OTTAWA, Ont. – The world’s top female junior golfers will gather in Ottawa for the second playing of the World Junior Girls Championship from September 20-25 at The Marshes Golf Club. Six Canadians will represent the host nation in team and individual competition as Canada vies for the title of World Junior Girls champion.
“The Marshes Golf Club is in great shape and we are excited to once again bring the world’s talented players to Canada,” said Tournament Director Mary Beth McKenna. “It is a true honour to be selected to represent your country and we know that all the athletes from across the globe will want to perform their best in this event.”
Grace St-Germain of Orleans, Ont., will return to the competition looking to improve upon Team Canada’s third-place result in 2014. The national team Development Squad member has had a banner year in 2015. St-Germain tallied a third-place result at the Golf Quebec Junior Spring Open before beginning Golf Canada’s championship season with a victory at the CN Future Links Pacific Championship. The 17-year-old repeated as the Golf Association of Ontario’s Junior Girls’ Match Play champion and closed the campaign with victories at the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) Mizuno National Junior Golf Championship and the Graham Cooke Junior Invitational – it was her third consecutive victory at the tournament named after the Canadian Golf Hall of Famer.
Playing alongside St-Germain is Hannah Lee of Surrey, B.C. The 15-year-old has demonstrated a great deal of consistency this summer, finishing runner-up at the British Columbia Juvenile Championships, third at the B.C. Junior Girls and T7 at the B.C. Women’s Amateur. She captured the 16-and-under Juvenile Division at the 2015 Canadian Junior Girls Championship and finished second overall in the national championship. The lessons she learned this summer culminated in Lee claiming the gold medal in the girls’ competition at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games in Wood Buffalo, Alta.
Rounding-out the Team One contingent is 14-year-old Tiffany Kong. The Vancouver native’s second-place standing at the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) Season Opener began a string of six events where she finished no lower than a tie for sixth-place. Kong finished fourth at the B.C. Junior Girls before capturing the silver medal in the individual competition at the Western Canada Summer Games. The highlight of Kong’s season would come at The Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C., where she competed in the 2015 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open after earning a spot through the Monday Qualifier.
As the host nation, Canada will field two teams in the World Junior Girls Championship. Euna Han of Coquitlam, B.C., will be a member of Canada’s second team in the competition. The 13-year-old notched five top-six finishes this summer, including a runner-up result at the MJT Odlum Brown Classic-PGA of BC Junior Championship, a third-place finish in the juvenile division of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and a T6 at the B.C. Junior Girls Championship.
Alisha Lau will play in the World Junior Girls Championship for a second time. The product of Richmond, B.C., emerged victorious at the 2015 CN Future Links Prairie Championship at Cooke Municipal Golf Course in Prince Albert, Sask., and finished tied for third at the B.C. Women’s Amateur Championship. Lau claimed the bronze medal at the Western Canada Summer Games to complete a sweep of the podium for Team B.C. The trio of Lee, Kong and Lau’s combined score of 435 over two rounds earned them gold in the team competition – 58 strokes clear of second-place.
Completing the second team will be fellow British Columbian Kathrine Chan of Richmond. The 15-year-old’s 11th place standing at the B.C. Junior Girls Championship was her lowest result this season. Chan finished second in the juvenile division of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship and fourth overall while also registering a T5 finish at the B.C. Juvenile Championships.
“These six athletes have been selected to represent Canada based on some fantastic results achieved throughout the season,” said Jeff Thompson, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer. “The growth that these players have shown this year is a direct result of the support they have received from their home clubs, their skilled coaches and the provincial golf associations.”
Thompson credited the strength of competition in Canada as being a key component in the development of these players.
“The performances of Canada’s junior female athletes have been very strong this year. While that level of competition has made this selection process far from simple, it has provided excellent opportunities for the players to hone their skills against Canada’s best. The wealth of resources available to our athletes, beginning at the grassroots level and extending to the provincial and national levels, has resulted in a tremendous amount of golfing talent across the nation. We look forward to seeing this group proudly represent all of Canada as they learn and grow on the international stage.”
National team Development Squad women’s coach Ann Carroll will return to lead the Canadian teams in the competition. Assisting her will be Mike Martz, coach of the New Competitors team at the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear.
Conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with the Golf Association of Ontario and supported by the International Golf Federation, the 2015 edition of the World Junior Girls Championship will take place in Ontario for a second consecutive year. The inaugural tournament in 2014 was held at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont., where Team USA claimed team honours and Beverly Hills, Calif., native Mika Liu finished atop the leaderboard in individual competition.
In addition to the 72-hole team and individual competitions, the World Junior Girls Championship will be a celebration of the sport with a specific focus on the growth and development of the game. Golf Canada will host a Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) coaching summit and a girls’ skill development clinic in the lead-up to the tournament.
Additional information regarding the 2015 World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.