Mackenzie Hughes, Rebecca Lee-Bentham named top Canadian amateurs for 2011

Oakville, ON (December 16, 2011) Ė Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont. and Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Richmond Hill, Ont. have been recognized as Canadaís 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 menís side, Hughes, a member of Team Canadaís National Squad, posted several notable victories in 2011, including a win at the Canadian Menís 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. Menís 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 Menís 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 womenís side, Lee-Bentham edged 2010 Order of Merit champion Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont. to claim top spot in the womenís national ranking. In 2011, the 19-year-old Team Canada graduate posted a victory at the Royale Cup Canadian Womenís Amateur Championship, finished tied for fourth at a CN Canadian Womenís Tour event, and reached the Round of 32 at the Ladiesí 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 womenís national ranking are Kirby and Bath, Ont., native Augusta James, both members of Team Canadaís 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 Canadaís 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 Menís Amateur Championship.

Bateman, a member of Team Canadaís 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 Canadaís 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. Girlsí Junior Championship. Keel also saw success on the CN Canadian Womenís 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 Womenís 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 Menís and Womenís 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 Ė 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 Ė 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