North Bay, Ont. – Alex Zhang shot a final round of 74 to win the 2023 Canadian Junior Boys Championship, presented by BDO at the North Bay Golf and Country Club in North Bay, Ont. on Thursday.
Zhang took a one-shot lead into the final round and that’s how it would end as he becomes the 11th player in tournament history to win both the Silver Cup (Junior Championship) and the Jack Bailey Trophy (Juvenile Championship), and the first player to win both since Christopher Vandette in 2018.
He joins Jim Rutledge, Jeff Makahon, Rob McMillan, Jesse Collinson, Dustin Risdon, Gord Scutt, Rafael Lee, Mitch Sutton, Charles-Éric Bélanger and Vandette as those who have won both championships.
“It just feels awesome. I don’t think that it’s sunk in yet. I had a sloppy finish, but I am really happy to still get it done,” said Zhang after signing his scorecard on 18. “It means a lot, I’m very grateful to add my name to a list of great players,” he added.
After mostly favourable conditions during the week, the wind played a factor in Thursday’s final round. Zhang birdied the opening hole and added two more on the front nine to pull further ahead.
“I feel like the front nine it was blowing really hard, but I got off to a really good start so that helped me a lot but the back nine I just hit some bad shots at the end,” said Zhang.
With a large crowd watching, Zhang rolled in a short bogey putt on 18 to secure the national championship, “I just stuck to my game plan and told myself to miss in the right spot and that’s what I did and give myself a good chance at par and if not an easy bogey.”
The 14-year-old from Richmond, B.C. who will be celebrating his 15th birthday on Friday couldn’t think of a better way to spend his birthday, “this would be the best gift ever, I can’t beat it!” said Zhang with a smile. He finished the tournament with rounds of 71-69-72-74.
With the victory, Zhang has earned an exemption into the 2024 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship as well as the 2024 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
Zhang will also be awarded a cheque of $1,200. To align with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship, competed for a purse of $8,000 CAD. Along with Zhang, the top-10 finishers earned prize money.
Jake Houston of Baie-D’Urfe, Que. and James Lee of Whistler, B.C. both finished at 1-under to earn silver medalist honours in the Junior Championship. Lee also earned solo silver medalist honours in the Juvenile Championship and Matthew Javier of North York, Ont. took home bronze medalist honours finishing at even par.
On Tuesday, the Junior Inter-Provincial Team Championship Trophy was awarded to Team Ontario, who won the Junior Inter-Provincial Team Championship. Ontario finished the team competition at 4-under, winning by three shots. Team Ontario consisted of Isaiah Ellis of Smithville, Ont., Matthew Javier of North York, Ont. and Isaiah Ibit of Ottawa. Team British Columbia finished at 2-under and earned silver medalist honours and Team Alberta earned bronze medalist honours finishing at 6-over.
For the final standings of the 2023 Canadian Junior Boys Championship, presented by BDO, please click here.
GOLF CANADA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Golf Canada annually conducts more than 30 golf competitions and qualifiers nation-wide – including nine National Amateur Championships – which play host to more than 3,000 domestic and international athletes from all corners of the world. In partnership with our host clubs, thousands of volunteers, provincial golf associations and our proud sponsors, Golf Canada is dedicated to supporting player development through world-class competition since our inception in 1895. Officiated by certified Canadian Rules of Golf officials, Golf Canada’s amateur competitions are fully compliant with golf’s international governing bodies and include marquee events such as the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships as well as the Canadian Junior Girls and Junior Boys Championships. Golf Canada’s amateur championships are proudly supported by BDO Canada, Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), Titleist, FootJoy, Sport Canada, Levelwear and JOURNIE Rewards. For more information and scheduling visit www.golfcanada.ca/championships.