Click here to view photos from the event.
By BRENT LONG
It’s proving to be a summer of firsts for Andre Zhu and his father Bill.
After enjoying a sensational weekend at Glen Abbey Golf Club competing in the Future Links, driven by Acura National Junior Skills Challenge, the 10-year-old, teamed up with his dad, a Member at The Club at Bond Head, on Monday, July 24 to win the 7th annual ClubLink Generations Cup at Hidden Lake.
Heading into ClubLink’s interclub family championship, Andre picked up his first victory in the Boys 9 to 11 age division of Golf Canada’s version of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship on Saturday, while his sister Emily, won the Girls 12-14 division. As part of the National Junior Skills Challenge, all competitors had the opportunity to tee it up the next and play the back nine at historic Glen Abbey just days before the start of this year’s RBC Canadian Open.
“It has been a great few days watching Andre compete at Glen Abbey and then being able to team up with him to win this championship at Hidden Lake,” Bill says. “Usually, when we’re on the golf course, I’m competing against the two of them (Andre and Emily), so to have an opportunity to team up with him is special. We had a lot of fun out there.”
Bill and Andre combined for a total of 11 birdies and seven pars to win the two-person scramble by a single shot on the New Course at Hidden Lake.
“I love the competition,” says Andre, who is an 8-handicap, while his dad is a 4.5. “We played in this event two years ago and I could only drive the ball 160 yards, but this year I’m driving it about 205, so we were more competitive.” Two years ago, they finished in the middle of the pack at the Generations Cup, which brings together, the top family teams of all ages – from across the ClubLink network in Ontario and Quebec.
Second place went to the Zhu’s playing partners, and first-time participants, Paul and Nicolas Lin from Station Creek, who carded a 10-under with one eagle, nine birdies and one bogey on the scorecard.
“It’s a great event. It’s the first scramble I have ever played in. I never play with my dad on the same team, side by side, usually we’re competing against each other, so this was a lot of fun to be out there together,” says the 14-year-old, who is a 4-handicap, while dad is an 18-handicap.
“Nicholas drove the ball really well and I hit a few of good chip shots to help the team,” Paul added, noting they first heard about the Generations Cup last year, but couldn’t make it, so they put it on the schedule for this year. They enjoyed the experience so much, they’re already planning on going through the qualifying process in 2018.
Third place through retrogression went to Robin and Matt Thoms from King Valley, who won the championship back in 2014, followed by Evan and Ian McDade from Hidden Lake, and Brad and Andrew Rogers from King’s Riding, whi rounded out the top 5.
The Generations Cup is part of the ClubLink Cup, which is a series of interclub championships held throughout the golf season including; the Tournament of Champions Presented by Titleist and FootJoy, the TaylorMade adidas Junior Interclub Championship, Men’s Night Championship and the Men’s and Ladies’ Interclub Championships.
The Zhu’s victory ends King Valley’s streak of three consecutive wins at the Generations Cup. “I’ll be back next year, but maybe with a different playing partner,” said Riley Card, who was on the winning team the past two years.
The win also put the Zhu’s home club, The Club at Bond Head into the running for this year’s ClubLink Cup, while Caledon Woods earned the win at the Tournament of Champions and RattleSnake Point won the Junior Interclub. RattleSnake Point leads the overall points standings with first, second and sixth place finishes in the three championships.
As for the Zhu family, the busy schedule continues, as Emily plays this week in her first Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship at Cutten Fields in Guelph. Guess who is caddying for her for the very first time? Andre will be on the bag. And when that’s done on Friday, the family packs their bags and head to Pinehurst on Sunday, to compete in the US Kids Golf World Championship from August 2 to 7.
Each ClubLink facility hosts a Generation Cup qualifier. The top teams, which pair up adults, grandparents, uncles and aunts with family related children, from each club, advance to the interclub championship. Ask the professional staff at your Club for more information and sign up for 2018!