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Spain rallies to complete comeback in playoff at World Junior Girls Championship

Korea’s Seo-yun Kwon defeats Nobilio in playoff for individual title 

OTTAWA – Few could have predicted the wild finish that took place on Friday for the World Junior Girls Championship at The Marshes Golf Club.

In thrilling fashion, the Spanish team fired a collective 4-under par (140) to erase an eight-stroke deficit, forcing a playoff with the Korean squad. As light rain began to fall, both teams headed back to the par-4 18th in pairs to conduct the first playoff in World Junior Girls Championship history.

The Spaniards kept their foot on the gas, with two of the first three team members making birdie on the hole to put the trio at 2 under. The Korean team was then forced to hole out for eagle to continue the match, but their approach missed the green to the right.

“If I would not have made that putt, my teammates might not have been as motivated as they were,” said Elena Arias, the first Spanish team member to birdie the playoff. “I just hit the putt like the other times I had played the hole. It just looked so clear to me and went in but I was so nervous.”

Dimana Viudes followed in the second playoff group, capping her 3-under bogey-free round with a birdie of her own.

“It is like Elena said, her putt really gave me confidence because knowing that we already had a birdie was a great start,” said Viudes, who finished in fourth place individually. “I was very nervous but at the same time calm as well. I was just lucky enough to pull off the shot.”

The win marks the first World Junior Girls Championship medal for Team Spain, which is something not lost on the team’s coach.

“This is a dream come true. To beat a strong team like Korea is something else,” said Nacho Gervas, Team Spain coach. “They are so strong that at times you feel like you are playing for second place. I told them (Spain) they had the game to do well today and if we played our game you never know what can happen.”

Republic of Korea’s Seo-yun Kwon, the 54-hole leader, headed into the final round with a two-stroke advantage over Italy’s Alessia Nobilio. Kwon had built a clear advantage on the day before running into trouble on the par-5 14th with a triple-bogey.

Nobilio took advantage of Kwon’s mishap by making birdie on the 14th to briefly hold a one-stroke lead, until giving a stroke back on the next hole. The pair took scores of 9 under to the last hole, forcing another playoff to be commenced after the team event was decided.

With Korea losing the team event, Kwon was determined to come out on top. The 16-year-old missed the green on her approach but went up-and-down for par, beating out Nobilio who slipped with a bogey.

“At first I was angry with myself because I was leading by a few strokes and made one mistake,” said Kwon. “Even though I won the individual medal, I am a little disappointed in myself because if I had done a little more, we could have won the team championship so it is bitter sweet. This is my first win at an international tournament so right now I am so happy.”

PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, GOLF CANADA Sept 29,2017 -OTTAWA, ONTARIO:  World Junior Girls Championship The Marshes Golf Club

Rounding out the team medallists was the trio from Sweden, who finished the tournament at 9 under par, five strokes shy of Spain and Korea. Spain’s Blanca Fernández took home the individual bronze medal, posting a final-round 71 to close the tournament at 7 under par.

Céleste Dao from Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot, Que., finished as the low Canadian with a share of 24th place at 6 over for the tournament.

In 2018, the World Junior Girls Championship will return to the Ottawa area at Camelot Golf and Country Club next September.

Additional information and full results from the competition can be found here.

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Seo-yun Kwon extends Republic of Korea’s lead at World Junior Girls Championship

Italy’s Nobilio shoots low-round 68 to sit two back in second place

OTTAWA – The playing conditions tightened up on moving day in the World Junior Girls Championship, with high winds bringing temperatures down 20C from the opening two rounds at The Marshes Golf Club.

Republic of Korea’s Seo-yun Kwon carded a 2-under 70 to keep the individual lead for the third consecutive day. She heads into tomorrow’s final round at 11 under for the tournament with a two-stroke advantage over Italy’s Alessia Nobilio.

“My mindset heading into tomorrow will be pretty much the same as what I have done in the past three rounds,” said the 16-year-old Kwon. “I won’t worry about what the other players are doing because I always set a certain goal for myself. So tomorrow I will do that and play for my goal.”

Nobilio carded one of two low-round 68s on the day, moving her into sole possession of second place. The 15-year-old caught fire with five-straight birdies before giving strokes back with a bogey on 13, and a double-bogey on the par-4 18th.

“I think I played perfectly until the last hole,” said Nobilio, the 41st ranked female in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. “I made five birdies in a row and my irons were always two meters from the pin, so that was my strength today. If I do my best I know that I can play good golf. I just need to concentrate until the last hole and everything will be fine.”

Nobilio’s efforts also helped lift the Italian team into a share of third place at 7 under, giving the trio a chance at what would be their first team medal at the World Junior Girls Championship. Caterina Don, who is currently tied for 26th, took home the individual bronze medal for the Italians in 2016.

“This is an important tournament for Italy,” added Nobilio. “Playing in a world championship and representing my country is just a dream for me.”

Spain carded a team-low 139 (-5) to move into second place at 10 under par, eight back of the leading Korean trio. The Koreans will look to collect their second World Junior Girls title at The Marshes – they captured the 2015 tournament here by a commanding 18 strokes.

Leading the Canadians in the field with a share of 26th at 4 over is Céleste Dao from Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot, Que.

The final round of tournament play will see players tee off at 8 a.m. Additional information and full results from the competition can be found here.

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Republic of Korea jumps to early lead at World Junior Girls Championship

13-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native Emily Zhu shoots 72 to lead Canadians

OTTAWA – The Republic of Korea were not fazed by the sweltering heat on Monday at The Marshes Golf Club, carding a score of 10 under to take the 18-hole lead at the fourth annual World Junior Girls Championship.

In temperatures upwards of 30 C, the Korean team recorded a score of 134 to build a one-stroke advantage over the American squad. The trio were paced by Seo-yun Kwon, who fired a 7-under-par 65 for a two-stroke cushion in the individual competition.

“For the first three or four holes I missed a couple birdie putts and that made me hot because I was angry,” said Kwon. “The turning point was a birdie on the sixth and at that point I didn’t even realize how warm it was.”

The 16-year-old thrived in the heat, recording five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 14th.

“Right before you make a shot you imagine how it will go in your mind. During the practice round I tried to get on in three because it is a long hole,” said Kwon. “Today, my driver was so good that when I got to my ball, I realized I should try to reach with my three wood. My putter was also great today so the 14th went exactly how I imagined it would.”

The second-counting score for the Republic of Korea was registered by Yunji Jeong, who posted a 3-under-par 69 to sit tied for sixth. The Republic of Korea are no strangers to success at The Marshes Golf Club — they ran away with the competition when it was held at this same course in 2015, winning by a margin of 18 strokes.

“The course looks very friendly to Korean players, even though the shape and grass type are different,” added Kwon. “However, the shot has to be accurate because the fairways are narrow, including the landing zones, and there is bush on either side and those conditions are very similar to in Korea.”

Holding second place is America’s Gina Kim, who went 5 under on the back nine, including an eagle of her own on the 14th — one of two on the day. Third place is currently occupied by a trio of competitors at 4 under par: Hana Ryskova (Czech Republic), Alessia Nobilio (Italy) and Erica Shepherd (USA).

Emily Zhu, Canada’s youngest competitor from Richmond Hill, Ont., led both Canadian squads with an even-par 72 to sit T23 overall. The 13-year-old’s round was a positive note in what was otherwise a difficult opener for the host nation.

“I don’t think that it was the start that we wanted but the girls all played better than what they scored. I trust in the fact that they are hitting the ball well and that they are going to get better every day, that is our goal,” said Ann Carroll, coach of Canada One. “It is a 72-hole tournament and we will just focus on getting better every day. We’ll make today the high round and focus on trying to improve on the little things that make a big difference.”

With a total of 3-over 147, Canada Two comprised of Zhu, Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Alyssa DiMarcantonio (Maple, Ont.) are tied for 15th place.

The second round will begin at 8 a.m. with no cut for the tournament. Additional information from the competition, including the leaderboards, can be found here.


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Six Selected to Represent Canada at the Fourth Annual World Junior Girls Championship

Two teams will fly the flag for Canada at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa including four Ontario players

OAKVILLE, Ont. (Golf Canada) – The world’s top 18-and-under female junior golfers will head to Ottawa for the fourth edition of the World Junior Girls Championship from Sept. 26-29 at The Marshes Golf Club. As host nation, Canada will send two teams of three athletes to compete for the international title of World Junior Girls champion.

“It is an honour to host this prestigious event and we look forward to welcoming these players to Canada,” said tournament director Mary Beth McKenna. “The course is in fantastic shape and we are thrilled to host some of the world’s best juniors at this historic club. Our partners at The Marshes Golf Club and the communities in the surrounding area have come together to make this a truly memorable event for our competitors.”

Representing Canada One will be Monet Chun (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Céleste Dao (Notre-Dame Ile Perrot, Que.) and Ellie Szeryk (London, Ont.), who are three of Canada’s top-ranked junior golfers at No. 375, 453 and 597, respectively, on the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).

The 16-year-old Chun is experiencing her first year as a member of Team Canada’s Development Squad and second year representing Canada at the World Junior Girls. So far in 2017, she has wins at both the Future Links, driven by Acura Ontario Championship and the Ontario Junior Spring Classic, which put her in second on the Junior Girls Order of Merit – the same spot she finished at last year.

Dao is having an extremely impressive season for the second straight year. In 2017, she registered six wins and made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Junior Girls Championship to lead the Future Links, driven by Acura Junior Girls Order of Merit. Dao will also play in her second consecutive World Junior Girls Championship – she finished T16 in 2016 alongside Chun.

Szeryk, sister of Canada’s top-ranked amateur female golfer Maddie, has two victories in 2017 so far including six top-five finishes. She currently sits in fourth in the Junior Girls Order of Merit and made it to the round of 32 at the 2017 U.S. Junior Girls Championship after earning gold medallist honours at the qualifying tournament in Garland, Texas.

As the host country, Canada reserves the right to field two teams in the 60-player, 19-country competition. Canada Two will consist of Alyssa DiMarcantonio (Maple, Ont.), Euna Han (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.) who are ranked 776, 955 and 1,792, respectively.

DiMarcantonio, 14, won her second event of the season at the MJT – Spring Invitational and has six top-five finishes this year. She is currently enjoying her best season on the junior circuit and sits sixth on the Junior Girls Order of Merit.

Han has three wins in 2017 including earning gold medallist honours at the U.S. Junior Girls Qualifier in Kent, Wa., where she went on to finish in the round of 64. Her only wins of her junior career came this year and she is in eighth in the Junior Girls Order of Merit. Han represented Canada previously at the 2015 World Junior Girls Championship, also hosted at The Marshes.

Zhu is the youngest of all Canadian team members at the age of 13. She has seven top-five finishes this year and competed in the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship where she finished T66. Her last win came in 2016 at the MJT – PGA of Ontario Junior Championship and she currently sits in ninth in the Junior Girls Order of Merit.

“Golf Ontario is excited to once again partner with Golf Canada to conduct this global championship at another of Ontario’s storied clubs – The Marshes Golf Club,” said Mike Kelly, Golf Ontario executive director. “We thank their membership and volunteer committees for all their hard work. We are thrilled for our athletes from Ontario who have been selected to represent Canada and wish them the best of luck.”

“These six athletes have had tremendous seasons and their selections to Team Canada are the result of their hard work and commitment to the sport,” said Jeff Thompson, Golf Canada’s chief sport officer. “The joint efforts of Provincial Golf Associations, home clubs, parents and athletes have made this accomplishment possible and they should all be proud to have earned their selections.”

Ann Carroll (women’s national development squad coach) and Matt Wilson (Golf Canada’s director of next generation performance) will lead the two Team Canada squads for this competition.

In addition to the 72-hole team and individual competitions, the World Junior Girls Championship will be a celebration of the sport with a specific focus on the development and promotion of junior girls golf. The days leading up to tournament play will see a PGA of Canada coaching summit as well as a free junior girls skills clinic.

Opening ceremonies for the championship take place on Sept. 25 followed by the first round on Tuesday, Sept. 26. The tournament’s closing ceremonies will immediately follow the conclusion of play on Friday, Sept. 29.

Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the fourth annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.


The World Junior Girls Golf Championship is an annual event conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario. The international competition features three-player teams of 18-and-under athletes. As host country, Canada will field two of the tournament’s 20 teams competing over 72 holes for both individual and team honours. The event receives funding and support from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Ottawa Tourism; the Golf Canada Foundation (Women’s Golf Fund); Sport Canada; the R&A; the International Golf Federation; the PGA of Canada; and Levelwear. Admission and parking for the World Junior Girls Golf Championship is free. For more information, visit