Toronto's Albin Choi and Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont., have been named Canada's top male and female golfers for 2012 by Golf Canada.
Choi, ranked 18th in the world amateur rankings, posted several notable finishes in 2012, including earning low amateur honours at the RBC Canadian Open, winning the Ontario Amateur Championship, claiming medalist honors at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional and reaching the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur Championship. He also finished tied for first in stroke play at the North & South Men’s Amateur Championship, and tied for fifth at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. A former member of Team Canada’s National Squad, Choi won twice in five starts this fall at NC State, giving him six career collegiate victories - second only to former Team Canada graduate Matt Hill.
Former Team Canada National Squad member Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., Team Canada National Squad members Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont. and Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., and former Team Canada Development Squad member Riley Fleming of Airdrie, Alta., round out the top five in the 2012 National Order of Merit.
On the women's side, Kirby edged teenage sensation Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., to claim top spot in the national ranking. The 21-year-old senior at the University of Alabama helped the Crimson Tide capture the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship while also earning her first career collegiate victory in April and four top-five finishes during her junior year. The former Team Canada member tied for second at the Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship, qualified for match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and had two top-10 finishes at CN Canadian Women’s Tour events.
Team Canada National squad members Henderson and Augusta James of Bath, Ont., former Development Squad member Brogan McKinnon of Mississauga, Ont. and National Squad member Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., rounded out the top five.
Henderson did finish atop the CN Future Links Junior Girls Order of Merit and along with Kevin Kwon of Pitt Meadowns, B.C., was named Canada's top junior golfer in 2012.
Henderson's standout 2012 season including wins at both the Royale Cup Canadian Junior Girls Championship and the Ontario Junior Girls Championship and the CN Canadian Women’s Tour event in Beloeil, Que., which made her the youngest player ever - male or female - to win a professional golf tournament at the age of 14. The victory also earned her an exemption into the CN Canadian Women's Open where she became the youngest player ever to compete for Canada's National Women's Open Championship. She also qualified for match play at the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship, U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
In 2012, Kwon produced top-five finishes at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship, CN Future Links Pacific Championship, B.C. Junior Boys Championship and B.C. Amateur Championship, while also finishing tied for 14th place at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship. Internationally, the 17-year-old tied for sixth at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup.
The following are the Top 10 on the Men’s and Women’s 2012 National Orders of Merit presented by Under Armour:
1. Albin Choi (Toronto, Ont.) - 4,648.57 pts
2. Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ont.) - 3,925.57
3. Corey Conners (Listowel, Ont.) - 3,223.75
4. Garrett Rank (Elmira, Ont.) - 2,640.00
5. Riley Fleming (Airdrie, Alta.) - 1,955.62
6. Adam Svensson (Surrey, B.C.) - 1,925.00
7. Justin Shin (Pitt Meadows, B.C.) - 1,596.52
8. Chris Hemmerich (Kitchener, Ont.) - 1,522.50
9. Taylor Pendrith (Richmond Hill, Ont.) - 1,452.25
10. Brian Churchill-Smith (Oakville, Ont.) - 1,435.00
1. Jennifer Kirby (Paris, Ont.) - 3,994.10 pts
2. Brooke Henderson (Smiths Falls, Ont.) - 3,424.65
3. Augusta James (Bath, Ont.) - 2,647.91
4. Brogan McKinnon (Mississauga, Ont.) - 2,397.50
5. Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ont.) - 2,383.38
6. Jisoo Keel (Coquitlam, B.C.) - 2,352.92
7. Christine Wong (Richmond, B.C.) - 2,265.00
8. Natalie Gleadall (Stratford, Ont.) - 2,254.50
9. Nicole Zhang (Calgary, Alta.) - 1,945.38
10. Anne-Catherine Tanguay (Quebec, Que.) - 1,653.75
The following are the Top-10 on the CN Future Links Junior Boys and Junior Girls 2012 National Orders of Merit:
1. Kevin Kwon (Pitt Meadows, B.C.) - 3,215.00 pts
2. Hugo Bernard (Mont- St-Hilaire, Que.) - 3,108.33
3. Matt Williams (Calgary, Alta.) - 3,025.00
4. Adam Svensson (Surrey, B.C.) - 2,492.50
5. Gajan Sivabalansingham (Ballantrae, Ont.) - 2,130.00
6. Matthew Scobie (Ajax, Ont.) - 1,968.75
7. Jake McNulty (Port Perry, Ont.) - 1,750.00
8. Nicholas Scrymgeour (Cochrane, Alta.) - 1,721.67
9. Nicholas Ross (Dundas, Ont.) - 1,717.08
10. Patrick Murphy (Crossfield, Alta.) - 1,700.00
1. Brooke Henderson (Smiths Falls, Ont.) - 6,082.50 pts
2. Brogan McKinnon (Mississauga, Ont.) - 4,501.67
3. Jisoo Keel (Coquitlam, B.C.) - 3,332.50
4. Naomi Ko (Victoria, B.C.) - 3,045.00
5. Katherine Gravel-Coursol (Mirabel, Que.) - 2,812.50
6. Taylor Kim (Surrey, B.C.) - 2,562.50
7. Kathy Lim (Langley, B.C.) - 2,545.00
8. Rachel Pollock (Guelph, Ont.) - 2,462.50
9. Valérie Tanguay (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) - 2,283.33
10. Jennifer Ha (Calgary, Alta.) - 2,175.00