Michelle Xing (Richmond Hill) and Jager Pain (Woodbridge) win NextGen Ontario Championships

Story – Mike Masaro / Golf Canada; Image – Christian Bender/Golf Canada

KOMOKA, ON – Michelle Xing of Richmond, Hill, Ont. grabbed the lead on Friday and didn’t look back, while Jager Pain of Woodbridge, Ont. outlasted the field to win the 2024 NextGen Ontario Championship at FireRock Golf Club in Komoka, Ont.

Michelle Xing - NextGen Ontario Championships

Cold and rainy conditions rolled in for Saturday’s final round and even delayed play for a period of time in the morning. Xing came back from the delay to finish with three consecutive rounds under par, 69-70-68, good for 12-under and five shots clear of Julia Alexander-Carew of Oakville, Ont. to win the Junior Girls division. Xing recorded six birdies on Saturday including three in a row from holes 14 through 16.

“I was putting well for the most part. No three putts, great lagging. I was making sure to get those long putts close to make sure I was cleaning up the shorter ones,” said Xing about her performance during the week.

Saturday’s win is Xing’s third of the season. The Team Canada NextGen member credited her putting and short game and just focusing on her own performances out on the course for her success this season.

With the win, Xing has secured her spot in the 2024 Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO, from July 22-25 at Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver, which came as a surprise.

“I didn’t know about the exemption until 10 minutes ago, so it’s awesome and I’m looking forward to playing and hopefully playing better than I did last year,” said Xing following her round.

Seven other girls have also qualified for the national championship by finishing in the top eight.

NextGen Pacific Championship – Advancing to Canadian Junior Girls Championship

Top 8 plus ties qualify

1. Michelle Xing (Richmond Hill, Ont.) -12
2. Julia Alexander-Carew (Oakville, Ont.) -7
T3. Nobelle Park (Oakville, Ont.) -4
T3. Aryn Matthews (Little Britain, Ont.) -4
T5. Angela Cai (Oakville, Ont.) -3
T5. Joline Truong (Mississauga, Ont.) -3
7. Kayla Black (Mississauga, Ont.) -1
8. Leonie Tavares (Mirabel, Que.) E
Jager Pain - NextGen Ontario Championships

In the Junior Boys Division, Pain made quite the climb over three days. After Thursday, he sat seven shots back of the lead with an opening round of 73 to put him T17. On Friday he pulled to within two shots of the lead thanks to a round of 5-under 67, carding five birdies and an eagle. Pain said his confidence grew after a difficult opening round.

“I struggled on the greens on the first day, but just practiced some putting fundamentals and had a lot more confidence the last couple of days,” said Pain.

Saturday’s final round saw Pain battle with Dawson Lew and Matthew Rastogi, both of Toronto. Lew took the lead into Saturday with Rastogi one shot behind. The final group competed down the stretch with Pain pulling ahead of the group for good after the 15th hole. He finished with a 2-under 70 for rounds of 73-67-70 to win the championship.

The win ensures that Pain has secured his spot along with seven others in the 2024 Canadian Junior Boys Championship, presented by BDO taking place August 13-16 at Innisfail Golf Club in Innisfail, Alta. The eighth and final spot into the Canadian Junior Boys Championship was decided by a four-way playoff, where Luke Smith of Toronto prevailed.

“I haven’t been playing in many qualifiers lately, so it’s nice to get an exemption under my belt through playing well and executing the way I wanted to,” said Pain after securing his place at the 2024 Canadian Junior Boys Championship.

NextGen Pacific Championship – Advancing to Canadian Junior Boys Championship

Top 8 players qualify
*Won in a playoff

1. Jager Pain (Woodbridge, Ont.) -6
T2. Dawson Lew (Toronto, Ont.) -4
T2. Matthew Rastogi (Toronto, Ont.) -4
4. Antoine Jasmin (Blainville, Que.) -2
T5. Ben Sheridan (Ottawa, Ont.) E
T5. Joseph Totino (Toronto, Ont.) E
7. Rowan MacDonald (Cantley, Que.) +1
T8. Luke Smith (Toronto, Ont.) * +2

The 54-hole stroke play competition began on Thursday, May 9. After 36 holes, the field was cut to the top 51 Junior Boys and top 25 Junior Girls, including ties. The starting field featured 156 male and female competitors – 108 Junior Boys and 48 Junior Girls – vying for spots into their respective Canadian Junior Championship later this summer.

The next stop on the NextGen Championship is scheduled for May 24-26 at Leduc Golf and Country Club in Leduc, Alta. for the NextGen Western Championship.

For the final leaderboard from the NextGen Ontario Championship, please click here.

About the NextGen Championships
The NextGen Championships are a high-performance junior golf series which totals six competitions. From May to July, six championships will take place across Canada where the region’s best junior golfers will compete to earn exemptions into their respective 2024 national championships. NextGen Championships provide junior players an opportunity to develop and showcase their skills at the highest level of tournament golf.

Fairways Magazine

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