U.S. GIRLS' JUNIOR
71st U.S. Girls' Junior: Inside the Field
July 18, 2019 | Stevens Point, Wis.
By Julia Pine, USGA
The 71st U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship will be contested July 22-27 at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wis. The field will consist of 156 of the best female players under the age of 19, with the champion receiving an exemption into the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. The following is a snapshot of the field:
The average age of the field is 16.58.
Jasmine Koo, 13 years, 4 months, 29 days, of Cerritos, Calif., is the championship’s youngest competitor. Angela Liu, 13, is the second youngest player in the field. She will turn 14 during the competition.
The championship’s oldest competitor is Emma Zhao, of Windermere, Fla. She is 18 years, 11 months and 17 days old as of July 22. There are 44 18-year-olds in the field.
Field breakdown by age:
13: 2 players
14: 9 players
15: 17 players
16: 41 players
17: 44 players
18: 43 players
There are 12 countries represented in the championship: Argentina (1), Australia (2), Canada (1), Chinese Taipei (2), Colombia (3), Denmark (1), Hong Kong China (1), India (1), Republic of Korea (1), Mexico (4), the People’s Republic of China (7), the Philippines (1), Peru (1), and the United States (130).
There are 31 states represented in the championship: Alabama (2), Arizona (5), California (28), Colorado (2), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Florida (18), Georgia (2), Hawaii (3), Illinois (9), Indiana (1), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (2), Missouri (2), New Jersey (4), New York (1), North Carolina (6), North Dakota (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (4), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (4), Texas (14), Utah (1), Virginia (2), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (1).
There are two USGA champions in the field: Megan Furtney, 18, of South Elgin, Ill. (2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with Erica Shepherd), and Erica Shepherd, 18, of Greenwood, Ind., who won the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with Furtney as well as the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
There are three USGA runners-up in the field: Alexa Pano, 14, of West Palm Beach, Fla., finished runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior and Jillian Bourdage, 17, of Tamarac, Fla. was a runner-up in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Lei Ye, 18, of the People’s Republic of China was the runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with Ya-Chun Chang.
Carissa Wu, 17, and Madison Wu, 16, of Dublin, Calif., represent the lone pair of sisters in the field this year.
Eight players are in the top 100 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™ as of July 17:
- No. 17 – Rose Zhang, 16, of Irvine, Calif.
- No. 24 – Yuka Saso, 17, of the Philippines
- No. 34 – Rachel Heck, 16, of Memphis, Tenn.
- No. 38 – Alexa Pano, 14, of Lake Worth, Fla.
- No. 45 – Amanda Sambach, 16, of Davidson, N.C.
- No. 66 – Lei Ye, 18, of the People’s Republic of China
- No. 70 – Grace Kim, 18, of Australia
- No. 77 – Erica Shepherd, 18, of Greenwood, Ind.
Players in the field with the most U.S. Girls’ Junior appearances:
- Brooke Seay – 6
- Erica Shepherd – 5
- Lauren Beaudreau – 4
- Isabella Fierro – 4
- Megan Furtney – 4
- Julia Gregg – 4
- Sophie (Yixian) Guo – 4
- Yoona Kim – 4
- Rachel Kuehn – 4
- Ashley Menne – 4
- Katherine Muzi – 4
- Valery Plata – 4
- Yuka Saso – 4
There are nine current college players in the field:
- Kamie Hamada, 18, of Aiea, Hawaii (New Mexico)
- Caroline Hodge, 18, of Larchmont, N.Y. (Florida State)
- Sabrina Iqbal, 18, of San Jose, Calif. (TCU)
- Manuela Lizarazu, 18, of Colombia (Iowa)
- Katherine Muzi, 18, of Walnut, Calif. (Southern California)
- Pinya Pipatjarasgit, 18, of Sylvania, Ohio (Brown)
- Valery Plata, 18, of Colombia (Michigan State)
- Jennifer Wang, 18, of Solon, Ohio (Columbia)
- Emma Zhao, 18, of Windermere, Fla. (Princeton)
There are 33 players who have signed national letters of intent to play college golf in fall 2019:
- Sarah Arnold, 17, of St. Charles, Ill. (Western Kentucky)
- Lauren Beaudreau, 18, of Lemont, Ill. (Notre Dame)
- Tess Blair, 18, of South Jordan, Utah (Sacramento State)
- Hailey Borja, 17, of Lake Forest, Calif. (Michigan)
- Jillian Bourdage, 17, of Tamarac, Fla. (Ohio State)
- Jensen Castle, 18, of West Columbia, S.C. (Kentucky)
- Briana Chacon, 17, of Whitter, Calif. (Oregon)
- Ainsley Cowart, 18, of Winston, Ga. (Troy)
- Rebecca DiNunzio, 17, of Norfolk, Va. (Virginia Tech)
- Isabella Fierro, 18, of Mexico (Oklahoma State)
- Megan Furtney, 18, of South Elgin, Ill. (Duke)
- Ashely Gilliam, 18, of Manchester, Tenn. (Mississippi State)
- Chayse Gomez, 18, of Yorba Linda, Calif. (Oregon State)
- Julia Gregg, 17, of Farmers Branch, Texas (Arkansas)
- Sophie Guo, 18, of the People’s Republic of China (Texas)e
- Leah Herzog, 17, Red Wing, Minn. (Nebraska)
- Irene Kim, 18, of La Palma, Calif. (Northwestern)
- Cassie Kim, 18, of Yakima, Wash. (Gonzaga)
- Rachel Kuehn, 18, of Asheville, N.C. (Wake Forest)
- Jasmine Ly, 18, of Canada (Northern Illinois)
- Grace Ni, 18, of Cypress, Texas (Princeton)
- Kaylee Sakoda, 18, of Cypress, Calif. (Quinnipiac)
- Megan Schofill, 18, of Monticello, Fla. (Auburn)
- Brooke Seay, 18, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (Stanford)
- Erica Shepherd, 18, of Greenwood, Ind. (Duke)
- Amari Smith, 18, of McKinney, Texas (Dallas Baptist)
- Erika Smith, 18, of Orlando, Fla. (South Florida)
- Latanna Stone, 17, of Riverview, Fla. (LSU)
- Alexis Sudjianto, 18, of Charlotte, N.C. (Carnegie Mellon)
- Kendall Turner, 18, of Chesapeake, Va. (James Madison)
- Nicole Whiston, 18, of San Diego, Calif. (Tennessee)
- Carolina Wrigley, 18, of Wexford, Pa. (Furman)
- Samantha Yao, 18, of Berwyn, Pa. (Dartmouth)
There are 15 players in the field who have competed in the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club:
- Kynadie Adams, 15, of Nashville, Tenn. (2015, 2016)
- Nicole Adam, 17, of Pinehurst, N.C. (2016)
- Brooke Biermann, 16, of Wildwood, Mo. (2018)
- Megha Ganne, 15, of Holmdel, N.J. (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Ashley Gilliam, 18, of Manchester, Tenn. (2015)
- Julia Gregg, 17, of Farmers Branch, Texas (2016)
- Sophie “Yixian” Guo, 18, of the People’s Republic of China (2016)
- Isabella McCauley, 15, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. (2017, 2018)
- Ashley Menne, 17, of Surprise, Ariz. (2014)
- Julia Misemer, 15, of Overland Park, Kan. (2015, 2019)
- Alexa Pano, 14, of West Palm Beach, Fla. (2014, won 10-11 Division in 2016, won 12-13 Division in 2017)
- Aayushi Sarkar, 17, Woodbury, Minn. (2015)
- Carolina Smith, 16, of Inverness, Ill. (2015)
- Allyn Stephens, 14, of Houston, Texas (2018)
- Kelly Xu, 15, of Claremont, Calif. (2014, 2015)
Six players in the field competed in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston in Charleston, S.C.
- Megan Furtney – MC
- Megha Ganne – MC
- Sabrina Iqbal – MC
- Alexa Pano – MC
- Yuka Saso – MC
- Rose Zhang – T-55 (75-70-72-74—291)
Twenty-two U.S. Girls’ Junior competitors played in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in May at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla. Three of those two-player sides made this field (second player in bold):
- Kynadie Adams & Rachel Kuehn (Round of 32)
- Melena Barrientos with partner Calynne Rosholt (Round of 16)
- Lauren Beaudreau & Caroline Smith (MC)
- Jillian Bourdage with partner Casey Weidenfeld (Runners-up)
- Faith Choi with partner Aneka Seumanutafa (Round of 32)
- Rebecca DiNunzio with partner Alyssa Montgomery (MC)
- Megan Furtney & Erica Shepherd (Champions)
- Madelyn Gamble with partner Kaleiya Romero (Round of 32)
- Ashley Gilliam with partner Caroline Curtis (Quarterfinals)
- Rachel Heck with partner Sadie Englemann (Semifinals)
- Eunice Kim with partner Gio Kim (Round of 32)
- Cory Lopez with partner Avery Zweig (Round of 16)
- Elle Nachmann with partner Laura Edmonds (Round of 32)
- Alexa Pano with partner Amari Avery (Semifinals)
- Valery Plata with partner Haylin Harris (Round of 16)
- Megan Propeck with partner Lacy Shelton (MC)
- Allyn Stephens with partner Paris Hilinski (MC)
- Kendall Todd with partner Abbey Schutte (Round of 32)
- Caroline Wrigley with partner Lauren Freyvogel (Round of 32)
General Player Notes
Kynadie Adams, 15, of Gallatin, Tenn. will be playing in her first U.S. Girls’ Junior championship. Most recently, Adams partnered with Rachel Kuehn in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship where the duo advanced to the Round of 32 after reaching the Round of 16 in 2018. Adams, a two-time Drive, Chip & Putt national finalist, also played in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Her father, Adrian, played college golf at Tennessee State University, where he was teammates with Sean Foley, Adams’ swing coach and the instructor for 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.
Jo Baranczyk, 16, of Green Bay, Wis., is the only player in the field hailing from Wisconsin. Baranczyk, a rising junior at Bay Port High School, won the WIAA Division 1 state girls golf championship last fall and will be playing in her first USGA championship. Her brother, Jed, plays golf at North Dakota State and competed in the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur. Jed caddied for Jo during her qualifying round at Mascoutin Golf Club in Berlin, Wis.
Melena Barrientos, 16, of Plano, Texas, reached the Round of 16 in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championship earlier this year after reaching the Round of 32 in 2018. Barrientos is playing in her third USGA championship. She is active on the junior golf circuit, participating in U.S. Kids Golf, Texas Legends Junior Tour and American Junior Golf Association tournaments.
Lauren Beaudreau, 18, of Lemont, Ill., won the Illinois High School state golf tournament last October as a senior at Benet Academy.. Beaudreau, who will play for Notre Dame this fall, is competing in her fourth U.S. Girls’ Junior championship, with her best finish coming in 2017 when she reached to the Round of 64. Earlier this year, she played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and recently qualified for her second U.S. Women’s Amateur, which will take place Aug. 5-11 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. The 2016 North & South Girls’ Junior champion also loves to travel and has visited over 20 countries.
Jillian Bourdage, 17, of Tamarac, Fla. is playing in her fourth USGA Championship. Earlier this year, Bourdage played in her third U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, losing 2 and 1 in the final match to Erica Shepherd and Megan Furtney. Bourdage, who will play at Ohio State this fall, won the Florida 2A individual state title in 2017.
Phoebe Brinker, 17, of Wilmington, Del., is the niece of PGA of America President Suzy Whaley. Whaley, who also serves as Brinker’s instructor, qualified for the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event. Whaley, who qualified for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, is the first female president of The PGA of America. Competing against boys, Brinker won the Delaware state high school championship in 2016 and 2018, and finished runner-up in 2017. Brinker also finished second individually in the 2017 USGA Women’s State Team Championship at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, N.M., and led Delaware to a second-place team finish. Last year, she lost in the Round of 64 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Nicole Cee, 17, of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., grew up set on following her father Kristian’s path of becoming a professional tennis player. When juvenile rheumatoid arthritis ended her tennis career at age 12, she turned to golf at Club Med Academy in Port Saint Lucie. Having played the sport only a few years, Cee won her first junior event in 2017 which led to a victory in the 2017 South Florida PGA Junior Tour Championship. She will be competing in her first USGA championship.
Isabella Fierro, 18, of Mexico, was a quarterfinalist in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur, losing to eventual champion Sophia Schubert. In 2018, she advanced to the Round of 32 in both the U.S. Women’s Amateur as well as the 70th U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills. Fierro won the 2017 South American Women’s Amateur Championship by 10 strokes and was runner-up in the 2016 Mexican Women’s Amateur Championship after finishing third in 2015. She also won the 2015 Mexican Girls’ Junior Championship. She will play for Oklahoma State this fall.
Megan Furtney, 18, of South Elgin, Ill., partnered with future Duke teammate, Erica Shepherd, earlier this year to win the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championship in Jacksonville, Fla. Furtney has played in seven USGA championships, advancing to the Round of 32 in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior. After missing the 2017 golf season due to a partial finger amputation from a domestic accident, she won two American Junior Golf Association tournaments in 2018. She also qualified to play in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open but failed to make the cut.
Madelyn Gamble, 16, of Pleasant Hill, Calif., will be playing in her third USGA championship. Gamble advanced to the Round of 64 in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills and played in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship earlier this year where she advanced to the Round of 32. She is teammates with Carissa and Madison Wu, two sisters in the field, at Carondelet High School in Concord, Calif. It is the same high school that 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Yealimi Noh attended for two years.
Megha Ganne, 15, of Holmdel, N.J., is a four-time Drive, Chip & Putt national finalist and finished runner-up in the 14-15 age group this spring. Ganne will play in her third straight U.S. Girls’ Junior championship and competed in her first U.S. Women’s Open in May at the Country Club of Charleston. At 15 and only a freshman at Holmdel High School in New Jersey, she finished runner-up in the Shore Conference Tournament this April, helping the Holmdel girls’ golf team win its third straight team title. Ganne also won the 2017 New Jersey Junior PGA Championship.
Ashley Gilliam, 18, of Manchester, Tenn., set to play for Mississippi State this fall, has qualified for her seventh USGA championship. She was a quarterfinalist in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior and was a member of the winning Tennessee team at the final USGA Women’s State Team Championship in 2017. She is also a two-time Drive, Chip & Putt National finalist. Most recently, Gilliam played in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship where she advanced to the quarterfinals.
Rachel Heck, 17, of Memphis, Tenn., qualified for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, made the cut and played the final round with 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Lexi Thompson. She also earned low-amateur honors in the 2018 Evian Championship. Heck, a member of the 2018 USA Junior Ryder Cup team, was named 2017 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, 2017 USA Today Golfer of the Year and 2017 Global Golf Post First-Team All-American. She plans to attend Stanford University in the fall of 2020.
Kary Hollenbaugh, 15, of New Albany, Ohio, has four wins on the Golfweek Junior Tour and is competing in her first USGA championship. Her father, Paul, is a PGA Professional and Director of Golf at New Albany Country Club, where Kary captured a wire-to-wire victory last year in the Girls 15-19 division, winning by eight strokes. As a freshman at New Albany high school, Hollenbaugh earned All-State Team honors and helped her team claim the Ohio Girls High School Golf State Championship.
Sabrina Iqbal, 18, of San Jose, Calif., is playing in her fifth USGA championship after competing in the U.S. Women’s Open earlier this year. Iqbal, a rising sophomore at Texas Christian University, carded five top-10 finishes and one victory at the Maryb S. Kauth Invitational during her first season. She won the 2016 California Women’s Amateur and was named Northern California Golf Association Women’s Player of the Year.
Caris Kim, 16, of Los Altos, Calif., is the younger sister of LPGA Tour player Lauren Kim. Lauren was a standout at Stanford University who led the Cardinal to its first national championship in 2015 and reached the Round of 16 in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She missed the cut in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Grace Kim, 18 of Australia, won the 2017 Australian Girls Amateur champion and finished runner-up in 2018. Kim, competing in her first USGA championship, claimed a gold medal at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and won the 2018 ANNIKA Invitational Australasia title after firing a record-breaking 10-under-par 62 during the second round. In 2019, she finished T-12 in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship.
Rachel Kuehn, 18, of Asheville, N.C., who will play at Wake Forest University this fall, is a 2017 Rolex All-American and North Carolina Junior Player of the Year. She has played in the last three U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships, advancing to the Round of 32 in 2018. Most recently, Keuhn partnered with Kynadie Adams, for the second year in a row, in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championship where they advanced to the Round of 32. Kuehn’s mother, Brenda, played in six U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships, nine U.S. Women’s Opens, 13 U.S. Women’s Amateurs and competed on two USA Curtis Cup Teams. Brenda competed in the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open while eight months pregnant with Rachel. Rachel represented the Dominican Republic in the 2018 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship (her mom was born there before becoming a U.S. citizen).
Cory Lopez, 17, of Mexico, is a member of Mexico’s National Team and won the 2019 Mexico Women’s Amateur earlier this year. She also played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball where she advanced to the Round of 16. Lopez, set to play collegiate golf for the University of Arkansas, is playing in her third USGA championship.
Isabella McCauley, 15, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., is a two-time Drive, Chip & Putt national finalist. As a freshman at Simley High School, she won the Minnesota Class 3A State Championship this spring by a record-setting 10 strokes and tied a state record for lowest score with of 9-under-par 135.
Ashley Menne, 17, of Surprise, Ariz., attends Xavier College Prep in Phoenix and will join the Arizona State women’s golf team in the fall of 2020. Menne, born in Singapore, is a two-time Junior Golf Association of Arizona Player of the Year and is playing in her fourth U.S. Girls’ Junior championship.
Michaela Morard, 17, of Huntsville, Ala., has won three consecutive Alabama Girls’ Junior titles, as well as the 2016 and 2018 Alabama Women’s Amateur championships. A three-time high school state individual champion, Morard won the first of those titles playing as a 13-year-old seventh-grader, becoming the youngest athlete and the only seventh-grader to win an Alabama high school state title in any sport. A standout softball player as well, Morard is a three-time Junior Rolex All-American and the 2017 Alabama Junior of the Year. She competed for Alabama in the 2015 and 2017 USGA Women’s State Team Championships. She plans to play for the University of Alabama in 2020.
Katherine Muzi, 18, of Walnut, Calif., made her first collegiate start for the University of Southern California in April at the Silverado Showdown and fired a season-best 72 at the UCI Invitational. Muzi has competed in five USGA championships, including three U.S. Girls’ Juniors. A three-time All-Hacienda League MVP in high school, she was named 2018 Walnut High School Athlete of the Year and led her team to the 2016 California Intercollegiate Federation state title and a runner-up finish in 2015.
Elle Nachmann, 16, of Boca Raton, Fla., will be playing in her sixth USGA championship. Nachmann qualified for four USGA championships in 2017, and advanced to match play at both the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Girls’ Junior. Her mother, Luanne Spadea-Nachmann, played tennis at Duke and her uncle, Vince Spadea, was ranked as high as No. 18 on the ATP Tour in 2005. Her brother, Alec, qualified for the 2017 U.S. Amateur. In 2017, she won the Florida State Four-Ball with Dana Williams, whom she partnered with in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Most recently, Nachmann played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship where she advanced to the Round of 32 with partner Laura Edmonds.
Alexa Pano, 14, of West Palm Beach, Fla., two years ago became the youngest competitor to play in an LPGA of Japan Tour event – the 2016 Yonex Ladies Golf Tournament. An eight-time winner of the IMG Junior World Championship and two-time National Drive, Chip & Putt champion (2016 and 2017), she has already played in two U.S. Women’s Amateurs, making match play last year at San Diego Country Club. She was featured in the 2013 documentary “The Short Game” on Netflix. She was runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior, losing 4 and 3 to Yealimi Noh. Last month, she won the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, one of the prominent invitationals on the American Junior Golf Association circuit.
Pinya Pipatjarasgit, 18, of Sylvania, Ohio, concluded her freshman season at Brown University with two top-10 finishes. Pipatjarasgit, who will be competing in her fourth USGA championship, received a sponsor exemption to play in the 2018 LPGA Marathon Classic in her hometown. She is classically trained on the piano and violin and performed at Carnegie Hall with her school choir in 2015.
Megan Propeck, 16, of Leawood, Kan., will be playing in her second USGA championship. Propeck qualified for her first championship U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball this year with partner Lacy Shelton after shooting a 65 at Mission Hills C.C. in suburban Kansas City. Propeck won the 2018 Kansas Girls Junior Amateur and was named the 2018 Kansas Golf Association Girls Player of the Year.
Amanda Sambach, 16, of Davidson, N.C., won the 2018 AJGA Rolex Girls Tournament of Champions last November and recently competed in the Symetra Tour’s 2019 Symetra Classic in Davidson, N.C., on a sponsor’s exemption, finishing T-11th. Sambach, currently No. 46 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, reached the Round of 32 in last year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior and will be playing in her third USGA championship.
Yuka Saso, 18, of the Philippines, competed in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where she finished tied for third. Earlier this month, she captured the Girls Junior PGA Championship in Hartford, Conn. At the age of 15, she reached the semifinals of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur and earned both individual and team gold medals for the Philippines in the 2016 World Junior Girls Championship. Saso, who plans to attend the University of Georgia in 2020, has twice won the Philippine Ladies Open. She made history in the 2018 Asian Games for the Philippines after capturing gold medals in both women’s individual and women’s team events.
Brooke Seay, 18, of San Diego, Calif., who will be playing for Stanford University this fall, is playing in her sixth U.S. Girls’ Junior championship, the most of anyone in the field. Her best finish came in 2018 when she reached the Round of 16. Seay has competed in three U.S. Women’s Amateurs, won the 2017 AJGA Annika Invitational and finished fourth in the 2018 World Junior Girls Championship. She also hit the ceremonial first tee shot at the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in 2013.
Erica Shepherd, 18, of Greenwood, Ind., won the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, defeating Jennifer Chang, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Mo. She qualified for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle when she was 15, and last year became the first player to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open via the exemption for the Girls’ Junior champion. Shepherd has competed in the Wyndham Cup, Junior Solheim Cup and World Junior Girls championships. She has deep ties to the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, as her middle name, Leigh, is in honor of family friend Leigh Anne (Hardin) Creavy, the 1998 Girls’ Junior champion. Her family is also close with two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Betsy King, whom Shepherd caddied for in the 2017 Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick (Ind.) Resort. Shepherd is one of seven left-handed USGA champions and only the second female left-handed USGA champion after fellow Hoosier Stater Julia Potter-Bobb. Earlier this year, she partnered with future Duke teammate, Megan Furtney, to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Grace Summerhays, 15, of Scottsdale, Ariz., recently became the second woman ever to qualify for match play in the Utah State Amateur, playing in the same field as her brother, Preston, who won the event in 2018. Preston, 16, is competing in the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, July 15-20. They are the first brother-sister tandem to compete in the USGA Junior Championships in the same year since Scottie and Callie Scheffler in 2012. Summerhays, playing in her first USGA championship, comes from a long lineage of golfers. Her father, Boyd Summerhays, was a Canadian Tour player and is now a golf instructor who works with well-known PGA tour player Tony Finau as well as 1999 U.S. Junior champion Hunter Mahan. Her uncle, Daniel Summerhays, currently plays on the Korn Ferry Tour and was a quarterfinalist in the 2001 U.S. Amateur, and her great uncle, Bruce Summerhays, has won three PGA Tour Champions tities.
Becca Tschetter, 17, of Minot, N.D., is competing in her first USGA championship. The incoming senior at Minot High in North Dakota is a distant relative of former LPGA Tour winner Kris Tschetter. Kris played on the LPGA Tour for 25 years and competed in 17 U.S. Women’s Opens, including a runner-up finish in 1996 at Pine Needles in Southern Pines, N.C.
Caroline Wrigley, 18, of Wexford, Pa., is playing in her first U.S. Girls’ Junior championship. Wrigley will join the Furman women’s golf team this fall. She won three consecutive individual district titles, leading North Allegheny High School to three state championships. Earlier this year, Wrigley played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championship where she advanced to the Round of 32 with partner Lauren Freyvogel . Her uncle, Frank Fuhrer III, was a member of the 1981 USA Walker Cup Team, which earned him an invitation to play in the 1982 Masters. He also played professionally for five years.
Kelly Xu, 15, of Claremont, Calif., was the first female champion at Augusta National Golf Club when she won the Girls 7-9 Division in the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt Championship in 2014, and returned as a finalist in 2015. Xu is competing in her second USGA championship after qualifying for the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Lei Ye, 18, of the People’s Republic of China, was born and raised in Shanghai and moved to Florida when she was 13. She reached the Round of 32 in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior and later competed at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek, missing the cut by one stroke. She also was the runner-up with partner Ya-Chun Chang in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. Ye, who has played in two LPGA Tour events in her home country (the Blue Bay LPGA and the Buick LPGA Shanghai), won two junior titles last year at the Annika Invitational USA presented by Rolex and the Zhang Lianwei Cup. She will be attending Stanford University this fall.
Rose Zhang, 16, of Irvine, Calif., was the only 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior competitor to make the cut in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open in Charleston, S.C., where she finished T-55th. Zhang, a 2016 Rolex Junior All-American, won the 2017 Junior Girls’ PGA Championship and was a member of the 2017 Junior Solheim Cup and 2018 Junior Ryder Cup teams. This year, she finished T-17th in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and won the Toyota Junior World Cup.
Julia Pine is a senior manager of women’s championship communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.