Record field takes on Elmwood during MJT opener

Ella Kozak and Chase Pochylko were the overall winners this weekend's MJT event in Swift Current. Photo/MJT

The Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) kicked off their 2022 Saskatchewan schedule with a 54-hole event at Swift Current’s Elmwood Golf Club on the May long weekend.

The MJT was supposed to begin their season in Saskatchewan earlier in May but due to the weather that event is pushed back leading the Elmwood tournament as the opener with a field of 106 players across six age groups.

Yorkton’s Ella Kozak started her season off strong with taking 15–19-year-old girl’s category with a three-round score of 218 (70, 74, 74) playing the course at just under 6,000 yards. Regina’s Hallie Crozier was was second shooting 247, Calgary golfer Gabrielle Roznicki was third with a score of 262.

In the under-15 girl’s category Chloe Wills of Kyle was a four-stroke winner over Niya Friesen of Swift Current. Wills fired rounds of 81, 84, and 85 for a total of 250. Friesen carded 85, 81, and an 88 on route to 254. Tayla Perry of Regina was third at 257.

On the boy’s side, in the peewee (under-13) age group Jayden Arnold of Calgary was the winner. The 11-year-old held off Saskatoon’s Lucas Sturgeon and Austin Nesbitt of Pilot Butte to take the victory. Arnold posted a score of 228 (78, 74, 76), Sturgeon was nine shots back in second, Nesbitt shot 243.

In the bantam (under-15) category another Alberta golfer came out on top. Taber’s Lyndon Kuryvial won in a playoff over Ryan Mosher of Saskatoon. Each finished the event at 235 through 54 holes but Kuryvial outlasted Mosher for the win. Jack Maharaj took the bronze medal, the Saskatoon product was just two strokes back.

In the juvenile (under-17) division Saskatoon’s Max Regier was a one-shot winner over Weyburn’s Darien Herlick. Regier carded rounds of 72, 73, and 74, just holding off Herlick in the group that evolved into a two-player race. Dane Giesbrecht was third at 235 (73, 84, 78).

In the under-19 junior boy’s age group Chase Pochylko, a winner at the MJT National event last October has another win.

The Saskatoon player shot back-to-back 71’s and a sparkling 68 in the final round to win the overall championship with a score of 210. Reigning provincial champion Hunter Kutcher was second at 217. Alex Swinnerton of Saskatoon was tied for third with Zachary Szakacs at 218.

The complete results of the event can be found here. The tournament was the first of five events that will be used to determine the Saskatchewan teams at the Canada Summer Games.

The next event is the NextGen Prairie Championship on June 10 – 12 in Ste. Anne, Manitoba. Golf Saskatchewan is taking a bus to the event, if you wish to register contact Steve Ryde at sryde@golfsk.org as soon as possible.

Introducing the 2022 Spider stock from TaylorMade

Earlier this spring TaylorMade released their newest line of Spider putters.

Product Specialist Mike Langin showed off the models at the Ramada Golf Dome in Saskatoon earlier this spring alongside Golf Saskatchewan.

Golf Canada introduces new financial benefits at four 2022 National Amateur Championships

Golf Canada is adding new financial benefits available to competitors at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, Canadian Junior Boys Championship, Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, and Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, each presented by BDO.

To help defray the cost of participation, a limited number of needs-based financial assistance grants will be available for competitors who must travel to play in the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and Canadian Junior Boys Championship. A total of 26 grants of $500 each will be provided to eligible participants based on family financial need using an application process that is similar to how universities allocate financial aid.

“Golf Canada recognizes the financial demands associated with attending national championships and sees this as a modest way to help junior players and their families,” said Mary Beth McKenna, Director of Amateur Championships and Rules. “We will evaluate the impact of this pilot initiative as we plan for future years.”

In addition, in accordance with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, Canadian Junior Boys Championship, Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, and Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, will now compete for a purse of $8,000 CAD at each event. Amateur golfers may accept prize money up to a maximum of $1,200 CAD, and payouts will be awarded to the top-10 finishers and ties.

McKenna says these new financial initiatives are part of Golf Canada’s commitment to operating globally prominent amateur championships and its increased efforts to grow the number of Canadians competing on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR.

Applications for financial assistance grants for the national junior championships will open on May 16, 2022 and may be submitted by any junior golfer who qualifies for the Canadian Junior Girls Championship or Canadian Junior Boys Championship, both presented by BDO. For the financial assistance grant application form click here.

For more details about the financial assistance grants click here. For more information on the purse payout plan click here.

Golf Saskatchewan announces Champions Cup; Four-Ball Championship rescheduled

Golf Saskatchewan has announced the introduction of a one-day tournament in September that will allow club champions to compete for the inaugural Saskatchewan Champions Cup.

Member clubs across the province will be eligible to send six club champions to the 18-hole event being hosted by The Legends Golf Club in Warman on Sept. 24. Golf Saskatchewan Director of Championships Steve Ryde said adding an event in the fall has been a goal for a few years.

“Having an event that wraps up the championship season in a fun, competitive way, while potentially increasing the stakes for club championships at our member facilities, our organization figured this was a win-win for golfers from across Saskatchewan to show pride in their home club or community,” Ryde said.

As mentioned, clubs can send up to six players from their facility with the top four players scores used to determine the first ever Saskatchewan Champions Cup winners. The competitors can be junior, amateur, or senior champions, either women or men. Players must be members of Golf Canada and Saskatchewan.

“We’re very excited to host the first of many Champions Cups,” said Davidson Matyczuk, the General Manager at The Legends. “We’ve hosted several Golf Saskatchewan events in recent years and are looking forward to this one-day tournament. Our club champions here take great pride in the inter-club competitions, adding a chance to represent and promote you club on a provincial level is a nice add to club playdowns across Saskatchewan.”

More details will be announced as the season progresses.

Golf Saskatchewan also announced Friday that the newly announced Saskatchewan Four-Ball Championship will be rescheduled for later this year. The event was slated for May 21 and 22 at Valley Regional Park Golf Course. The 36-hole all-inclusive tournament will now be played July 23 and 24 at Rosthern.

More details on all the 2022 provincial championships click here.

College to caddying; Istace embarking on new venture post-graduation

Brody Istace's college career at CIU in South Carolina has come to a conclusion.

For the last four years Brody Istace has been competing in college golf for the Columbia International University Rams in South Carolina, the Kindersley product in now venturing into a new trade following his graduation.

Istace is still pondering more schooling but he will soon head back to the United States and begin caddying at Harbour Town Golf Links in S.C.

Golf Saskatchewan spoke with the four-year Ram and discussed his college career, what’s next, and thoughts on future Saskatchewan kids from smaller, nine-hole clubs making it at the collegiate level.

College career closes for Kydd

Jacob Kydd has concluded his collegiate golf career at Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Regina products college days aren’t over however, Kydd will continue to study in the United States and earn his degree on route to becoming an optomitrist.

He spoke with Golf Saskatchewan’s Clark Stork discussing his four years south of the border and how college golf has helped shape his life, and future.

Carlisle qualifies for DII National Championship

Jace Carlisle will compete in the NCAA DII National Championship in Dearborn, Michigan later this month. (Photo - Jeff Carlisle)

Estevan’s Jace Carlisle is headed to a collegiate national championship.

The sophomore at Post University placed tied for fourth this past weekend at the NCAA East/Atlantic Regionals in Victor, New York. The TS&M Woodlawn member fired an opening round score of 69 leaving himself in first after round one. Carlisle rounded out the weekend shooting 75 and 73 for a 54-hole score of 1-over par, 217.

The National Championship will be held at TPC Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan from May 16 – 20.

Golf Saskatchewan spoke with Carlisle on Sunday, a day after Carlisle earned the national spot as an individual.

Deer Valley incorporates Operation 36 into programming

Operation 36 is underway at Deer Valley Golf Club.

Deer Valley Golf Club is one of the first facilities in Saskatchewan to tee up the Operation 36 golf program to build the game at the grassroot level.

Operation 36 is a program operated by golf software company Golf Genius. Working with a “curriculum” platform for all levels and ages of players, Deer Valley Head Professional John Greenough said he’s been eying the program for several years.

“They have great marketing materials; they have five or six PGA professionals on staff building content and running the program. Really there is a high-end professional feel to the whole platform. They thought of everything, it’s fantastic,” Greenough said following the first week of sessions at Deer Valley just outside Regina.

The program focuses on several aspects of skill from social golfer to elite college players, Greenough added that piqued his interest in Operation 36.

Deer Valley has sessions for both junior golfers and women golfers. Greenough said with the help of Head Teaching Professional Kevin Dietz and Assistant Professional Shawn Smith the first week went well.

“We have multiple PGA guys working with lots of gals and juniors,” he said. “Everyone has gotten on the app, they are posting their progress, you are able to track your practice sessions and things like that. Everyone seems really excited about a different way to learn.”

The ‘first semester’ junior program will be eight weeks in May and June. The program will be cut down to four weeks during the busier summer months of July and August. The adult programming is also a four-week semester.

The program is comparable to grades in school with tests in place to advance to a new level with a total of six ranks.

Jeff Chambers has launched Operation 36 programming through his academy at Elmwood Golf Club in Swift Current, Garrett McMillan is also using the program at facilities in Regina and Moose Jaw beginning next week.

For more details on the locations in Saskatchewan conducting Operation 36 programs click here.

You can hear more from Greenough below in his interview with Golf Saskatchewan’s Clark Stork.

Timmerman, Nagy earn sponsor exemptions into Elk Ridge Open

Elk Ridge, Sk – The ownership group of Elk Ridge Resort, Routes2SK and the Elk Ridge Open host committee announced Wednesday four of its sponsor exemptions into the field for the 2022 official PGA TOUR Canada tournament that will take place June 20-26at Elk Ridge Golf Resort.

The four sponsor exemptions will go to:

This is the second playing of the Elk Ridge Open and the first as part of the Tour’s Fortinet Cup schedule. The 72-hole event begins June 23. The 2021 tournament took place in September due to a modified TOUR schedule.

“Our Routes2SK Inc. group has chosen Roman and Josh, and we look forward to inviting the two champions of the upcoming events to play in this first-ever PGA TOUR Canada event at Elk Ridge Golf Resort,” said Routes2SK Managing Partner Ryan Danberg. “The stage is going to be substantially different from last year’s Canadian-only event, so we are hoping to have Saskatchewan’s best represent us.

“We have recently purchased the Waskesiu Lake Lodge,” Danberg continued, “and having the Lobstick in Waskesiu is a very important golf event for the community. This will make the event that much more exciting to watch.”

This marks the second time Nagy received a sponsor exemption. The two-time Saskatchewan junior champion is currently playing college golf for Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh.

“I’d like to thank Elk Ridge and the organizing committee again this year for the exemption,” Nagy said. “I was able to compete in the inaugural Elk Ridge Open last September and was very happy my first professional event was at the resort where I grew up playing the game. I am very excited to come back and try my hand again against players at the next level. I look forward to returning to the Open and am thankful for the opportunity.”

Timmerman earned a spot in last year’s tournament following his record-breaking win at the 2021 Saskatchewan Amateur Championship in Swift Current. Due to a scheduling conflict with his university, the Saskatoon product was unable to compete in the inaugural event.

“I am very grateful and excited to be given a sponsor’s exemption into the 2022 Elk Ridge Open. I would like to thank Brian Lee, Steve Ryde and the rest of the staff at Golf Saskatchewan, as well as Ryan Wells and everyone at Elk Ridge Resort, for this opportunity. I heard only great things from last year’s event and look forward to competing this June,” Timmerman said.

The Elk Ridge Open tournament committee plans to announce its final two sponsor exemption selections following further discussion with PGA TOUR Canada officials.

For more details on the Elk Ridge Open click here.