MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada– Team USA jumped out to an early lead and never let it go, finishing with a team-total score of 17-under par 559 for an 18-stroke, wire-to-wire victory in the inaugural World Junior Girls Golf Championship at Angus Glen Golf Club.
The USA (137- 141- 137- 144 -559) began Wednesday’s final round with a commanding 16-stroke lead and went on to shoot a final-round, even-par 144 to capture the 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, posted a 1-over 73 in the three-count-two format.
For Team USA 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 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 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, vaulted into second place by posting the low team score for the final round, 5-under 139. Leading the way for the Swedes was 18-year old Emma Svensson (76-70-72-67 -285), who notched the low round of the day on the South Course at Angus Glen with 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 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 5-over 149 to claim the bronze medal. Canada counted final round scores of even-par 72 by Brooke Mackenzie Henderson,17, (70-73-71-72 -286) and 5-over 77 by Grace St-Germain,16, (74-73-78-77 -302) while teammate Naomi Ko,17, (77-79-70-81 -307) completed the scoring with a non-counting 81.
Rounding out the top-five in the team competition 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.
In the individual competition, won the gold medal by three shots over Khang. “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 in 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.”