Markham, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Team USA got out to an early lead and never let it go, finishing with a team-total score of 17-under par 559 for the wire-to-wire victory at the inaugural World Junior Girls Golf Championship at Angus Glen Golf Club (South Course) in Markham, Ont.
The Americans (137-141-137-144—559) began Wednesday’s final round with a commanding 16-shot lead and went on to shoot a team-total, even-par 144 to capture top spot on the medal podium.
Team USA counted matching rounds of even-par 72 by 16-year old Megan Khang (67-73-70-72—282) and 15-year old Angel Yin (73-72-73-72—290) while 15-year old Mika Liu (70-69-67-73—279), who finished as individual gold medalist, rounded out the scoring with a round of 1-over 73.
For Team USA non-playing captain Courtney Myhrum, the victory capped a special week that left her beaming with pride for her young squad.
“They’re my dream team, it’s been wonderful it’s been a great week and a real team effort; I couldn’t be more proud of the three of them, the way they conducted themselves on the course and off the course,” said Myhrum. “Go play and have fun, there is really not much else I can say to these three. They had great course management and are really easy to captain because they know how to get around the golf course – they didn’t really need me this week.”
Sweden, which began the day tied for fifth, five shots back of a podium placing, vaulted into the silver medal by counting the low team-total of the final round – 5-under par 139. Leading the way for the Swedes was 18-year old Emma Svensson (76-70-72-67—285) who counted the low round of the day on the South Course at Angus Glen, a sizzling 5-under 67. Seventeen year old Filippa Mork (81-75-77-72—305) saved her best round – even-par 72 – for the final day to count the second score while 18-year old Michaela Finn (74-72-72-75—295) rounded out the scoring for Sweden.
Team Canada (144-146-141-149—580) was looking to build on their team-best score from Tuesday but it wasn’t meant to be as the host country shot a final-round, team-total 5-over 149 to claim the bronze medal. The Canucks counted final-round scores of even-par 72 by Brooke Henderson (17) of Smiths Falls, Ont. (70-73-71-72—286) and 5-over 77 by Grace St-Germain (16) of Ottawa (74-73-78-77—302) while teammate Naomi Ko (17) of Victoria (77-79-70-81—307) completed the scoring with a non-counting 81.
Rounding out the top-five in the team competition at the inaugural World Junior Girls Team Championship was Team Denmark (149-143-141-150—583) in fourth at 7-over 583 followed by Spain in fifth (147-146-142-152—587) at 11-over 587.
Canada’s second team in the competition comprised of Jaclyn Lee (17) of Calgary (72-77-75-75—299), Selena Costabile (16) of Thornhill, Ont. (78-74-74-76—302) and Alisha Lau (14) of Richmond, B.C. (83-80-75-74—312) shot a final-round, team-total 5-over 149 (150-151-149-149—599) to finish tied for 13th position.
In the individual competition, 15-year old American standout Mika Liu (70-69-67-73—279) shot a final-round, 1-over 73 to win the gold medal by three shots over her USA teammate Megan Khang (67-73-70-72—282). Liu came into Wednesday’s final round with a four-shot lead over Khang and was more excited to contribute to the team victory than capturing individual gold.
“Yes, I am extremely happy that my team won first and that I did too – it is a total celebration,” said Liu, the no. 48 ranked player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking. “To be able to share the podium with my teammates who were out there on the course with me and my captain and manager makes me extremely happy and proud because we came here together and we are able to leave as champions together.”
Sweden’s Emma Svensson (76-70-72-67—285) saved her best play for the final round, firing a 5-under 67 and tournament-total 3-under 285 to edge out Canada’s Brooke Henderson (70-73-71-72—286) by a single stroke and capture the bronze medal. Team USA’s Angela Yin Angel Yin (73-72-73-72—290) and Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey (77-67-74-72—290) tied for fifth at 2-over for the tournament.
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