The inaugural World Junior Golf Championship wrapped up October 1st at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario. While the Team from the United States was the big winner, capturing team and individual gold medals, the host nation also fared well with a successful running on the event and a bronze medal in the team competition.
The final day proved short on drama as the American team cruised to a wire-to-wire win at -17 (559) overall, eighteen strokes better than the team from Sweden, who rallied their way into a silver medal on the final day on the back of a 67 by individual bronze medal winner Emma Svensson.
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.”
The one-two combo of gold medalist Mika Liu (-9) and silver medalist Megan Khang (-6) was more than enough to drive the U.S. team to the win. 15 year-old Liu had a few miss-steps in the final round, including bogeys on two of her first three holes and a double bogey on the tenth, but no other players stepped up to close the gap in the individual race.
That included World Amateur #1 Brooke Henderson of Canada (-2) who was playing alongside Liu. Despite striking the ball impeccably Henderson could not seem to make a putt drop. The 17 year-old from Smiths Falls, Ontario struggled with the flat stick on the practice green before the final round and it continued on to the course. She made just one birdie on the final day, coming late in the round at the 15th hole.
Henderson finished 4th individually (70-73-71-72) and in combination with the play of her Canada1 teammates, Grace St-Germain (74-73-78-77) and Naomi Kim (77-79-70-81), it was enough to help the top Canadian squad earn a bronze medal.
Even though the top spot was not in the cards for Team Canada or Henderson, the top amateur was a huge proponent for the new championship. “It’s a great event; I’m happy Canada is hosting it every year, that’s really cool for our country and for the growth of the game. It’s nice to have all these amazing players and great countries come and visit Canada.”
Henderson was equally complimentary of her roommate for the week, fellow eastern Ontario golfer Grace St-Germain. “It was awesome (to have Grace as a teammate), she was my roommate this week so I spent a lot of time with her. She’s a super sweet girl and a good player with a good future ahead of her. I know this was a new experience for her and she might have been a little nervous at times but she played really well and I’m proud of her.”
At age 16 this was a big new stage for St-Germain, the reigning Canadian Junior Girls Champion, who earned a tie for 22nd place individually.
The Ottawa golfer recently played at the Duke of York tournament in Scotland but this World Championship was the biggest test of golf so far in her career. With some frustrations in how she scored on the final two days she was still smiling at the end after being on the podium with her team. “It was really good. It was a great experience,” she remarked. “It means a lot to play on Team Canada. It’s a great honour to represent your country.”
St-Germain, who is a prospect for the Team Canada Development Squad, said in dealing with the enormity of the event she just tried to stay patient and trust her swing. She appreciated having family and friends cheer her on at Angus Glen. “It was great. They were all wearing red and white supporting our country and supporting me along the way. Even when I hit a bad shot they’d encourage me which means a lot.”
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.
This World Junior Girls Championship was a big test for the organizers at Golf Canada, the Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) and the Angus Glen Golf Club as the site prepares to host the golf competition for the Pan Am Games in July of 2015. Although there were some small issues most involved who spoke with Flagstick seemed pleased.
As this year’s World Junior concluded GAO Executive Director Steve Carroll commented on how things went and what lies ahead for future iterations of the tournament.
“Fabulous. The partnership with Golf Canada was unbelievably successful and it should be a model for most things we do. It really drove home the point that we should be collaborating and cooperating, integrating, and aligning our efforts. This was beyond our wildest dreams in terms of a success.”
It was announced at the completion of the championship that the site for 2015 will be named in a couple weeks. As part of the founding agreement between the GAO and GolfCanada it will be hosted in Ontario for at least the next two years.
Carroll says that as they look ahead this was a good template for future tournaments but something they will need to build on.
“It was a good model but having said that there are things that we learned that we would do different next time. So we learned a lot from this experience. I can see it being bigger, better and moving forward we’ll have the opportunity to move it around Ontario; that’s a priority for us. We have talked to people in the Ottawa area and that’s something we want to do, bring it to eastern Ontario. So it exciting that we’ll have this success story to build on and replicate it elsewhere.”
The following are final team scores from the World Junior Girls Golf Championship at Angus Glen Golf Club (South Course / par 72 / 6,298 yards):
1. United States of America – Megan Khang, Angel Yin, Mika Liu *137-141-137-144-559 -17
2. Sweden – Emma Svensson, Filippa Mork, Michaela Finn *150-144-144-139-577 +1
3. Canada 1 – Brooke Henderson, Naomi Ko, Grace St-Germain *144-146-141-149-580 +4
4. Denmark – Puk Thomsen, Line Hansen, Marie Lund-Hansen *149-143-141-150-583 +7
5. Spain – Nuria Iturrios Servera, Alejandra Pasarin Olalla, Ana Pelaez Trivino *147-146-142-152-587 +11
6. Czech Republic – Kristýna Frýdlová, Karolína Kohoutová, Hana Ryškova *153-143-143-149-588 +12
7. Ireland – Mary Doyle, Olivia Mehaffey, Annabel Wilson *155-140-149-147-591 +15
7. England – India Clyburn, Alice Hewson, Inci Mehmet *148-149-143-151-591 +15
7. Belgium – Diane Baillieux, Clarisse Louis, Elodie Van Dievoet *150-145-146-150-591 +15
10. Italy – Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso, Martina Flori, Carlotta Ricolfi *147-145-146-154-592 +16
11. Australia – Hannah Green, Karis Davidson, Soo Jin (Jenny) Lee *154-145-144-153-596 +20
12. Finland – Anna Backman, Ellinoora Moisio, Sandra Salonen *145-149-152-152-598 +22
13. Canada 2 – Jaclyn Lee, Selena Costabile, Alisha Lau *150-151-149-149-599 +23
13. Mexico – Isabella Fierro, Maria Fassi, Monica Dibildox Hassaf *151-154-147-147-599 +23
15. New Zealand – Alanna Campbell, Julianne Alvarez, Wenyung Keh *156-147-157-148-608 +32
16. Norway – Sandra Nordaas, Dorthea Charlotte Forbrigd, Renate Grimstad *151-153-149-156-609 +33
The following are final individual scores from the World Junior Girls Golf Championship at Angus Glen Golf Club (South Course / par 72 / 6,298 yards):
1. Mika Liu, United States of America, *70-69-67-73-279 -9
2. Megan Khang, United States of America, *67-73-70-72-282 -6
3. Emma Svensson, Sweden, *76-70-72-67-285 -3
4. Brooke Henderson, Canada 1, *70-73-71-72-286 -2
5. Olivia Mehaffey, Ireland, *77-67-74-72-290 +2
5. Angel Yin, United States of America, *73-72-73-72-290 +2
7. Hana Ryškova, Czech Republic, *74-71-70-76-291 +3
7. Ana Pelaez Trivino, Spain, *73-73-71-74-291 +3
7. Puk Thomsen, Denmark, *73-76-69-73-291 +3
10. Michaela Finn, Sweden, *74-74-72-75-295 +7
11. Kristýna Frýdlová, Czech Republic, *79-72-73-73-297 +9
11. Clarisse Louis, Belgium, *74-73-76-74-297 +9
11. Alejandra Pasarin Olalla, Spain, *74-74-71-78-297 +9
14. Diane Baillieux, Belgium, *76-76-70-76-298 +10
15. Martina Flori, Italy, *76-70-75-78-299 +11
15. Jaclyn Lee, Canada 2, *72-77-75-75-299 +11
15. Line Hansen, Denmark, *76-67-72-84-299 +11
18. Hannah Green, Australia, *78-72-70-80-300 +12
18. Anna Backman, Finland, *71-73-73-83-300 +12
18. Carlotta Ricolfi, Italy, *74-75-74-77-300 +12
21. Alice Hewson, England, *78-73-68-82-301 +13
22. Inci Mehmet, England, *76-76-78-72-302 +14
22. Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso, Italy, *73-80-72-77-302 +14
22. Selena Costabile, Canada 2, *78-74-74-76-302 +14
22. Wenyung Keh, New Zealand, *76-75-79-72-302 +14
22. Grace St-Germain, Canada 1, *74-73-78-77-302 +14
27. India Clyburn, England, *72-77-75-79-303 +15
27. Isabella Fierro, Mexico, *76-78-76-73-303 +15
29. Soo Jin (Jenny) Lee, Australia, *77-77-74-76-304 +16
30. Karis Davidson, Australia, *77-73-78-77-305 +17
30. Filippa Mork, Sweden, *81-75-77-72-305 +17
30. Renate Grimstad, Norway, *78-73-74-80-305 +17
33. Elodie Van Dievoet, Belgium, *77-72-76-82-307 +19
33. Mary Doyle, Ireland, *78-73-75-81-307 +19
33. Alanna Campbell, New Zealand, *80-72-79-76-307 +19
33. Naomi Ko, Canada 1, *77-79-70-81-307 +19
37. Annabel Wilson, Ireland, *82-76-76-75-309 +21
37. Maria Fassi, Mexico, *75-87-71-76-309 +21
37. Sandra Nordaas, Norway, *73-80-77-79-309 +21
40. Ellinoora Moisio, Finland, *82-76-79-73-310 +22
40. Monica Dibildox Hassaf, Mexico, *84-76-76-74-310 +22
42. Alisha Lau, Canada 2, *83-80-75-74-312 +24
43. Nuria Iturrios Servera, Spain, *81-73-81-78-313 +25
44. Sandra Salonen, Finland, *74-82-79-79-314 +26
45. Julianne Alvarez, New Zealand, *80-79-78-79-316 +28
46. Dorthea Charlotte Forbrigd, Norway, *84-83-75-77-319 +31
46. Marie Lund-Hansen, Denmark, *79-80-83-77-319 +31
48. Karolína Kohoutová, Czech Republic, *86-98-85-89-358 +70