A chance to see more of the world while competing at a lofty level convinced Red Deer’s Mitch Evanecz that he could put off his dreams of playing professional golf for a year.
Golf Canada announced this week the names of the six athletes selected to play with the Canadian men’s national amateur team in 2011, and Evanecz was on the list.
“They offered me a position on the team and I decided to take them up on the offer. It’s very exciting,” the 24-year-old said Friday. “Golf Canada has some great resources available for the players so I decided to take in all the experiences I can before I turn pro.”
Evanecz, an alternate on the Canadian squad for one event — the World Amateur Golf Team Championship in Argentina — in 2010, had planned on pursuing a PGA card in October via qualifying school. With this week’s Golf Canada announcement, those plans will now be put on hold until late next year.
“Just to be able to play for my country and play some events while being a part of the (national) team is a great opportunity for me,” said Evanecz, who just recently attended a Golf Canada camp in Florida after playing two events in Argentina, including the Argentine Amateur.
“I didn’t play very well at all actually,” he said, referring to the pair of tournaments in South America. “Golf can be a funny game sometimes. You can have it one time and not the next. It was a frustrating couple of weeks, but you learn from it and move on.”
Evanecz, as Golf Canada noted in a press release, has taken his game to a new level over the past two years. This year, the University of Victoria graduate successfully defended his title at the prestigious Calgary Glencoe Invitational and tied for third in the Mexican Amateur. In addition, he was runner-up in the Canadian University/College Championship after losing in a playoff, and finished second at the Alberta Open, in which he earned low-amateur honours.
The first event of the 2011 season for the Canadian team will be the Mexican Amateur in March.
“The entire 2011 schedule hasn’t been decided yet,” said Evanecz, a former Alberta Amateur champion. “We’ll have a training camp at PGA Village in Florida in January and the schedule for the year will be finalized then. We will at least get a good idea of the schedule we’ll play at that time, although when other events pop up the schedule will be revamped a bit.”