The world’s top 18-and-under female junior golfers will head to Ottawa for the fourth edition of the World Junior Girls Championship from Sept. 26-29 at The Marshes Golf Club. As host nation, Canada will send two teams of three athletes to compete for the international title of World Junior Girls champion.
“It is an honour to host this prestigious event and we look forward to welcoming these players to Canada,” said tournament director Mary Beth McKenna. “The course is in fantastic shape and we are thrilled to host some of the world’s best juniors at this historic club. Our partners at The Marshes Golf Club and the communities in the surrounding area have come together to make this a truly memorable event for our competitors.”
Representing Canada One will be Monet Chun (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Céleste Dao (Notre-Dame Ile Perrot, Que.) and Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.), who are three of Canada’s top-ranked junior golfers at No. 375, 453 and 597, respectively, on the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).
The 16-year-old Chun is experiencing her first year as a member of Team Canada’s Development Squad and second year representing Canada at the World Junior Girls. So far in 2017, she has wins at both the Future Links, driven by Acura Ontario Championship and the Ontario Junior Spring Classic, which put her in second on the Junior Girls Order of Merit – the same spot she finished at last year.
Dao is having an extremely impressive season for the second straight year. In 2017, she registered six wins and made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Junior Girls Championship to lead the Future Links, driven by Acura Junior Girls Order of Merit. Dao will also play in her second consecutive World Junior Girls Championship – she finished T16 in 2016 alongside Chun.
Szeryk, sister of Canada’s top-ranked amateur female golfer Maddie, has two victories in 2017 so far including six top-five finishes. She currently sits in fourth in the Junior Girls Order of Merit and made it to the round of 32 at the 2017 U.S. Junior Girls Championship after earning gold medallist honours at the qualifying tournament in Garland, Texas.
As the host country, Canada reserves the right to field two teams in the 60-player, 19-country competition. Canada Two will consist of Alyssa DiMarcantonio (Maple, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) who are ranked 776, 955 and 1,792, respectively.
DiMarcantonio, 14, won her second event of the season at the MJT – Spring Invitational and has six top-five finishes this year. She is currently enjoying her best season on the junior circuit and sits sixth on the Junior Girls Order of Merit.
Han has three wins in 2017 including earning gold medallist honours at the U.S. Junior Girls Qualifier in Kent, Wa., where she went on to finish in the round of 64. Her only wins of her junior career came this year and she is in eighth in the Junior Girls Order of Merit. Han represented Canada previously at the 2015 World Junior Girls Championship, also hosted at The Marshes.
Zhu is the youngest of all Canadian team members at the age of 13. She has seven top-five finishes this year and competed in the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship where she finished T66. Her last win came in 2016 at the MJT – PGA of Ontario Junior Championship and she currently sits in ninth in the Junior Girls Order of Merit.
“Golf Ontario is excited to once again partner with Golf Canada to conduct this global championship at another of Ontario’s storied clubs – The Marshes Golf Club,” said Mike Kelly, Golf Ontario executive director. “We thank their membership and volunteer committees for all their hard work. We are thrilled for our athletes from Ontario who have been selected to represent Canada and wish them the best of luck.”
“These six athletes have had tremendous seasons and their selections to Team Canada are the result of their hard work and commitment to the sport,” said Jeff Thompson, Golf Canada’s chief sport officer. “The joint efforts of Provincial Golf Associations, home clubs, parents and athletes have made this accomplishment possible and they should all be proud to have earned their selections.”
Ann Carroll (women’s national development squad coach) and Matt Wilson (Golf Canada’s director of next generation performance) will lead the two Team Canada squads for this 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 development and promotion of junior girls golf. The days leading up to tournament play will see a PGA of Canada coaching summit as well as a free junior girls skills clinic.
Opening ceremonies for the championship take place on Sept. 25 followed by the first round on Tuesday, Sept. 26. The tournament’s closing ceremonies will immediately follow the conclusion of play on Friday, Sept. 29.
Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the fourth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.