Korea Wins World Junior Girls Championship

Team Republic of Korea (Photo: Darren Matte, GAO)
Team Republic of Korea (Photo: Darren Matte, GAO)
Team Republic of Korea (Photo: Darren Matte, GAO)

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.”

Hye-Jin Choi (Photo: Darren Matte, GAO)
Hye-Jin Choi (Photo: Darren Matte, GAO)

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.”

Team Leaderboard

Pos Team Today Thru Total R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Korea, Republic Of Korea -7 F -22 142 137 138 137 554
2 Denmark Denmark -2 F -4 145 140 145 142 572
3 Sweden Sweden +4 F E 144 143 141 148 576
4 France France +5 F +8 146 142 147 149 584
5 United States United States of America +9 F +16 144 150 145 153 592
6 Spain Spain +11 F +17 146 144 148 155 593
7 Mexico Mexico +9 F +18 146 151 144 153 594
8 Australia Australia +10 F +19 146 147 148 154 595
T9 England England +7 F +23 150 148 150 151 599
T9 Italy Italy +3 F * +23 146 152 154 147 599
11 Finland Finland +5 F * +24 150 152 149 149 600
12 Norway Norway +6 F * +26 145 151 156 150 602
13 Canada Canada 2 +10 F * +31 151 149 153 154 607
14 Canada Canada 1 +9 F * +47 152 159 159 153 623
15 China China +22 F * +65 156 158 161 166 641

Individual Leaderboard

Pos Player Today Thru Total R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Korea, Republic Of Hye-jin Choi  Korea -7 F -12 70 71 70 65 276
2 Denmark Cecilie Bofill  Denmark -3 F -5 72 68 74 69 283
3 Sweden Filippa Moork  Sweden +2 F -2 72 72 68 74 286
T4 Korea, Republic Of Eun-soo Jang  Korea E F -1 72 67 76 72 287
T4 Korea, Republic Of Shin Hye Kim  Korea +1 F -1 76 70 68 73 287
6 Finland Anna Backman  Finland -2 F * +1 72 75 72 70 289
7 Sweden Frida Kinhult  Sweden +2 F +2 72 71 73 74 290
8 Denmark Puk Lyng Thomsen  Denmark +1 F +3 73 72 73 73 291
9 France Pauline Roussin-Bouchard  France +3 F +4 75 67 75 75 292
T10 England Inci Mehmet  England +2 F +7 72 72 77 74 295
T10 Denmark Line Toft Hansen  Denmark +3 F +7 73 75 72 75 295
T12 United States Alyaa Abdulghany  United States of America +4 F +8 74 75 71 76 296
T12 United States Elizabeth Wang  United States of America +5 F +8 70 75 74 77 296
T14 Australia Hannah Green  Australia +3 F +9 72 76 74 75 297
T14 Spain Paz Marfa Sans  Spain +7 F +9 72 75 71 79 297
T16 Mexico Isabella Fierro  Mexico +5 F +10 74 75 72 77 298
T16 France Anais Meyssonnier  France +7 F +10 72 75 72 79 298
T16 Spain Elena Hualde Zuniga  Spain +4 F +10 74 69 79 76 298
19 Mexico Ana Paula Valdes  Mexico +4 F +12 72 77 75 76 300
T20 Mexico Maria Fassi  Mexico +7 F +13 74 76 72 79 301
T20 Italy Carolina Caminoli  Italy +1 F * +13 71 79 78 73 301
T20 Sweden Elin Esborn  Sweden +6 F +13 73 75 75 78 301
T23 Australia Rebecca Kay  Australia +7 F +14 74 75 74 79 302
T23 Italy Angelica Moresco  Italy +3 F * +14 78 73 76 75 302
T25 Norway Renate Grimstad  Norway E F * +15 73 77 81 72 303
T25 France Elisabeth Codet  France +2 F +15 74 79 76 74 303
T25 Canada Kathrine Chan  Canada +3 F * +15 79 75 74 75 303
T28 England Hollie Muse  England +5 F +16 78 76 73 77 304
T28 Norway Sandra Nordaas  Norway +6 F * +16 72 74 80 78 304
30 Canada Tiffany Kong  Canada +3 F * +18 75 79 77 75 306
31 China Jin Man  China +5 F * +19 80 75 75 77 307
T32 Italy Carlotta Ricolfi  Italy +2 F * +20 75 81 78 74 308
T32 Spain Maria Herraez Galvez  Spain +7 F +20 77 75 77 79 308
T32 United States Courtney Dow  United States of America +6 F +20 77 75 78 78 308
35 Canada Alisha Lau  Canada +7 F * +26 76 74 85 79 314
36 Norway Karoline Lund  Norway +9 F * +27 80 78 76 81 315
T37 Canada Grace St-Germain  Canada +6 F * +31 78 81 82 78 319
T37 Canada Euna Han  Canada +14 F * +31 75 79 79 86 319
39 Canada Hannah Lee  Canada +8 F * +32 77 80 83 80 320
40 Finland Katri Bakker  Finland +10 F * +34 84 77 79 82 322
41 Finland Daniella Barrett  Finland +7 F * +36 78 90 77 79 324
42 China Wang Ziyi  China +17 F * +46 76 83 86 89 334