World Junior Girls Championship

2021 World Junior Girls Championship cancelled

World Junior Girls - Angus Glen
Captured at Angus Glen Golf Club on September, 27, 2019

MARKHAM, ONT. – With continued logistical challenges and travel restrictions faced by participating National Federations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario has cancelled the 2021 World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargent Farms.  The championship was scheduled to take place September 27 to October 2 at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont.

Facing the ongoing public health concerns as well as uncertainty around the rising global impact of the pandemic, cancelation was the only responsible course of action as many of the National Federation athletes, coaches and delegates scheduled to participate were facing increased restrictions and protocols in their travel to, and home from, the championship.  

The 2022 World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargent Farms will be contested at Angus Glen Golf Club at a date to be determined.  

The World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargent Farms is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as one of the top events on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WWAGR), the 2021 World Junior Girls Golf Championship would have marked the 7th playing of the event.

World Junior Girls Championship

Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul repeats as World Junior Girls individual champion

Atthaya Thitikul (Tyler Costigan/Golf Canada)

MARKHAM, Ont. – Canadian golf fans should take good note of Atthaya Thitikul’s name, as they will surely hear it mentioned again in the same breath as the game’s best female players. She is that good. And on Friday, her poise and talent were in evidence at Angus Glen Golf Club of Markham, Ontario, where she claimed her second consecutive World Junior Girls Championship title by two strokes over Ye Won Lee of the Republic of Korea.

In the team competition, it is the Republic of Korea that claimed the gold medal, their second World Junior Girls title after winning it in 2015 at The Marshes GC of Ottawa. After rallying to take the lead following Thursday’s weather delay, the Korean team never looked back. They registered an aggregate score of 3-under (141) in the final round to take the laurels.  After claiming bronze at Camelot Golf Club in 2018, Thailand upgraded its 2019 haul by winning silver, while last year’s champions Italy finished third to earn the bronze medal.

“It’s very, very nice to win. I’m so happy now. But I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t catch the (girl in) first place. But only ten percent disappointed (laughs),” said team gold and individual silver medalist Ye Won Lee.

The 2019 gold is Korea’s fourth World Junior Girls Championship medal in only five participations in the event, a tournament record.

In the individual contest, Thitikul managed to keep her playing partners at bay on the front nine, taking a stroke back from the silver medallist, Republic of Korea’s Ye Won Lee, thanks to three birdies against only one bogey. Despite committing two more bogeys on the back nine and briefly finding herself only one stroke up, Thitikul, who fired a final round of 70 (-2), scored a superb eagle on the par-5 16th hole which Ye Won Lee couldn’t match, albeit adding a birdie of her own to the score card.

When asked how important that shot was to her victory, Thitikul declared that “It helped me a lot, you know. When I putt it, in mind I was like ‘Yes! I will get this.’ It made me feel more confident when walking to the 18th hole.”

Italy’s Alessia Nobilio, an individual silver medallist in both 2017 and 2018, shot 71 in the final round to finish the tournament at 6-under, in third place. She is now the World Junior Girls most decorated competitor in tournament history with three individual and two team medals.

As the organizing federation, Canada delegated two teams to participate in the Championship.

Canada 1, consisting of Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) had a strong finish to the tourney, posting their first negative team score of the week (-2) which allowed them to climb to 7th in a tie with Switzerland. Canada 2, composed of Lauren Kim and Angela Arora of Surrey, B.C., with Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.), scored plus +7 and dropped to 19th, ahead of Ireland.

The 2019 World Junior Girls Championship was conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an “A” ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the seventh edition of the World Junior Girls Championship will be presented at Angus Glen Golf Club in 2020.

2019 TEAM COMPETITION RESULTS

Gold           Republic of Korea
Jung-Min  Hong, Ye Won Lee, Yoon Ina, *143-139-140-141-563 (-13)

Silver        Thailand
Kan Bunnabodee, Yosita Khawnuna, Atthaya Thitikul, *144-137-142-144-567 (-9)

Bronze        Italy
Carolina Melgrati, Alessia Nobilio, Benedetta Moresco, *147-140-143-143-573 (-3)

 

2019 INDIVIDUAL COMPETITION (TOP 10)

  1. Atthaya Thitikul, Thailand, *73-63-71-70-277 -11
    2. Ye Won Lee, Republic of Korea, *71-70-68-70-279 -9
    3. Alessia Nobilio, Italy, *72-67-72-71-282 -6
    4. Ho-Yu An, Chinese Taipei, *75-65-74-70-284 -4
    4. Jung-Min  Hong, Republic of Korea, *72-69-72-71-284 -4
    6. Yin Xiaowen, People’s Republic of China, *71-71-72-72-286 -2
    6. Hannah Darling, Scotland, *73-66-71-76-286 -2
    8. Elena Moosmann, Switzerland, *73-74-69-71-287 -1
    9. Lucie Malchirand, France, *73-71-72-72-288 E
    9. Annabell Fuller, England, *72-72-73-71-288 E
    11. Amalie Leth-Nissen, Denmark, *76-70-73-71-290 +2
    11. Anne Normann, Denmark, *78-70-69-73-290 +2
    13. Mimi Rhodes, England, *73-71-77-72-293 +5
    13. Yoon Ina, Republic of Korea, *74-72-74-73-293 +5
    15. Brooke Rivers, Canada 1, *74-73-76-71-294 +6
    15. Paula  Schulz-Hanssen, Germany, *78-72-74-70-294 +6
    15. Chun-Wei Wu, Chinese Taipei, *74-70-78-72-294 +6
    18. Yosita Khawnuna, Thailand, *71-74-76-74-295 +7
    19. Carla Tejedo, Spain, *75-72-75-74-296 +8
    20. Kan Bunnabodee, Thailand, *73-79-71-74-297 +9
    20. Angela Arora, Canada 2, *76-73-74-74-297 +9
    22. Ester Fagersten, Sweden, *72-74-78-75-299 +11
    23. Natacha Høst Husted, Denmark, *76-79-74-71-300 +12
    23. Benedetta Moresco, Italy, *77-73-78-72-300 +12
    25. Emily Zhu, Canada 1, *82-75-73-71-301 +13
    25. Ffion Tynan, Wales, *75-79-70-77-301 +13
    25. Carolina Melgrati, Italy, *75-80-71-75-301 +13
    28. Maria Jose Bohorquez Fonseca, Colombia, *81-73-73-76-303 +15
    29. Marie Bechtold, Germany, *78-70-76-80-304 +16
    29. Darcey Harry, Wales, *80-70-82-72-304 +16
    29. Christina Ochoa, Colombia, *79-74-76-75-304 +16
    29. Cory Lopez, Mexico, *78-77-75-74-304 +16
    33. Louise Rydqvist, Sweden, *76-77-79-74-306 +18
    33. Aada Rissanen, Finland, *81-74-80-71-306 +18
    35. Chiara Horder, Germany, *78-77-78-74-307 +19
    35. Carolina López-Chacarra, Spain, *80-71-76-80-307 +19
    35. Yael Berger, Switzerland, *80-76-77-74-307 +19
    35. Paola Alonso, Mexico, *79-75-81-72-307 +19
    39. Carmen Griffiths, Scotland, *78-81-75-74-308 +20
    40. Li Shuying, People’s Republic of China, *82-80-75-72-309 +21
    40. Lily May Humphreys, England, *86-75-72-76-309 +21
    42. Adela Cernousek, France, *75-79-80-76-310 +22
    42. Sofia Torres Villarreal, Colombia, *80-75-79-76-310 +22
    44. Sara Ericsson, Sweden, *78-77-78-78-311 +23
    44. Aine Donegan, Ireland, *81-81-74-75-311 +23
    44. Ada Huhtala, Finland, *81-78-75-77-311 +23
    47. Euna Han, Canada 1, *77-80-80-75-312 +24
    48. Lilas Pinthier, France, *83-77-79-74-313 +25
    48. Beth Coulter, Ireland, *78-81-74-80-313 +25
    50. Victoria Monod, Switzerland, *77-84-76-78-315 +27
    51. Lauren Daiana Olivares, Mexico, *81-79-81-75-316 +28
    52. Hsin-Chun Liao, Chinese Taipei, *84-76-80-77-317 +29
    52. Lauren Kim, Canada 2, *79-79-82-77-317 +29
    54. Carys Worby, Wales, *86-81-77-75-319 +31
    54. Kerttu Hiltunen, Finland, *88-76-79-76-319 +31
    56. Peng You, People’s Republic of China, *83-86-79-77-325 +37
    57. Nieves Martín , Spain, *84-81-89-73-327 +39
    58. Katy Alexander, Scotland, *83-80-86-79-328 +40
    59. Ellie Szeryk, Canada 2, *85-84-84-86-339 +51

 

WORLD JUNIOR GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP MEDAL HISTORY
2014 TEAM                     INDIVIDUAL

Gold     USA                     Mika Liu (USA)
Silver   Sweden              Megan Khang (USA)
Bronze  Canada 1  Emma Svensson (Sweden)

2015 TEAM                     INDIVIDUAL

Gold   Korea                  Hye-jin Choi (Korea)
Silver Denmark               Cecilie Bofill (Denmark)
Bronze Sweden                Filippa Moork (Sweden)

2016 TEAM                     INDIVIDUAL

Gold   Philippines      Yuka Saso (Philippines)
Silver Korea                  Jennifer Chang (USA)
Bronze USA                  Caterina Don (Italy)

2017 TEAM                     INDIVIDUAL

Gold   Spain                     Seo-yun Kwon (Korea)
Silver Korea                     Alessia Nobilio (Italy)
Bronze Sweden                Bianca Fernandez (Spain)

2018 TEAM                     INDIVIDUAL

Gold   Italy                       Atthaya Thitikul (Thailand)
Silver USA                        Alessia Nobilio (Italy)
Bronze Thailand            Zoe Campos (USA)

2019 TEAM                     INDIVIDUAL
Gold   Korea                               Atthaya Thitikul (Thailand)
Silver Thailand                Ye Won Lee (Republic of Korea)
Bronze Italy                   Alessia Nobilio (Italy)

Additional information regarding the World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

Full results can be found here.

World Junior Girls Championship

Korea moving on up on moving day at World Junior Girls Championship

Ye Won Lee of Korea (Tyler Costigan/ Golf Canada)

MARKHAM, Ont. — Many golfers despise being interrupted by the elements when playing a round. But don’t say that to Team Korea. After a thunderstorm stopped play for just under three hours on Thursday during the third round, the Koreans rallied after play resumed to erase the four-stroke lead that Thailand held before the stoppage and take a one-shot advantage in the team competition.

Korea now sits in first with an aggregate score of 422 (-10), just one shot separating them from Thailand at No. 2. Italy also made the most of moving day, as the 2018 team champions in Ottawa posted a score of minus -1 to climb to third position (-2). England and Denmark also moved up a notch, to fourth and fifth respectively.

In the individual competition, the top of the leader board is occupied by seven competitors that remain under par this week and it is still led by Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand.

Ye Won Lee of Korea (-7), who fired a four-under 68 for the lowest round of the day, climbs to within two shots of Thitikul, who holds on to the lead with a tournament-best score of -9. Scotland’s Hannah Darling, whose hole-in-one yesterday helped her close in on the leaders, sits third at -6. Alessia Nobilio of Italy drops back to 4th place at -5, after shooting even par today.

After the round, Ye Won Lee explained: “I felt really good with my swing but I think that I could have done even better than I did today, because my putter was a little shaky.”

2018 champion Thitikul declared that: “I had a little bit of trouble with my putter when we got back (after the weather delay). The wind also the last two rounds was so strong.” Final round Friday promise to deliver an exciting finish on the South Course at Angus Glen.

As the organizing federation, Canada is afforded two teams to participate in the Championship.

Canada 1, which consists of Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) gained one position today with a team score of plus +5 and is in a tie for 10th with Germany. Canada 2, composed of Lauren Kim and Angela Arora of Surrey, B.C., with Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.), remains in 17th. Angela Arora joins Brooke Rivers as the low Canadians, in a tie for 18th position at plus +7.

The World Junior Girls Championship is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an “A” ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the World Junior Girls Championship is in its sixth edition.

Play resumes at 8 AM on Friday for the final round. The closing ceremony will start shortly after the conclusion of play around 3:00 P.M. (EDT).

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the sixth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

Full results and tournament information can be found here.

 

World Junior Girls Championship

Thailand’s Thitikul surges to the lead after Round 2 of the World Junior Girls Championship

Atthaya Thitikul (Tyler Costigan/ Golf Canada)

MARKHAM, Ont. —There is something about Canada that brings out the best in Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul’s game and it was on full display today at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario, during the second round of the 2019 World Junior Girls Championship (WJG).

Teeing it up from the 10th hole in a split-tee start this morning, Thitikul, the defending champion from last year’s WJG in Ottawa, had a relatively inauspicious start with four consecutive pars, before finding a new gear following a birdie on the par-5 14th hole. And she was all business from there, collecting seven more birdies and an eagle against only one bogey the rest of the way. With a blistering score of 30 on the front nine for a total of 63 on the day, Thitikul returned to the clubhouse this afternoon with a three-stroke lead over her nearest rivals, Hannah Darling of Scotland and last year’s individual silver medallist, Alessia Nobilio of Italy, who are tied for second place at 5-under for the tournament.

In her post-round interview, the personable Thitikul was frank in her assessment: “You know, I give all the credit to my putter, it worked really good today. I just had fun in the round and that’s good. And the results come.” When asked what adjustments she needs to make for the rest of the week, she declared that “what I need to improve on … are the approaches, with my wedge. You know, at 80 or 90, it was not as good, and I need to improve.” This bodes well for Thailand moving forward.

Darling had quite the outing herself, firing her first career hole-in-one on the 2nd hole, en route to a tidy score of 66 (-6). Nobilio put herself in the hunt, handing in a minus -5 scorecard to rebound from a somewhat disappointing day one that had left her at even par.

Of joining the hole-in-one club today, Darling confides that “it’s the first I’ve ever had … that was pretty cool! Me and Beth (Coulter, of Ireland) were playing together and we were just going mad!”

Ho-Yu An of Chinese Taipei also had a wonderful round and put herself in the mix with a score of 65 (-7) in the second round. An now trails Darling and Nobilio by only one shot, in fourth position at 4-under par.

In the team competition, the Thai squad managed to create a little space atop of what was a very crowded leaderboard following the first round. Propelled by Thitikul’s stellar outing, Thailand shaved 7 strokes from par on Wednesday for an aggregate total of 281 (-7), one shot better than Korea in second place at 282 (-6) and Chinese Taipei, who jump up the rankings to No. 3 with a total team score of 284. Last year’s champion team Italy is close behind in fourth spot at minus -1.

As the organizing federation, Canada can delegate two squads to the Championship.

Canada 1, comprised of Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) lost a little ground and now sits in a tie for 11th with Sweden. Canada 2, which includes Lauren Kim and Angela Arora of Surrey, B.C., with Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.), dropped four ranks to 17th. For the second day, Rivers remains the low Canadian, firing a 1-over-par 73 that leaves her in a tie for 16th position.

Team Canada is looking for its first medal since capturing bronze at the first ever World Junior Girls Championship in 2014.

The World Junior Girls Championship is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an “A” ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the World Junior Girls Championship is in its sixth edition.

Play resumes at 8 AM on Thursday. Full results and tournament information can be found here.

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the sixth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

 

Team Canada World Junior Girls Championship

Crowded leaderboard after day one of the World Junior Girls Championship

Yosita Khawnuna (Photo: Golf Ontario)

MARKHAM, Ont. —The world’s best young female golfers took over Markham’s Angus Glen Golf Club on Tuesday as the 2019 World Junior Girls Championship got underway on one of the GTA’s favourite tracks.

Under the watchful eyes of several NCAA golf coaches that have made the journey north, Round one was clearly a high-scoring affair since only three competitors managed to navigate the challenging South Course under par: Thailand’s Yosita Khawnuna, Yin Xiaowen of China and Ye Won Lee of Korea, who all share the individual lead at one under par after rounds of 71.

Khawnuna was in the lead for a large portion of the day before stumbling near the end of her round with a bogey at 17 and a double bogey at 18which erased the three-shot lead she had built after a terrific birdie on the par-5 hole No. 16.

It was an equally tight contest in the team competition as the top three squads are only separated by two shots, with Korea paving the way on an aggregate score of minus -1 (143), followed closely by Thailand at even par (144) and England in third at plus +1 (145).

Team Thailand, headlined by 2018 World Junior Girls champion Atthaya Thitikul who went one over on the day (73), is looking to build on its success after claiming bronze last year in Ottawa. The third member of the team, Kan Bunnabodee concluded with a 73 as well to sit T8.

In a post-match interview, Thitikul, Bunnabodee and Khawnuna agreed that many challenges await on this golf course. The Thai team looks forward to having another go at it tomorrow: “We need to just let go and tomorrow will be better. Today is over and we just need to go and practise the things that we need to do (better). Just stick to the game plan and we will be better,” said Bunnabodee, speaking on behalf of the squad.

As the organizing federation, Canada can delegate two squads to the Championship.

Canada 1, which comprises Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) sit in a tie for 9th with Scotland. Canada 2, which includes Lauren Kim and Angela Arora of Surrey, B.C., with Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.), trails behind at T13 with Spain and Wales. Rivers was the low Canadian today with a 2-over-par 74, which leaves her only three shots shy of the lead.

Team Canada is looking for its first medal since capturing bronze at the first ever World Junior Girls in 2014.

The World Junior Girls Championship is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an “A” ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the World Junior Girls Championship is in its sixth edition.

Play resumes at 8 AM on Wednesday. Full results and tournament information can be found here.

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the sixth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

World Junior Girls Championship

Angus Glen Golf Club ready to host world’s best female junior golfers

Angus Glen Golf Club (Photo: City of Markham)

MARKHAM, Ont. — It is a field comprised of some of the planet’s best young female golfers that will display their skills at Angus Glen Golf Club, as the sixth edition of the World Junior Girls Championship gets underway from September 24 to 27. In total, 60 athletes representing 19 countries—including two teams from host nation Canada—will compete for the team and individual titles.

“In collaboration with Golf Ontario and our partners, we are thrilled to present this first-class event featuring some the most promising female athletes the world of golf has to offer,” said Dan Hyatt, Tournament Director for the World Junior Girls Championship. “It is an honour for us to afford these talented juniors an opportunity to continue their growth and development.”

This year’s field is highlighted by 11 competitors ranked inside the World Golf Amateur Rankings (WAGR) top 100. The tournament’s top-ranked player is 2018 World Junior Girls individual champion Atthaya Thitikul (No. 2), who will represent last year’s bronze medal winners Thailand in the country’s second World Junior Girls appearance. Thitikul, the reigning Thailand Ladies Amateur champion, won the Smyth Salver award as the Low Amateur at the 2019 AIG Women’s British Open, captured the 2019 Ladies European Tour Thailand Championship and has now competed in 10 professional events worldwide.

England is the only country in the tournament to have all three team members ranked in WAGR’s top 100. Lily May Humphreys (No. 29) will make her third WJG appearance and try to improve on her T7 finish in 2017. Joining her at Markham’s Angus Glen will be Annabell Fuller (No. 46) and Euphemie “Mimi” Rhodes (No. 95).

Returning champions Italy will be able to rely on Alessia Nobilio (No. 7) to lead the team. Nobilio will look to add to her record WJG individual medal haul after capturing silver medals in 2017 and 2018. The 17-year-old, who has seven top-ten finishes this year including two victories, will be joined by newcomers Carolina Melgrati (No. 115) and Benedetta Moresco (No. 34). The trio will look to bring a third World Junior Girls team medal to Italy.

The 2019 edition of the Championship will see several players return, as 17 members of the field have played in at least one World Junior Girls Championship, including double individual silver medallist Nobilio (Italy) who became the first repeat medallist in tournament history in Ottawa last year. Six players will be appearing in at least their third edition of the event, including Canadians Ellie Szeryk (No. 724) and Emily Zhu (No. 977), Switzerland’s Elena Moosman (No. 97), Mexico’s Cory Lopez (No. 314) and England’s Humphreys. Nobilo will make a record fourth appearance at the Championship.

Sweden will look to add a fourth team medal to their trophy case after earning one silver (2014) and two bronze medals (2015 and 2017). As the only Swedish player returning to the championship, Ester Fägersten (No. 180) will be joined by first-timers Louise Rydqvist (No. 439) and Sara Ericsson (No. 230).

Along with the returning teams and players, the World Junior Girls Championship is also pleased to welcome back the representatives of Germany and the Republic of Korea after a one-year absence, as well as to host Wales for the very first time.  The inaugural Welsh team will consist of Darcey Harry (No. 578), Ffion Tynan (No. 693) and Carys Worby (No. 799).

Joining the strong international field will be the six players chosen to represent Canada. Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) will constitute Canada One, while Lauren Kim and Angela Arora of Surrey, B.C., will team up with Szeryk (London, Ont.) to form Canada Two. Team Canada will be looking for their first medal since capturing bronze at the inaugural World Junior Girls Championship in 2014.

In 2018 at Camelot Golf and Country Club, it was Italy that prevailed over the USA to capture the crown, registering a feisty 6-under performance (138) that allowed them to catch the Americans and force extra holes. Italy eventually came up on top to win their first World Junior Girls Championship gold.

The World Junior Girls Championship is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an ‘A’ ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), the World Junior Girls Championship will run for its sixth time.

Angus Glen Golf Club consists of two 18-hole championship golf courses in Markham, Ontario. The North and South courses offer variety, beauty and challenges. It has been ranked as one of the top 80 golf courses in the world outside of the United States. It was home to the 2002 and 2007 Canadian Open and an official host of the 2015 Toronto Pan/Parapan American Games.

The first round of play is on Tuesday, September 24. The tournament’s closing ceremonies will immediately follow the conclusion of play on Friday, Sept. 27.

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the sixth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

World Junior Girls Championship

How the World Junior Girls Championship became a must-attend event for NCAA golf coaches

(Bernard Brault/ Golf Canada)

OTTAWA, Ont. – Fifty-seven of the best young female golfers from 18 countries around the world will always draw a crowd – but not who you might think.

Throughout the week at Camelot, several squad leaders from some of the biggest NCAA golf programs were seen around the course to take in the action from the fifth annual World Junior Girls Championship in Ottawa. Among them were coaches of Oklahoma, Purdue, UCLA, Iowa, Arizona, Nebraska, Tennessee and Georgia, to name a few.

Close to 20 NCAA Division I golf coaches were on hand to witness history being made, as 15 year-old Atthaya Thitikul set a tournament and club record with a bogey-free round of 60 to claim the laurels and return home with the title of World Junior Girls Champion. The Thailand native is the No. 11 ranked golfer in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and has yet to commit to an NCAA program.

Italy took the team event in a nail-biting extra-holes playoff to earn a well-deserved gold medal and return to old continent with the championship trophy.

So, what brings them to Ottawa?

“The competition level is great. Obviously, all these different countries are represented and, you know, they’re not just players but the top junior players from those countries,” confides Ryan Sirman, a first-year member of the women’s golf coaching staff at Oklahoma University.  “It’s definitely a high level of play here this week,” adds Sirman.

Golf Canada’s chief sport executive Jeff Thompson concurs that this was a key driver in creating this international event. “We purposely limited the number of teams at the event and capped it at that level. The very best can go.”

Canada’s top performer was Céleste Dao, who took fifth place in the individual competition, while Team Canada 1 finished just outside the podium in fourth amongst the 19 teams taking part.

Atthaya Thitikul

For Justin Bubser, the assistant coach from the University of Arizona Wildcats, it’s a fantastic opportunity to scout talent. “You’ve got some very good players here at this event so we’re just trying to search up the future for the University of Arizona,” says Bubser.

Accompanying Bubser is Kolton Lapa, the associate head coach at the University of Nebraska. “This is a great tournament because it’s the three best junior golfers from each country, so it gives coaches the opportunity to look at golfers that you won’t usually see in action,” adds Lapa, who shares coaching duties with Robin Krapfl at Nebraska. “For example, Thailand is here, and it gives us a chance to evaluate a number of other kids we wouldn’t see anywhere else.”

“You know, as college coaches, it’s definitely our job to do our homework and with these international girls, it’s rare for us to see – especially in this field – elite level of play and to see them all in one spot,” says Sirman. “We can see what their swings look like on video you know, but to actually see them going around the golf course – a phenomenal golf course by the way – is something else.”

From humble beginnings, this event is now a prominent competition in Golf Canada’s championship calendar.

“Year over year, it’s great to see the increase in interest from Division I programs and coaches attending. It’s our fifth year now. In our first year, we were not a ranked event and have since earned  “A” ranked status – people know that now. They know the quality of players that are going to be there,” concludes Thompson, who is also in charge of Canada’s national squads at the junior, amateur and young pro levels.

For Canada’s junior girls coach Matt Wilson, the World Junior Girls Championship is circled on the calendar all year as a major opportunity for the team.

“The World Junior Girls is a can’t miss opportunity for our athletes, who are always striving to be the best they can be while competing against the best in the world,” said Matt Wilson. “It’s a great test for the world’s top talent and from a timing perspective, it’s also the perfect stage for scouts and coaches. ”

The World Junior Girls Championship will return to Canada for its sixth edition next year. Click here for additional information.

World Junior Girls Championship

Italy hangs on in extra holes to win over USA at World Junior Girls Championship

Team Italy
Caterina Don, Emilie Paltrinieri, Alessia Nobilio (Bernard Brault/ Golf Canada)

OTTAWA, Ont. — It was a hotly contested finale at Camelot Golf & Country Club in Ottawa on Friday but when all was said and done, after a sudden death playoff on the 18th hole, it was Italy who prevailed over the USA to capture gold at the 2018 World Junior Girls Championship.

The Italian team, who led by as much as 10 strokes earlier in the week, needed to find an extra gear after regulation play concluded with both countries tied at 22 under. It found it in the form of team stalwart Alessia Nobilio, who sank a final birdie in the last playoff group to capture Italy’s first medal at the World Junior Girls Championship. Nobilio’s teammates Caterina Don and Emilie Paltrinieri, who were waiting anxiously greenside locking arms with coach Enrico Trentin, rushed the green to congratulate the young Italian golfer who led her team all week with her splendid play.

It was a bittersweet defeat for the USA, who managed to close a nine-stroke gap yesterday, only to come up short in the end. But for the Italian team, the relief was palpable.

“We had a one-shot lead going into the last round and, you know, in a team event, anything can happen, one shot lead is really nothing,” said Paltrinieri, who was accompanied by her teammates and served as a de facto spokesperson for the team, post-victory. “When we came up to 18, we were quite close, we were actually behind, but Alessia made that great birdie on the finishing hole to force overtime,” added the young golfer from Parigi, Italy.

It is obvious that there is real chemistry between the three Italian girls, who recently competed as a unit at the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland, placing 6th. That chemistry and mutual friendship serves them well. “When we came here, we celebrated Alessia’s birthday together, being friends is the key for our team, we support each other, when one of us shoots 6 under, we want the other one to shoot 7 under or 8 under,” chimed in Don.

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Italy celebrates a playoff victory at the World Junior Girls Championship @camelotgolfclub 🇮🇹🇮🇹

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The team spirit was key in acquiring the crown of World Junior Girls Champions for Italy. Joining them on the podium was USA with silver and Thailand with bronze. The Thai team were powered by the fantastic individual display put on by 15 year-old gold medalist Atthaya Thitikul, who shot the lights out at Camelot this week, setting the course record with a fantastic score of 60 (-12) on Friday. The round also contributed to a World Junior Girls Championship 72-hole tournament record of 20 under par. Nobilio took home silver, while American Zoe Campos captures the bronze medal. Brooke Seay of the USA finished fourth at 8 under for the week, while Canada’s Céleste Dao put up a solid score of 70 (-2) on Friday to finish in fifth place.

Team Canada One, comprised of Céleste Dao (Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Qué.), Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.) and Tiffany Kong (Vancouver, B.C.) finished fourth in the team competition with a score of 10 under. Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Sarah Beqaj (Toronto, Ont.) and Lauren Kim (Surrey, B.C.) who make up Canada Two, completed the week in 18th place.

The World Junior Girls Championship was conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an ‘A’ ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the World Junior Girls Championship was in its fifth edition. Canada will host again next year.

Full results and tournament information can be consulted here.

Additional information regarding the fifth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

World Junior Girls Championship

Canada top scoring team on moving day at World Junior Girls Championship

Tiffany Kong
Tiffany Kong (Golf Canada/ Golf Ontario)

If the second round was an all-Italian affair yesterday, it is Canada that led the charge on moving day at Camelot Golf & Country Club in Ottawa, where the third round of play for the World Junior Girls Championship took place.

Vancouver product Tiffany Kong led the way for Team Canada One, who registered an aggregate score of 10-under 134, halving their deficit to 10 strokes back of tourney leaders Italy. The Italian trio of Caterina Don, Alessia Nobilio and Emilie Paltrinieri cooled off after their torrid opening rounds to notch a team score of one over par (145). They saw their comfortable 10-stroke lead dwindle to a single shot over the USA, who sit at 15 under thanks to a stellar third round of 9 under par (135).

Team Thailand also had a solid outing with a 139 and sit third in the team standings. Canada One is only three strokes back of the Thai team and within reach of their first World Junior Girls medal since 2014.

In the individual competition, Italy’s Nobilio scored a team-best 69 (-3) today to maintain her seven-stroke lead over American Zoe Campos, who shot a tournament-low 65 to grab a share of second with Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand, at 8 under for the championship.

“I did really well, yeah… my irons were pretty good, and I was making a lot of putts today,” said the soft-spoken California native Campos.

“Eighteen was my favourite hole today… I pushed my drive into the last right bunker, had about 130 in, and I hit 8-iron within 15 feet of the pin and made that put. Always nice to finish with a birdie,” concluded Campos.

Kong had the low round of the day going for a large portion of the contest, a superb score of 66 which featured five consecutive birdies to kick off her round.

“I started off really well, five birdies in a row and I kept the good play going, hit my pars. On the back nine, I thought it’s a new nine holes, so I just wanted to keep it steady since the back nine is very hard,” said the 17 year-old Kong, who moves into a tie for 8th.

 

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Have a day, Tiffany Kong!! 🔥🇨🇦👀 #TeamCanada making waves on moving day at the World Junior Girls Championship with a team score of 10 under par 🙌🏼 #WJGC

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Céleste Dao of Notre-Dame Ile Perrot, Que., leads the way for the Canadians through 54 holes in a tie for 5th at 4 under par. American Brooke Seay is 4th at 7 under.

Canada’s Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Sarah Beqaj (Toronto, Ont.) and Lauren Kim (Surrey, B.C.) who make up Canada Two, are in 18th place, shooting a team score of 12 over in round three.

Team Canada is looking for its first medal since the team that featured recent CP Women’s Open champion Brooke Henderson capture bronze at the first ever World Junior Girls Championship in 2014.

The World Junior Girls Championship is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an ‘A’ ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the World Junior Girls Championship is in its fifth edition.

Full results and tournament information can be consulted here.

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the fifth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.

World Junior Girls Championship

Italy distances itself from the pack at World Junior Girls Championship

Alessia Nobilio
Alessia Nobilio (Golf Canada/ Golf Ontario)

It was a foggy morning at Camelot Golf & Country Club in Ottawa, but when the skies cleared up and second round play got underway, there was nothing nebulous about Italy’s performance as Alessia Nobilio and Caterina Don both fired rounds of 6-under 66 to give Italy an 11-stroke advantage atop the team leaderboard at the 2018 World Junior Girls Championship.

Italy is now at 17 under for the championship, followed by Team USA in second place at 6 under and Thailand in third at 4 under. Rounding out the top five are France and Sweden, who share fourth place at 1 under par. France was the second-lowest scoring team today, with an aggregate second round score of 5 under par (139).

Nobilio, a 17 year-old Milan native, carded a second-straight 66 on Wednesday to take a comfortable seven-shot lead at 12 under par. A trio of golfers trail in second place with a tournament score of 132 (-5). American Brooke Seay and Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul both shot 1 under 71, while Italy’s Don, also 17, fired a sizzling 6 under score to match her teammate’s low round of the day.

Italian coach Enrico Trentin could not have been more pleased with his players’ efforts today.

“It was really a great day, with Alessia and Caterina both shooting minus six. We were really solid from tee to green,” said the caretaker of the Italian squad, who is just coming off a terrific performance at the World Amateur Team Championships in Ireland, finishing in 6th place.

“We had a great practice this morning and we really tried to understand the greens. Because they are so fast, it’s important to understand where to hit the second or third shots and be in a good position to putt for birdie,” reported Trentin.

It was a dominant performance across the board today for Italy, as both individual and team leaderboards are paced by the tricoloured flag on the eve of third round.

Canada One, featuring Céleste Dao of Notre-Dame Ile Perrot, Qué., Ellie Szeryk of London, Ont., and Tiffany Kong from Vancouver, B.C., dropped one spot to 7th place with a performance of 2 over today. Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Sarah Beqaj (Toronto, Ont.) and Lauren Kim (Surrey, B.C.) who make up Canada Two, trail behind at 22 over par in 17th place. Dao is the top Canadian in the individual competition with an overall score of even par, good for T8.

Team Canada is looking for its first medal since capturing bronze at the first ever World Junior Girls in 2014.

The World Junior Girls Championship is conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the R&A and the International Golf Federation. Recognized as an ‘A’ ranked event by the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the World Junior Girls Championship is in its fifth edition.

Full results and tournament information can be consulted here. 

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the fifth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.