Amateur Justin Matthews wins first Ontario Regional Qualifier to earn exemption into 2024 RBC Canadian Open

Justin Matthews - RBCCO Ontario 1 Regional Qualifier

Oshawa, Ont. – There is a saying that good things come to those who wait. For Justin Matthews he had to do just that following his early morning tee time. Matthews, competing as an amateur went on to shoot a 6-under 65 on Monday at the first of two Ontario Regional Qualifiers at Oshawa Golf & Curling Club in Oshawa, Ont. and with it a direct exemption into the 2024 RBC Canadian Open.

Matthews of Little Britain, Ont. got off to a firing start with back-to-back birdies to begin his round on the back nine. After carrying a 2-under score through nine, Matthews really took off recording four consecutive birdies from holes one through four, before a bogey ended the streak on five. Matthews finished strong with a birdie on the ninth hole to finish with 65. Matthews credited his ball striking and familiarity with the course for his low round.

“I was a junior member out here (Oshawa Golf & Curling Club) for four years, so I know this place pretty well. Just having confidence in my game because I’ve played Oshawa so many times, really helped today,” said Matthews.

After teeing off in the second group at 7:41 a.m. and finishing just after noon, he then had to wait to see if his score would stand, which he was able to do from home following lunch with his caddie at the course.

“Luckily, I live 40 minutes away so I went back home and chilled out with dog and watched the leaderboard and came back to warm up and it looked like nobody was really going to make a charge, that’s when it finally hit home,” said Matthews after returning to the course.

The 20-year-old Sophomore from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has now secured his spot in the 2024 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

“Definitely has not sunk in and I don’t know how long it will take. I’m super pumped. I will definitely take tomorrow off and get back to work with my coach in preparation. It’s a dream come true and I’m excited to make a start on the PGA TOUR,” added Matthews.

In addition to Matthews’ exemption, the top 10 per cent of the 144-player field (21 players total) from the first Ontario Regional Qualifier have advanced to the RBC Canadian Open Final Qualifier on Monday, May 27 at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley (North Course) in Caledon, Ont.

RBC Canadian Open – First Ontario Regional Qualifier Results:

Pos.PlayerResidenceTo ParTotal
1Justin Matthews (a)Little Britain, Ont.-665
T2Maxwell SearStouffville, Ont.-368
T2Brendan LeonardCambridge, Ont.-368
T2Dawson Lew (a)Toronto, Ont.-368
T5Derek GillespieOshawa, Ont.-269
T5Stephen GonkoSudbury, Ont.-269
T7Thomas Demarco (a)LaSalle, Ont.-170
T7Luke McLeanNewmarket, Ont.-170
T7Matthew Javier (a)Toronto, Ont.-170
T10Jordan Hwang (a)Richmond Hill, Ont.E71
T10Peter Laws (a)Whitby, Ont.E71
T10Isaiah Ibit (a)Orleans, Ont.E71
T10Luke Smith (a)Toronto, Ont.E71
T10Garret Rank (a)Waterloo, Ont.E71
T10Cougar CollinsMono, Ont.E71
T10Brett Nymeyer (a)Fergus, Ont.E71
T10James SeymourNewmarket, Ont.E71
T10Graeme EdwardsMississauga, Ont.E71
T10Jeff AshBarrie, Ont.E71
T10Mike GonkoSudbury, Ont.E71
T10Ryan BorgMississauga, Ont.E71
T10Michael DartToronto, Ont.E71

For the full leaderboard, click here.

Winners (low medalist) at regional qualifying sites that have a field of 120 players or more, earn a direct exemption into the 113th playing of Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship.

The Ontario Regional Qualifier at Oshawa Golf & Curling Club was the first of two qualifiers in Ontario this week. Tarandowah Golfers Club in Springfield, Ont. will play host to the second qualifier on Thursday, May 16. There will be two additional qualifiers this week, on Tuesday, May 14 in Blainville, Que. at Club de Golf Le Blainvillier and at the Sirocco Golf Club in Foothills, Alta. on Thursday, May 16.

The RBC Canadian Open Regional Qualifying series features five qualifiers across the country. The first was contested on Thursday, May 9 at Pitt Meadows Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, B.C. where Jake Lane earned direct exemption into the 2024 RBC Canadian Open taking place at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ont. May 28 – June 2.