Aggies Lasso Another Szeryk, Plus Mixed Year For London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reed On The Greens November 23, 2019
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioGolf.com

There was never any doubt that London’s Ellie Szeryk would attend Texas A&M University, south of her home in Allen, Texas. But when the Aggies recently announced that they had signed the 18-year-old golfer for the 2020-21 NCAA season, there was much celebration on both sides of the border.

The Szeryk family – dad Neil, mom Karen, Ellie and her big sister, Maddie, an Aggies graduate now a second-year pro on the Symetra Tour – have deep London roots.

L-R: Maddie and Ellie Szeryk. Photo: Szeryk Family.

Neil and Karen were married in London before moving to Texas. Ellie’s grandfather, Metro Szeryk, is a fastball legend and Hall of Fame pitcher. And Neil’s brother, Scott Szeryk of London, is a standout Canadian guitarist who has played the Canadian national anthem at Toronto Blue Jays contests.

Maddie, 23, a member of Golf Canada’s Young Pro squad, is a former All-American who set the NCAA record for career rounds at par-or-better with 91 from 2014-18. But Ellie has never been intimidated by her big sister.

In fact, two years ago she told this scribe, “I’ve always wanted to be a professional golfer. I have a goal sheet posted on my bedroom wall. I don’t care how long it takes, I want to be the No. 1 player in the world.”
Ellie’s 2019 season was less than stellar, but she’s already a seasoned veteran. Golf Canada lists her top 2019 tournaments as a T10 at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, and a seventh-place finish at the Future Links Pacific Championship.

Ellie captured the 2018 Ontario Women’s Amateur and 2017 Ontario Junior Girls titles. She’s no longer a member of the Canadian national junior squad, but with a World Amateur Ranking of No. 829, her star is rising.

“Ellie’s best golf is out in front of her,” said Aggies women’s golf head coach Andrea Gaston. “She brings her competitive spirit and incredible work ethic that will make an immediate impact on our team.”

Ellie Szeryk. Photo: Tyler Costigan/Golf Canada.

“My decision to go to Texas A&M was probably one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” Ellie said. “You take one step on campus and it instantly motivates you to be better. There’s no place quite like Aggieland, and I can’t wait to start the next journey of my life at such phenomenal facilities and under even better coaches!”

According to Gaston, Ellie is “tremendously passionate about ‘team,’ especially as she brings her years of experience competing for Team Canada’s National Junior squad. (She) has had a lot of experience competing in different parts of the world that will add to the depth and breadth of our team.”

Mixed Season For London

London is proud of its much-bantered moniker, “Golf Capital of North America,” thanks to its number of courses per capita and its history of hosting notable tournaments. But with major golf year-end and 2020 selections in the books, the Forest City has produced mixed results.

Maddie Szeryk returns as a member of the national young pro squad. Western Mustangs graduate Charles Fitzsimmons, who co-coached his alma mater’s women’s golf team this season, is back as psychologist with Team Ontario. But they are the only London representatives with the provincial and national programs.

Junior Tyson Tour Junior, TVRA Central and WOSSAA champion Ben Landers. Photo: Jeffrey Reed/LondonOntarioGolf.com.

Fanshawe Falcons men’s golf standout Thomas Code captured the OCAA individual title and was named a CCAA All-Canadian. Junior Tyson Tour overall champion Ben Landers of the Medway Cowboys captured TVRA Central and WOSSAA individual titles, while the Oakridge Oaks’ Jillian Friyia captured WOSSAA and a third-straight Tyson Tour championship.

But Londoners were left out of any PGA of Ontario year-end awards, and none were named finalists amongst the PGA of Canada annual awards.

Even the Highland Country Club-hosted Canada Life Championship, the flagship event on the Mackenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada schedule, missed out as the loop’s top stop in 2019. The tour’s players chose the Bayview Place DCBank Open in Victoria, B.C. as the tourney of the year.

Alas, local golfers can have their say in the 8th Annual Best of London Golf Awards poll, presented by LondonOntarioGolf.com. Pick your favourites at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FDZ5YVB.

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Jeffrey Reed has been covering golf in London and Southwestern Ontario since 1980. He has captured multiple writing awards from the Golf Journalists Association of Canada, and is author of the recently-published book, The Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association, Celebrating 100 Years of Seniors Golf 1918-2018. Reach him at jeff@londonontariogolf.com.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989.