They came, they coughed, they conquered.
A cold virus that started with one member of the team spread through the trio representing the Republic of Korea at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship, but no amount of hacking and discomfort would keep them from victory.
The squad from Korea held an eleven stroke lead overnight in the team portion of the competition that finished up 72 holes of play on Friday at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa, Ontario. They could have coasted to the finish. Apparently that wasn’t part of their plan.
On the back of a flawless seven-under par,65, by Hye-Jin Choi the Republic of Korea team persevered through sickness and cool Fall temperatures to reach a score of -22 and earn the team gold medal by a whopping eighteen strokes over the silver medalist team from Denmark.
Korean Head Coach Sang-Won Ko was more than pleased with the effort of his players. While Choi earned the individual gold medal her team-mates, Eun-soo Jang and Shin Hye Kim, tied for 4th in solo play.
“It’s never been better,” Ko told Flagstick.com on the edge of the 18th green after his team secured the win. “I cannot see any tiny mistake they made. Everyone did their best so I am pretty satisfied with the round, not only for the scores but also their teamwork, hard work, and dedication.”
“We’re really happy to be the champions of this glorious tournament but it was not our first goal. The main purpose of being here was to learn from the experience of playing with others so winning the trophy is a bonus.”
The coach was not all that shocked that Choi, the 2015 Korean Women’s Amateur Champion, was able to string together a score of -12 for the four rounds, capped by the bogey free 65. The put her 7 strokes ahead of silver medalist Cecilie Bofill of Denmark.
“She has been struggling with her putting but we knew she had the ability to have a score like this. The last three days she was struggling a bit but today she made them all. She was amazing.”
Filippa Moork of Sweden was the individual bronze medalist and her team captured the team medal of the same colour.
Play was not as rosy for the host Canadians who fielded two teams this week. Canada Two (Alisha Lau, Kathrine Chan, and Euna Han) finished in 13th place while Canada One (Grace St-Germain, Hannah Lee, and Tiffany Kong) were one place back in 14th. Only team China finished lower in the 15 team field.
Ann Carroll, the coach of Canada One and Coach of Team Canada’s Development Squad, tried to put on a brave face while admitting it was not exactly the result they were looking for.
“We had such a young team coming in. It was good to get to know the girls and help coach them through the week but I think everyone left with something really positive, some things they need to work on.”
For Carroll it helped her see a number of new players who have the potential to be part of the Team Canada program and how they reacted in an elite level situation. “Just to be able to see them play under pressure and see how they do, it helps you get a jump start on knowing what you might want to work on with some of the girls.”
With only Lau and St-Germain having international experience the nerves showed for some of the younger players this week in Ottawa but to Carroll they appeared to come into the own as the week progressed.
“Today they were much more comfortable having one of their friends in their group (several of the Canadians played together in the final round and that’s to be expected when you’re talking about a thirteen year-old and couple fourteen year-olds. But I think they’re going to take a lot from this week, they’re going to be a lot more confident, perhaps, in a future international event. It’s great that they get the experience this week.”
Tournament organizers were very pleased with how the tournament played out in just its second year.
Tournament Director Mary Beth McKenna echoed the sentiments of all those involved when asked to reflect on the competition. “In speaking with the players and coaches this past week, I think this event was a tremendous success. From the coaching summit and the skills clinic to an entertaining and exciting tournament – I truly believe this was a very positive experience for not only the golfing community in Ottawa, but also the development of junior girls’ golf on the international stage.”
|5||United States of America||+9||F||+16||144||150||145||153||592|
|13||Canada 2||+10||F *||+31||151||149||153||154||607|
|14||Canada 1||+9||F *||+47||152||159||159||153||623|
|1||Hye-jin Choi Korea||-7||F||-12||70||71||70||65||276|
|2||Cecilie Bofill Denmark||-3||F||-5||72||68||74||69||283|
|3||Filippa Moork Sweden||+2||F||-2||72||72||68||74||286|
|T4||Eun-soo Jang Korea||E||F||-1||72||67||76||72||287|
|T4||Shin Hye Kim Korea||+1||F||-1||76||70||68||73||287|
|6||Anna Backman Finland||-2||F *||+1||72||75||72||70||289|
|7||Frida Kinhult Sweden||+2||F||+2||72||71||73||74||290|
|8||Puk Lyng Thomsen Denmark||+1||F||+3||73||72||73||73||291|
|9||Pauline Roussin-Bouchard France||+3||F||+4||75||67||75||75||292|
|T10||Inci Mehmet England||+2||F||+7||72||72||77||74||295|
|T10||Line Toft Hansen Denmark||+3||F||+7||73||75||72||75||295|
|T12||Alyaa Abdulghany United States of America||+4||F||+8||74||75||71||76||296|
|T12||Elizabeth Wang United States of America||+5||F||+8||70||75||74||77||296|
|T14||Hannah Green Australia||+3||F||+9||72||76||74||75||297|
|T14||Paz Marfa Sans Spain||+7||F||+9||72||75||71||79||297|
|T16||Isabella Fierro Mexico||+5||F||+10||74||75||72||77||298|
|T16||Anais Meyssonnier France||+7||F||+10||72||75||72||79||298|
|T16||Elena Hualde Zuniga Spain||+4||F||+10||74||69||79||76||298|
|19||Ana Paula Valdes Mexico||+4||F||+12||72||77||75||76||300|
|T20||Maria Fassi Mexico||+7||F||+13||74||76||72||79||301|
|T20||Carolina Caminoli Italy||+1||F *||+13||71||79||78||73||301|
|T20||Elin Esborn Sweden||+6||F||+13||73||75||75||78||301|
|T23||Rebecca Kay Australia||+7||F||+14||74||75||74||79||302|
|T23||Angelica Moresco Italy||+3||F *||+14||78||73||76||75||302|
|T25||Renate Grimstad Norway||E||F *||+15||73||77||81||72||303|
|T25||Elisabeth Codet France||+2||F||+15||74||79||76||74||303|
|T25||Kathrine Chan Canada||+3||F *||+15||79||75||74||75||303|
|T28||Hollie Muse England||+5||F||+16||78||76||73||77||304|
|T28||Sandra Nordaas Norway||+6||F *||+16||72||74||80||78||304|
|30||Tiffany Kong Canada||+3||F *||+18||75||79||77||75||306|
|31||Jin Man China||+5||F *||+19||80||75||75||77||307|
|T32||Carlotta Ricolfi Italy||+2||F *||+20||75||81||78||74||308|
|T32||Maria Herraez Galvez Spain||+7||F||+20||77||75||77||79||308|
|T32||Courtney Dow United States of America||+6||F||+20||77||75||78||78||308|
|35||Alisha Lau Canada||+7||F *||+26||76||74||85||79||314|
|36||Karoline Lund Norway||+9||F *||+27||80||78||76||81||315|
|T37||Grace St-Germain Canada||+6||F *||+31||78||81||82||78||319|
|T37||Euna Han Canada||+14||F *||+31||75||79||79||86||319|
|39||Hannah Lee Canada||+8||F *||+32||77||80||83||80||320|
|40||Katri Bakker Finland||+10||F *||+34||84||77||79||82||322|
|41||Daniella Barrett Finland||+7||F *||+36||78||90||77||79||324|
|42||Wang Ziyi China||+17||F *||+46||76||83||86||89||334|