Markham, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Team USA continues to dominate the 15 country field of competitors at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship after firing a team-total score of 7-under par 137 to increase their lead to 16 shots heading into the final round of the inaugural event at Angus Glen Golf Club (South Course) in Markham, Ont.
After starting the day with a comfortable 12-shot lead, Team USA (137-141-137—415) continued their sizzling play on Tuesday and with only 18 holes to play, look poised to claim the championship team title on Wednesday at Angus Glen.
Mika Liu (70-69-67—206) continued to lead the way for the Americans shooting 5-under 67 Tuesday and pairing with teammate Megan Khang (67-73-70—210) to count a team score of 7-under 137 to lead the host Canadian team by 16 shots heading into Wednesday’ final round.
“You know what, I am just so proud of these kids – it’s shaping up really well,” said Team USA non-playing captain Courtney Myhrum. “This is a marathon, this format – everybody has to play well, you can’t just have one superstar on your team. This kid (Mika), is unbelievable, they all are. I think we have a 16 stroke lead going into the final round and it’s a nice place to be.”
Liu, 15, tied the low round of the tournament with her 5-under 67 that included six birdies and a single bogey under breezy overcast conditions at Angus Glen. The young American standout set out Tuesday to improve on her 69 a day earlier and did just that.
“Today, I improved on what I practiced yesterday. I hit the fairways I missed yesterday, I hit greens, and just had many more opportunities for birdies, and I did make more,” said Liu, currently the no. 48 ranked player on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. I only made one bogey today, so that was very helpful. I will continue to work on my swing, and I will focus mainly on putting again – both on the short putts and long ones for speed. Mentally, I will still be the same as during the practice round. I will play my game, talk to my teammates, talk to the other players and enjoy my time out there.”
Khang (16), carded three birdies and a single bogey for a third-round, 2-under 70 as the second USA score to count while 15-year old teammate Angel Yin (73-72-73—218) shot a non-counting 1-over 73 to round out the USA team scores.
Team Canada (144-146-141—431), had their best team score of the tournament, shooting 3-under on the day. Naomi Ko (17) of Victoria (77-79-70—226) shot her best round of the tournament, 2-under 70, to lead the way for Canada who head into Wednesday’s final round two shots up on Team Denmark (149-143-141—433) for second spot in the team competition.
Brooke Henderson (17) of Smiths Falls, Ont. (70-73-71—214) counted a score of 1-under 71 for Canada while teammate Grace St. Germain (16) of Ottawa (74-73-78—225) rounding out the Canadian scores with a 6-over 78.
Besides Team USA, Canada and Denmark holding down the top three positions, Spain is alone in fourth at 3-over for the tournament (147-146-142—435) with Italy (147-145-146—438) and Sweden (150-144-144—438) tied for fifth at 6-over.
Canada’s second team in the competition comprised of Jaclyn Lee (17) of Calgary (72-77-75—224), Selena Costabile (16) of Thornhill, Ont. (78-74-74—226) and Alisha Lau (14) of Richmond, B.C. (83-80-75—238) shot a team-total, 5-over 149 (150-151-149—450) are in 13th position at 18-over through 54 holes.
With her third-round 67, Mika Liu (70-69-67—206) continues to top the individual leader boad at 10-under par, four shots better than her USA teammate Megan Khang (67-73-70—210). Canada’s Brooke Henderson (70-73-71—214) is alone in third at 2-under for the tournament while Denmark’s Line Hansen (76-67-72—215) and Hana Ryskova of the Czech Republic (74-71-70—215) are tied for fourth at 1-under.