Céleste Dao continues to lead heading into the final round of Canadian Junior Girls Championship

Celeste Dao
Céleste Dao (Photo : Golf Canada)

TSAWWASSEN, B.C. – Celeste Dao carded a 1-over-par 73 on Thursday afternoon to keep the lead at 2-under-par after three rounds of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship at Beach Grove Golf Club.

The Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot, Que. native carded her first round over par on Thursday. She started off strong on her front nine recording a birdie on hole 1 and hole 5. She had a 4-shot lead coming to nine but carded a bogey before making the turn.

“My putter wasn’t good today, my wedges were good, that’s where I made birdies today, because I stuck them, but my putter wasn’t good and I’m going to try to make it better by tomorrow,” said the 17-year-old.

She started the back nine lipping out at hole 10 and hole 11, carding bogeys on both holes, to lose the lead.

“It was disappointing on those holes in the middle of my round, but I tried to finish well, and I did, so I’m pretty happy,” said Dao.

Dao stepped up to the tee on hole 12 and made a great drive. After she hit the ball onto the green for what some thought would be a sure eagle, the ball didn’t quite make it to the hole. She was able to birdie the hole to reclaim the lead.

Dao and Emily Zhu stepped up to the tee on hole 17, with Zhu firing her ball straight down the fairway and Dao finding the bunker. Dao got out of the bunker and continued to hit her ball far left, chipping her ball onto the green with her 4thstroke. On Zhu’s 4thstroke she putted her ball into the hole for the birdie. Dao lined up her putt knowing she needed to make par in order to keep her lead and did just that.

Zhu and Dao duked it out all day on the course. Zhu ended the day carding the only round under par, a 2-under-par 70, her lowest round so far, and sits just one stroke back of Dao.

“My round went really well, I wanted to shoot under par and I did it,” said the 14-year-old.

After bogeying the par 5 hole 14thhole, where she hit the ball into the hazard, she chipped in for a nice eagle on hole 15, one of four eagles all day.

“I wanted to hit a birdie, just make a comeback from that bogey. That shot was roughly 14 yards, because the fringe was so thin I could treat it as a green, so I decided I would hit it there. I just needed the ball to role to the hole,” said the Richmond Hill, Ont. native.

Zhu made another birdie on the next par 5, hole 17, after hitting a pitching wedge onto the green to make a four-foot putt.

Tiffany Kong sits in third and will join Zhu and Dao tomorrow in the final pairing. Kong fired a 2-over 74 to sit 5-over for the tournament, 7 strokes behind the lead.

Zhu leads the Juvenile Competition by six strokes, sitting 1-under 215 for the tournament. Sarah Beqaj from Toronto, Ont. sits in second at 6-over 222.

Team Canada Developmental Squad member, Ellie Szeryk, of London, Ont., signed for a score lower than she had taken and was disqualified prior to the third round.

Click here to view the full leaderboard for the 2018 Canadian Junior Girls Championship.