Braxton Kuntz (Breezy Bend Country Club), Ryan McMillan (Elmhurst Golf & Country Club) and Evan Nachtigall (Wheat City Golf Course) are in Caledon, Ontario this weekend set to open the 118th Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship presented by BDO Monday at the Pulpit Golf Club.
Expectations are high as Kuntz and McMillan, who were separated by just a single stroke at Oak Island Golf to conclude the Nott Autocorp Men’s Amateur. Nachtigall finished only five strokes back with an impressive three under par 69 in his final round.
264 competitors will embark on the 72 hole event with a cut set for the top 70 players and ties following Tuesday’s second round.
Also taking part from Manitoba are Curtis Markusson (St. Charles Country Club), Grady Chuback (Team Manitoba / St. Charles), Marco Trstenjak (Elmhurst), Neel Soni (St. Charles) and Trey Ross (Rossmere Country Club).
Established in 1895, the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship is the third oldest amateur championship in the world. The tournament was first contested as one of the newly formed Royal Canadian Golf Association’s (RCGA), now known as Golf Canada, first orders of business in 1895 at the Ottawa Golf Club.
The national championship originally began as a match play competition but changed to stroke play for the 1969 championship. It remained that way through 1994 when it reverted to match play in honour of the RCGA’s and the championship’s centennial in 1995. The championship once again reverted to stroke play in 2008 and in 2010, the tournament changed to a double field format for the first time ever.
Nick Taylor is the only Canadian male golfer to have won the Canadian Junior Boys (2006), Canadian Men’s Amateur (2007) and RBC Canadian Open (2023) titles. Brooke Henderson is the only Canadian female golfer to win the national championship trifecta, having won the Canadian Junior Girls (2012), Canadian Women’s Amateur (2013) and the CPKC Women’s Open (2018).
The new purse payout that was introduced in 2022 will continue at this year’s championship. To align with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship will compete for a purse of $8,000 CAD. Amateur golfers may accept prize money up to a maximum of $1,200 CAD, and payouts will be awarded to the top 10 finishers and ties.
The national championship will also feature an Inter-Provincial Team Championship that will take place over the first 36-holes of the tournament. Team Quebec will be defending their title as nine provinces and one territory will be vying to etch their names into the Willingdon Cup.
The 2023 Canadian Men’s Amateur Champion receives an exemption into the 2024 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Hamilton, Ont. and the 2023 U.S. Amateur Championship taking place at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. from August 14-20.
*some copy courtesy Golf Canada