Toronto has a new junior golf Cinderella story and her name is Swingderella.
Yes, that’s the moniker of Alessandra Christine “Ella” Nagayo, Davao City golf sensation who has conquered Australia and now, Canada.
Playing in perhaps the biggest tournament in her first two months stint in Canada on Saturday, the 15-year old Nagayo romped away with the junior girls championship trophy in the City of Toronto Golf Championships at the Tam O Shanter Golf Club.
The tough tournament attracted the nation’s top junior and senior men’s and women’s amateur golfers who had to undergo a tough qualifying school. Nagayo got at automatic pass via direct invitation from the tournament head following her impressive performances in the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT).
Nagayo carded a five over par 77 to beat Vidya Ramarine who finished with an 80.
Nagayo’s smashing performance on Canadian soil also earned for her a spot in Canada’s junior golf squad that will represent the country in Australia’s upcoming Jack Newton International Junior Classic, a tournament billed as the ‘largest junior golf event in the Southern Hemisphere’ with competitors from several countries taking part.
The Boston Pizza-sponsored MJT announced on its website on Wednesday that after qualifying via numerous MJT tournaments held across the country, the golfers selected to compete as part of MJT Team Canada are Nagayo from the Don Valley Golf Course in Toronto, ON, Morgan Rutledge from Melancthon, ON, playing out of Shelburne Golf and Country Club, Tommy McKenzie from Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club in Calgary, AB, Kyle Mayner from Kelowna Golf and Country Club in Kelowna, BC, and Danny Im from Redwoods Golf Club in Langley, BC.
This will be the eleventh appearance for MJT Team Canada in the Australian event, which runs a Junior (15 to 17 years) as well as a Sub-Junior (14 and under) Championship simultaneously from September 30 through October 4, in Hunter Valley, New South Wales. The five-player team, accompanied by MJT Tournament Director and PGA of Canada Professional, John Deneer, will be participating in the Junior Championship and outfitted with uniforms and golf bags courtesy of MJT’s Official Travel Insurance Partner, TuGo. TuGo also supports the MJT via a partnership where the non-profit program receives 10% back from every travel insurance policy sold to MJT member families.
“I am very much looking forward to guiding the Canadian players through what is sure to be a fantastic trip offering many great experiences!” said Deneer. “Taking part in a top level, international event is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our juniors and I am excited to represent the MJT as this seasons coach.”