Yeji Kwon wins the 67th Canadian Junior Girls Championship
OTTAWA, Ont. – As she marveled at the names etched into the Brokenshire Trophy, Yeji Kwon gasped in awe when she realized she was in the same company as Brooke Henderson.
Kwon, 16, fired a two-under par 70 in Friday’s final round to capture the 2022 Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO.
Words came few and far between from the Port Coquitlam, B.C., native following the victory. Instead, she let her play do the talking. With a four-stroke lead entering the day, Kwon stayed level-headed throughout, never allowing the gap to narrow down to less than three shots.
“I tried to block it (nerves) out as much as possible,” said Kwon. “I wasn’t playing the best today, but I tried my best out there to keep as calm as possible.”
Kwon, a member of Team Canada’s National Junior Squad, says her experience at the 2022 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in late June helped her manage her emotions in the spotlight at The Marshes Golf Club.
“It’s a tournament with everyone from around the world. I learned so much, especially playing with other players and I think that really helped me stay more focused and play a lot better,” Kwon said.
After Lucy Lin cut the lead to four with a birdie on No. 11, Kwon stepped on the gas and cruised to the promise land, closing out in style with birdies on holes No. 13, 14 and 16. At that point, she knew she had done it.
“I saw the scoreboard and I was like, “Ok, let’s just try to make pars and get it done.”
Get it done, she did. Kwon tapped in on No. 18 to win by nine strokes and was showered in water by her teammates and competitors who stormed the green.
After an opening round 75, the British Columbian carded rounds of 67, 65 and 70 for a total score of 11-under par 277, en route to the national title. Kwon was also crowned champion of the Juvenile Girls division – a subdivision for girls 16 and younger.
With the hardware comes an exemption into the 2023 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship at Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as an entry into the 2023 U.S. Junior Girls Championship.
Kwon will also be awarded a cheque of $1,200. To align with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, competed for a purse of $8,000 CAD. Along with Kwon, top-10 finishers and ties earned a piece of the prize money.
12-year-old Lucy Lin earned the runner-up honours in both the Junior Girls and Juvenile Girls divisions. The Vancouver, B.C. native, who is only getting started on the national stage, finished the tournament at two-under par for a total score of 286.
Erin Lee of Langley, B.C., completed the all-British Columbia podium sweep with a third-place finish. Lee, who was under par in each of the first three rounds, started hot with three birdies in her first four holes, but struggled to establish any pressure thereafter. She closed out her tournament with a four-over par 76.
In the Juvenile Girls divisions, the bronze medal was shared by three participants: Amy Seung Hyun Lee, Alissa Xu and Anna Huang. Xu’s medalist honours are her second in as many weeks. The Richmond Hill, Ont., native finished as the runner-up at last week’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship at Westmount Golf & Country Club.
Team Ontario – made up of Swetha Sathish, Sarah Gallagher, and Kelly Zhao – took home the Interprovincial Team Trophy. The Ontarians edged the British Columbians by five strokes in the team event, which concluded earlier in the week.
The 2023 Canadian Junior Girls Championship will be played at the Hampton Golf Club in Hampton, N.B.. Dates are to be announced in the coming months.
Click here for full results of the 2022 Canadian Junior Girls Championship.
Yeji Kwon takes command in third round of Canadian Junior Girls Championship
YEJI KWON IS A MEMBER OF TEAM CANADA'S NATIONAL JUNIOR SQUAD AND COMPETED FOR CANADA AT THE 2022 TOYOTA JUNIOR GOLF WORLD CUP.
OTTAWA (July 28, 2022) – Automatic is one way to describe Yeji Kwon’s game in the third round of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO. And even that might not do it justice.
The Port Coquitlam, B.C., native set the new tournament-low with a seven-under par 65 and broke free from the traffic jam atop the leaderboard. For the second day in a row, Kwon eagled the par-4 1st, holing out from the fairway. Incredibly, her approach shot came from the exact same yardage as her attempt in Wednesday’s second round.
“I had 76 yards again. It was a little into the wind, so I held the same club as yesterday and it did the same thing, it just spun back and went in,” said Kwon.
Even her reaction was the same; I was like, “Oh my gosh!”
With the quick start, Kwon positioned herself atop the leaderboard early in her round and didn’t let up from there. The 16-year-old hit a speedbump on hole No. 5, but was mistake-free after that, making five birdies including a tap-in on hole No. 17 to extend her lead to four strokes going into Friday’s final round.
“Tomorrow going in, I’m not going to think about it much,” said Kwon. “I feel like I’m going to think of it as a first round and play my best. It’s the last day, I just want to keep as calm as possible and focus and try to go lower tomorrow.”
If so, she better plan to save some room in her luggage for a trophy or two. Kwon also leads the Juvenile Girls division – a subdivision for girls 16 and under – by five strokes over 12-year-old, Lucy Lin.
Kwon’s 65 is the lowest round at a Canadian Junior Girls Championship since Euna Han’s opening round 64 in 2019. Han is also a native of Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Lin had back-to-back birdies on holes No. 4 & 5, then drained consecutive birdies again on holes No. 16 & 17 but made three bogeys in between. The Vancouver, B.C., native finished her round at one-under par and four-under for the tournament. She is alone in third place.
Erin Lee maintained her steady play at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont., this week, with another round in the red numbers. The Langley B.C., local rolled in six birdies in round three, en route to a one-under par 71. The Long Beach State University commit holds sole possession of second place and will play in the final pairing on Friday, alongside Kwon and Lin.
Alissa Xu and Lindsay McGrath rounded out the top-5, at three-under par for the tournament and still very much in contention for the national championship. Xu fired a three-under par 69 on moving day, while McGrath followed up yesterday’s 66 with a one-over par 73.
Final round tee times are scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m., with the leaders teeing off at 9:50 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of play. Team Ontario will be awarded the Interprovincial Team Trophy and a national champion will be crowned for the individual competition.
The winner of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship will earn an exemption into the 2023 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, as well as the 2023 U.S. Junior Girls Championship.
Ontario mounts comeback to win interprovincial; trio tied for lead at Canadian Junior Girls Championship
OTTAWA, Ont. – Team British Columbia had their sights set on second consecutive interprovincial team championship, but the squad from Ontario had other plans at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO.
As so often is the case in golf, the tables turned on the leaders – and in this one, they turned quickly. With the trophy at the fingertips of Team B.C., one team got cold and the other heated up. Trailing by three strokes, Swetha Sathish piloted a miraculous comeback, making birdie on three of her final six holes to lift her province to victory in the interprovincial competition.
Sarah Gallagher contributed to the team efforts with back-to-back rounds of even-par 72. Along with Sathish’s two-under par 70 in the second round and Kelly Zhao’s three-over par 75 in Tuesday’s opening round, the team combined for a total score of 289 and a five-stroke triumph over the runner-up British Columbians.
Of the five players who shared the lead after Tuesday’s opening round, only Erin Lee remained atop the standings in the individual competition. Joining the Langley, B.C., native at the front of pack is Lindsay McGrath and Krystal (ZhuoTong) Li. The trio own a share of the lead at four-under par.
After starting her round with a bogey, Lee answered the bell, rallying off five birdies to get to six-under par on the tournament. The 16-year-old dropped a pair of shots in the latter stages of her round and pointed to lackluster putting to explain the blemishes.
“Today, all my shots were pretty good [but] I struggled a bit with putting. If my putter worked, I honestly think I could have gone way lower,” admitted Lee. She says she’ll look to continue hitting the shots she’s been hitting but needs to see a few more putts drop.
McGrath, 15, carded the low round of the tournament, a six-under par 66 to climb into a share of the lead. A troubling round one with the flat stick lead the Oakville, Ont., native to the putting green this morning. Safe to say the practice was worthwhile. The Team Ontario recorded birdies on holes No. 1 and No. 18 and made five others in between en route to the top of the board.
“Yesterday I was missing a lot of putts, so I put the work in this morning and was able to make a lot of short putts for birdie and save a lot for par, so I think that really helped me today,” said McGrath. “My mental [game] was really good today; I was able to dial in on those putts and not feel any pressure.”
Team Canada’s Yeji Kwon also made some noise on Wednesday at The Marshes Golf Club, posting a five-under par 67 to leap into sole possession of sixth place, just two strokes back of the leaders.
“Yesterday my irons weren’t so good, so I made a couple of changes after the round and today my irons were a lot better. I was able to get them on the green and make a couple of birdie putts,” said Kwon.
After a bogey-free, three-under par 33 on the front nine (started on hole No. 10), the Port Coquitlam eagled the par-4 1st, holing out on a 76-yard wedge shot from the fairway.
“It was a good shot. It hit the slope, then it spun back, and it went in, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh,” said Kwon, in disbelief.
Bo Brown also fired a five-under par 67, a result of eight birdies, including a stretch of three in a row from holes No. 11-13. The University of British Columbia Thunderbird improved on her first-round performance by 16 strokes. She sits T25 going into Thursday’s third round.
Krystal (ZhuoTong) Li, Peyton Costabile and Ling Yu (Katherine) Hao managed scores of three-under par 69. Elsa Wu aced the 146-yard, par-3 17th hole. The 12-year-old says she saw the ball hit the pin but didn’t see it drop into the hole and if her “memory is correct,” it is the first of her very young career.
70 players made the cut at 14-over par. Third round tee times are scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, with the leaders teeing off at 9:50 a.m.
Five share lead through first round at Canadian Junior Girls Championship
12 year old Lucy Lin was among the top performers in round one of the 2022 Canadian Junior Girls Championship at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont., on July 26.
OTTAWA, Ont. – The leaderboard flip flopped all throughout the first round of the 2022 Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO, but when the dust settled, there were five tied atop the leaderboard.
Madelin Boyd, Amy Seung Hyun Lee, Erin Lee, Lucy Lin, and Myranda Quinton all fired rounds of two-under par 70 to pace the 136-player field.
27 other players are within five shots of the leaders at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.
Boyd, a native of Oshawa, Ont., recorded three birdies on the day and suffered only one bogey. The 18-year-old birdied the par-5 2nd hole, before falling back to even par two holes later. From there, it was nothing but birdies and pars for the junior who earned the clubhouse lead early in the day.
Quinton, 17, also made a trio of birdies on the day. After a bogey-free front nine, the Burlington, Ont. native dropped a shot on the par-5 2nd hole but bounced back with a pair of birdies down the stretch to secure a piece of the pie.
Lee and Hyun Lee, both of Langley. B.C. matched each other with five birdies aside and had merely similar scorecards. Both started their tournaments with a pair of birdies in their opening holes, and added two more early in their back nines, before capping off their rounds with a final birdie on No. 18.
Lin, one of the youngest competitors in the field, had the most birdies on the day with six. After falling to one-over par after 10 holes, the 12-year-old rallied off three birdies coming in – including a pair on her final two holes – to grab a share of the lead after the opening round.
Recent history doesn’t bode well for the quintet. In four of the last five Canadian Junior Girls Championships, only once did the leader or co-leader after the first round go on to win the tournament, but ask them and they’ll tell you trends are meant to be broken.
Four more players sit one stroke back of the leaders in the red numbers at one-under par: Payton Lovisa, Krystal (ZhuoTong) Li, Anna Huang and Alissa Xu.
Xu, 16, carried on her momentum from the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship last week, with another strong showing in round one. The Richmond Hill, Ont. native, who finished in second place at Westmount Golf & Country Club, rolled in five birdies, to go along with four bogeys on the way to a one-under par 71.
Hyun Lee and Lin are tied for the lead in Juvenile division – a subdivision for girls 16 and under.
In the interprovincial team competition, the Team British Columbia contingent of Hyun Lee and Tina Jiang carded an even-par 144 for a three-stroke advantage over Team Ontario. The team championship will wrap up tomorrow at the conclusion of the second round.
Junior girls set to tee it up at nationals on heels of Henderson’s historic win
OTTAWA, Ont. – Hinged between two of the biggest tournaments in Canadian women’s amateur golf was one of the most monumental moments in Canadian golf history.
Last Friday, Monet Chun captured the 108th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship. This Friday, a champion will be named at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship; and in between, Brooke Henderson became the first-ever two-time major champion in Canadian golf history.
All that to say, timing is everything and for the junior girls teeing it up at The Marshes Golf Club this week, the timing couldn’t have been better. On the ten-year anniversary of Henderson’s win in 2012, 137 players will compete for the 67th Canadian Junior Girls Championship beginning Tuesday, July 26 and wrapping up Friday, July 29.
For some, it will be a first chance to compete on the national stage. For others, it will be the last of their junior careers. But, for all, it will represent an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the winningest golfer in Canadian history.
“Moments like yesterday matter for these girls,” said Tournament Director Josée Matte. “We’re excited to host a strong field of competitors this week at The Marshes Golf Club and watch as the future of Canadian women’s golf chase a national championship in the nation’s capital.”
Five of Team Canada’s National Junior Squad members will be in the field this week in Ottawa, Ont.: Anne-Léa Lavoie (Québec, Qué.); Ella Weber (Burlington, Ont.); Luna Lu (Burnaby, B.C.); Martina Yu (Coquitlam, B.C.); and Yeji Kwon (Port Coquitlam, B.C.).
Also in the field are three top-10 finishers from last week’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship: Alissa Xu (Richmond Hill, Ont.), who finished in 2nd place, as well as Kelly Zhao (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Vanessa Borovilos (Etobicoke, Ont.) who recorded T5 finishes.
Peyton Costabile of Ayr, Ont., as well as U19 Alberta Junior Girls champion, Eileen Park, and Ontario Women’s Amateur champion, Carlee Meilleur are among the other notable names pencilled into the draw in the nation’s capital.
Returning this year is the inter-provincial team competition. The inter-provincial championship will be played in conjunction with the first 36 holes of the competition, with three-player teams vying for the team title. In rounds one and two the best two scores of the three golfers from each provincial team count towards the team’s score. The lowest aggregate score over rounds one and two determines the champion.
Team British Columbia – composed of Angela Zhang, Cindy Koira and Erin Lee – are the reigning champions from 2019.
The Juvenile division remains in place this year and will run concurrently with the Junior division through the 72-hole competition. The Juvenile division is for girls 16 and under. Luna Lu, of Burnaby, B.C., was the runner-up in the Juvenile division last year and will be in the field this week.
New to this year’s tournament is a purse payout. To align with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Women’s Junior Championship will now compete for a purse of $8,000 CAD. Amateur golfers may accept prize money up to a maximum of $1,200 CAD, and payouts will be awarded to the top-10 finishers and ties.
The winner also receives an exemption into the 2023 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship at Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax, N.S., as well as the 2023 U.S. Junior Girls Championship.
Previous winners of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship include Brooke Henderson (2012), Alena Sharp (1999), and Sandra Post (1964-66).
For more information on the 2022 Canadian Junior Girls Championship click here.
Nicole Gal wins 66th Canadian Junior Girls Championship by 12 strokes
Canadian Junior Girls Championship winner Nicole Gal of Oakville, Ont. (Andrew Penner/ Golf Canada)
LEDUC, Alta. – Team Canada National Junior Squad member Nicole Gal of Oakville, Ont., shot a final-round 67 on Friday to win the 66th Canadian Junior Girls Championship at Leduc Golf Club in Leduc, Alta., by a commanding 12-stroke margin.
Gal finished the championship at 13 under. She finished ahead of fellow Junior Squad member and Oakville resident, Katie Cranston who finished second at 1 under.
Gal also won the Juvenile division, which ran concurrently for girls aged 16 and under, ahead of Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C. at two-over and Martina Yu of Coquitlam, B.C. at three-over. Lu and Yu finished third and fourth overall, respectively.
The 16-year-old registered all four rounds with an under par score (71-69-68-67) and led the field by three at the end of the second round. By the completion of 54-holes, Gal had extended her lead to five strokes after a bogey-free third round.
By the time Gal and the final group reached the turn on Friday, Gal had extended her lead to eight strokes over Cranston and would go on to card a second consecutive bogey-free round.
This is not the first time Gal and Cranston have finished next to each other on the leaderboard. In 2020, Gal finished runner-up to Cranston at the Ontario Junior Girls Championship.
This year’s Canadian Junior Girls Championship began with a 106-player field that included three of the Team Canada National Junior Squad members including Gal, Cranston, and Jennifer Gu of West Vancouver, B.C., who held the 18-hole lead and ultimately finished in a tie for eighth.
The field’s youngest competitor, 11-year-old Lucy Lin, finished in a tie for 12th at 12 over.
With the win Gal receives an exemption into the 2021 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship held July 27-30 at Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in Spruce Grove, Alta.
“It’s the first time I’m playing that event, so I don’t have many expectations yet,” said Gal on the Women’s Amateur. “But if I just take it day by day, I think I will finish pretty well there as well.”
Gal joins a list of notable Canadian golfers to have won the Canadian Junior Girls Championship including LPGA Tour players and Olympians Brooke Henderson (2012) and Alena Sharp (1999), as well as Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Sandra Post (1964-66).
National Amateur Championships return with playing of 66th Canadian Junior Girls
Leduc Golf Club (Photo by Leduc Golf Club)
LEDUC, Alta. – The 66th Canadian Junior Girls Championship will return this year from July 20-23 at Leduc Golf Club in Leduc, Alta., a year after the pandemic forced a cancellation of Golf Canada’s 2020 competitive season.
The 72-hole event kicks off the return of Golf Canada’s National Amateur Championships. The last tournament was conducted in September of 2019.
This year’s 106-player field includes three Team Canada National Junior Squad members; Jennifer Gu (West Vancouver, B.C.), Katie Cranston (Oakville, Ont.), and Nicole Gal (Oakville, Ont.). Due to travel restrictions, only Canadian residents are allowed entry to the event.
This year 11 of Canada’s top 50 players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) will travel to Leduc Golf Club for the championship, including Luna Lu (Burnaby, B.C.), who finished ninth in the 2019 event.
The winner receives an exemption into the 2021 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship held from July 27-30 at Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in Spruce Grove, Alta.
The Canadian Junior Girls Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event, that features a 36-hole cut for the low 70 players and ties. In the event of a tie at the end of four rounds, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff immediately following completion of 72-holes.
The Juvenile division will run concurrently with the Junior division through the 72-hole competition. The Juvenile division is for girls 16 and under.
A practice round will be conducted on July 19, the day before competition begins.
Leduc Golf Course was founded in 1961 as a nine-hole course. Now, it’s an 18-hole course with over 6,000 yards of fairways—some tree-lined and some with water hazards and sloped greens.
Previous winners of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship include Brooke Henderson (2012), Alena Sharp (1999), and Sandra Post (1964-66).
Click here for the full field and tournament information.
Jennifer Gu Another 16-year-old from B.C., Jennifer Gu of West Vancouver is also a member of the National Junior Squad and is coming off an incredible 2020 season that saw multiple top 10 finishes at major events. Gu won the PGA of BC Junior Championship, finished third at the Alberta Junior Girls Championship and fourth and the B.C. Junior Girls Championship last year.
Katie Cranston The 17-year-old from Oakville, Ont. is also a member of the National Junior Squad and like both Arora and Gu, Cranston found a win in 2020, winning the Ontario Junior Girls Championship. In 2019, Cranston finished second at the Future Links Ontario Championship, and third at the Future Links Fall Series (East).
Nicole Gal Also from Oakville, 16-year-old Nicole Gal rounds out the National Junior Squad members in the field. In 2020, Gal finished runner-up at the Ontario Junior Girls Championship to fellow Oakville golfer, Cranston, and finished in a tie for eighth at the North & South Junior Amateur. In 2019, Gal won the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship in the Girls 14-15 division.
Celeste Dao’s win in 2018 broke a streak of three straight years in which a British Columbia golfer won the individual event: Susan Xiao in 2017 (Surrey, B.C.), Naomi Ko in 2016 (Victoria, B.C.) and Michelle Kim in 2015 (Surrey, B.C.).
Ten-time LPGA winner and major champion Brooke Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., won the event in 2012 at River Spirit Golf Club in Calgary, Alta.
Heather Kuzmich won four straight Canadian Junior Girls Championships from 1981-1984.
Four Canadian Golf Hall of Fame members are past champions of the event: Betty Stanhope-Cole (1956), Judy Darling Evans (1957), Gail Harvey (1958-60) and Sandra Post (1964-66).
Current LPGA golfer Alena Sharp was the 1999 Canadian Junior Girls Champion.
In 2019, Euna Han of Coquitlam, B.C., set a new course record at the host course, Lethbridge Country Club during the Canadian Junior Girls Championship by shooting an opening-round 64.
Golf Canada’s 2020 National Amateur Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
(Chuck Russell/ Golf Canada)
OAKVILLE, ONT. (Golf Canada) – Due to continued health concerns as well as government restrictions on travel and group gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, Golf Canada has cancelled all of its amateur golf competitions for the duration of the 2020 season.
The National Sport Federation had previously announced the cancellation or postponement of a number of its junior and amateur competitions scheduled through mid-June.
“National amateur competitions have been a proud focus throughout our 125-year history and while we share in the disappointment of competitors, our host clubs and event volunteers, the most important consideration is the health and safety of the people who come together at our championships,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “Ongoing travel restrictions—both international and across some provincial borders—in addition to continued restrictions on larger group gatherings and limitations on player training were significant contributors to this decision. We are also sensitive to the needs of our host clubs to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their staff and members.”
The 107th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, one of the top-ranked women’s amateur events in the world that attracts many international athletes, was scheduled to begin in five weeks at The Royal Montreal Golf Club from July 21-24. In addition, the 116th Canadian Men’s Amateur which features a 264-player field was scheduled to take place at The Glencoe Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alta. from August 3-6 – marking the 125th anniversary of this storied championship. The cancellations will mark the first time since the second World War where these two national championships will not be conducted.
Golf Canada has also announced that the National Orders of Merit will not be awarded in 2020. The purpose of the points-based rankings is to identify and give recognition top-performing male and female amateur and junior golfers across Canada who have achieved success in the golf season. The decision to not award the Orders of Merit was made recognizing the varying access Canadian golfers will have to domestic and international competitions, and the resulting difficulty in running an equitable ranking system. Golf Canada will look to resume the Orders of Merit on September 1st, 2020 for the 2021 rankings. For more information, please visit the National Orders of Merit page by clicking here.
Golf Canada and Golf Ontario previously announced the cancellation of the 7th annual World Junior Girls Championship, scheduled for September 30 – October 3, 2020 at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont.
Golf Canada annually conducts more than 20 championships nation-wide which play host to more than 3,000 domestic and international athletes from all corners of the world. In partnership with our host clubs, thousands of volunteers, provincial golf associations and our proud sponsors, Golf Canada is dedicated to supporting player development through world-class competition since our inception in 1895. Officiated by certified Canadian Rules of Golf referees, Golf Canada’s amateur competitions are fully compliant with golf’s international governing bodies and include marquee events such as the Canadian Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships as well as the Canadian Junior Girls and Junior Boys Championships. Golf Canada’s amateur championships are proudly supported by RBC, Canadian Pacific, Sport Canada, Levelwear, Titleist and FootJoy. For more information and scheduling visit www.golfcanada.ca/competitions.
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. –Emily Zhu of Richmond Hill, Ont., carded a final round of 4 under 68, overcoming a two-stroke deficit to win the 65th Canadian Junior Girls Championship held at Lethbridge Country Club in Lethbridge, Alta.
“I’m still kind of in shock,” said Zhu. “Going into this tournament I really wanted to win, so this win makes me feel really, really good. I tried to play it like yesterday – focus on my shot and focus on hitting each one as good as I can.”
It was an eerily similar situation to last year for Zhu. In 2018, she was in the final group and only one stroke back of the leader, eventually finishing in second. This year was different however, with the Team Canada National Development Squad member surpassing 54-hole leader YanJun (Victoria) Liu.
“I focused on each shot – don’t overthink anything,” said Zhu. “Make sure that the shot at hand is going to be as good as I can.”
A pivotal moment came on the par-4 No. 11, where Zhu birdied and Liu double-bogeyed. The three strokes gained on the hole were more than enough for Zhu.
The 15-year-old also won the Juvenile Girls Championship (for 16-year-olds and under) for the second consecutive year, with Liu finishing runner-up and Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.) coming in third. As the Canadian Junior Champion, Zhu earns an exemption into the 2020 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.
Liu and Dao finished runner-up at 8 under. Liu carried a two-shot lead into the final round, but shot 3 over.
Dao, the defending champion, carded 3 under 69 on Friday. She made three birdies in the final round of her career as a junior competitor. The 18-year-old made the cut at all six the Canadian Junior Girls Championships she played.
Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.) finished fourth at 5 under for the tournament, eight back of Zhu.
Hsin Chiao Chang of Chinese Taipei and Hailey McLaughlin (Markham, Ont.) finished tied for fifth at 3 under.
Play was resumed at 2:00 p.m. local time following a 56-minute weather delay.
YanJun (Victoria) Liu leads heading into the final round of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – YanJun (Victoria) Liu of Vancouver remains in the lead, although her advantage over the field is down to two strokes at the 65th playing of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship held at Lethbridge Country Club in Lethbridge, Alta.
Liu carded a round one 1 under 71, sinking two birdies. Her lone bogey came on the par-4 No. 11 – only her second bogey of the tournament.
“Today was a harder round than yesterday,” said Liu. “I got into some trouble again. I saved some up-and-downs and had a couple of nice birdies. I’m not going to think about the lead. I’m just going play like my first day.”
This is Liu’s third appearance at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, having finished in a tie for 13th and a tie for seventh in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Emily Zhu sits two strokes back of Liu at 9 under. The Richmond Hill, Ont., product’s 5 under 67 tied for the lowest score of the round and was the first bogey-free round of her career.
“Of course, I could have gone even lower, but overall I’m very happy with how I played,” said Zhu. “I know [my competitors] pretty well. They’re some of my good friends so it will be really nice playing with them tomorrow.”
Zhu was in an almost identical position at the 2018 Canadian Junior Girls Championship. She was one shot back of the leader and in the final group, eventually finishing second.
“This year is a little different because I am a bit more prepared and experienced than last year,” Zhu added. “I would definitely like to shoot even lower tomorrow, hopefully, and then take the title.”
Tiffany Kong (Vancouver) sits in third, five shots back of Liu at 6 under.
Defending champion Céleste Dao tied Zhu for the low score in the third round at 5 under. Dao made six birdies, including three straight to close out her round. An eagle on the par-5 No. 3 helped move the Team Canada National Development Squad member into fourth place.
Three players sit in a tie for fifth at 4 under; first round leader Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.), Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.) and Hailey McLaughlin (Markham, Ont.).
The shot of the day belonged to Alyssa Chang of Surrey, B.C. The 16-year-old aced the 161-yard No. 12 for her second career hole-in-one. She carded even-par 72 in the third round.
“Today was definitely crazy,” said Chang. “I saw the ball and it was just rolling, rolling and I just didn’t want it to stop and it went in. I was jumping up and down and all the parents were clapping.”
The 2019 Canadian Junior Girls champion will receive an exemption into the 2020 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.