Dabawenya golfer Alessandra Christine “Ella” Nagayo is getting used to Canada’s lifestyle by herself. And she’s getting used to winning too.
The 15-year old Nagayo, who commutes to tournaments either by bus or Uber when her mother can’t drive her, won her fourth title as a rookie in the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour Girls 15-18 division at the Copetown Woods Golf Club in Ontario, Canada over the weekend.
The daughter of former Davao City councilor Rachel Zozobrado Nagayo, who has been a force since joining the tour earlier this year, posted a pair of 77s (154) to take the MJT Girls 15-18 division by three shots. Runner-up behind the Toronto-based Nagayo was Bo Brown, 15, of Mississauga in Ontario who shot scores of 78 and 79 (157).
The Boston Pizza-presented MJT held its first of three August events on the Ontario circuit in Copetown, where a talented field of junior golfers from across the province competed for titles in six divisions. With limited opportunities remaining, this tournament offered players a chance to earn a spot at the MJT Boston Pizza National Championship presented by TaylorMade and adidas golf at The Reunion Resort in Florida this November.
Nagayo’s win punched her a ticket to the Florida tournament. Significantly, her meteoric rise in the Canadian circuit earned her an invitation to join the MJT team of Canada to the JNJG International Junior Golf Championships in Sydney on September 26-October 6 this year.
Ella was in the Australian side in the 2017 and 2018 editions of the JNJG and now, she will be representing Canada.
The chance to meet her former teammates from Down Under thrills the golfing sensation nicknamed “Swingderella.”
“When Ella was in Australia pa, she qualified and was selected to be part of Team Victoria for the JNJG Under 15 Schools Golf Championships in Sydney, NSW. She was selected for two straight years, 2017 and 2018. Then karun na nag-transfer mi sa Toronto, she joined the Maple Leaf Junior Tour which happens to be the junior golf body with the qualifier for the players who will compose the MJT Team Canada to play at the JNJG International Junior Golf Championships in Sydney,” Ella’s mother Rachel told Edge Davao.
Ella joined and won the Tarandowah Golf Course MJT Tournament. But While she was the girl’s champion for the 15-18, she thought she won’t make it as her scores were not that good.
“Although she was praying to be invited kay makita na pud niya iyang mates sa Team Victoria. Then yesterday morning, we received the email inviting her, so happy kaayo mi, because it is like she is coming full circle with the JNJG tournaments and also, she felt honored na after representing Team Victoria in Australia, she is now representing Team Canada naman,” said lawyer Rachel, who was recently deployed as the Philippines’ labor attache in Canada.
“I am very happy because I really saw Ella’s growth as a golfer, even if mag bus or mag Uber lang sya kay di nako mahatod kay naa koy work, she really makes it a point to practice at least three times a week,” she added.
Ella has won each tournament she has joined in Canada since moving in from Australia. Her younger brother Daniel also won one tournament in the MJT before taking time off due to an injury.