FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The top Canadian men’s amateur golfers over the age of 25 will head to Fort McMurray, Alta., for this year’s Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Fort McMurray Golf Club from Aug. 24 – 27.
The 122-player field includes two retired NHL players, Max Reinhart and Michael Cammalleri. Reinhart, brother of current Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart, played 23 games for the Calgary Flames between 2012 and 2015. He played in the 2019 B.C. Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master Championships at Ledgeview Golf and Country Club in Abbotsford, B.C., where he finished tied for fifth.
Cammalleri spent 17 seasons in the NHL between 2002 and 2018 where he played in 906 games, racking up 294 goals, 642 points and 425 penalty minutes. The 39-year-old most recently was in the field for the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ont.
Charles Fitzsimmons of London, Ont., is the highest ranked amateur in the field at No. 1247 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Fitzsimmons finished third at the 2019 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship and has also finished in the top 5 at the previous three national championships.
Other notables in the field that finished in the top ten at the 2019 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship include Mike Aizawa (Richmond, B.C.) at 5th, David Lang (Toronto) at 6th, and Ryan Sevigny (Ottawa, Ont.) at 9th.
Nestled along the banks of the Athabasca river, the Fort McMurray Golf Club is ranked one of the must play golf courses in Alberta by The Edmonton Sun. The 27-hole facility features a variety of shots both over valleys and creek beds along with large greens of varying degrees of undulation.
The Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event, with a 36-hole cut to the low 70 players and ties. In the event of a tie at the end of four rounds, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff immediately following completion of 72-holes. The Mid-Amateur division will run concurrently with the Mid-Master division for players 40 and older. The Mid-Amateur champion will earn an exemption into the 2022 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.
Previous winners of the tournament include Canada’s top-ranked men’s amateur golfer and NHL referee Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., won the event three years in a row between 2014 and 2016; Graham Cooke who won it seven times between 1987 and 2002; and Stu Hamilton who won it on four separate occasions between 1990 and 1994.
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Charles Fitzsimmons (London, Ont.)
Fitzsimmons is currently ranked at No. 1247 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and once had a career high ranking of No. 301. He played on Western University’s Men’s Golf Team for 12 seasons between the 2006 and 2018 seasons. In 2019, he won the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, and finished third at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Brandon Markiw (Calgary, Alta.)
Brandon Markiw is currently ranked No. 1530 on the WAGR. In early June of this year, Markiw won the Alberta Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship. His best finish at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship came in 2016 when he finished tied for 12th.
Ryan Sevigny (Ottawa, Ont.)
In 2019, Ryan Sevigny finished ninth at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship and finished tied for second at the 2016 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Matt Williams (Calgary, Alta.)
Matt Williams is a former member of the Team Canada Junior Squad (2014). Williams finished tied for eight at the 2017 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, and runner-up at the Alberta Men’s Amateur Championship in 2016.
The Championship was first contested in 1987 and was originally known as the RCGA Pre-Seniors Championship before it was renamed to its current name in 1989.
Graham Cooke of Hudson, Que. and Stu Hamilton of Brampton, Ont. captured 11 of the first 20 championships played. Cooke was the inaugural champion in 1987 and has the most event wins with seven.
Three players have won the event three times in a row: Garrett Rank, Dave Bunker and Graham Cooke – no one has won it four straight years.
The format changed from match to stroke play in 2006, with the Mid-Master category introduced for golfers over the age of 40.
In 2019, Team Ontario won the inter-provincial R. Bruce Forbes Trophy for the fifth straight year.