Yuka Saso leads Philippines to World Junior Girls title
Saso shoots 70 to claim individual medallist
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The sun beamed through at Mississaugua Golf and Country Club to crown the Philippines as World Junior Girls team champions. Yuka Saso battled through a gusty day to claim individual medallist honours at the third edition of the annual event.
“I feel happy and honoured to win this trophy and this tournament,” said the 15-year-old Saso. “I feel happy [to be the gold medalist] because I was not expecting it, with this being [the Philippines’] first time in this tournament. Winning with this group is special because we have known each other since we were kids, so it makes me really happy.”
The native of Santa Rosa put forth another steady showing with a trio of birdies en route to a 2-under 70 final round. With a four-day total of 2-under 286, she completed the competition as the lone player to finish under-par. Alongside teammates Harmie Nicole Constantino of Taguig and Sofia Angela Legaspi from Quezon City, the trio combined to total 2-over 578 across the championship’s four rounds.
“This is the best feeling,” said Constantino, when asked about the team victory. “It is unexplainable to me, because no one expected it. We played our games and it turned out really well. We never had any doubts, we came here to win and we did.”
The significance of the tournament and the victory was not lost upon the 15-year-old Legaspi.
“It really means a lot to win this big event. It gives us a lot of experience and confidence. It also helps to get us college scholarships, so it is a big deal. The win could also inspire younger golfers in the Philippines to work hard and travel to events like this.”
The contingent representing last year’s winners, Team Korea, finished second – nine-strokes shy of the Philippines. The winners of the inaugural World Junior Girls Championship in 2014, Team USA, claimed third.
Jennifer Chang of Cary, N.C., opened the day with a share of sixth alongside Caterina Don of San Pietro Val Lemina, Italy. A 2-under performance propelled the 17-year-old Chang into the runner-up position, while a 71 moved the 15-year-old Don into third.
Céleste Dao from Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot, Que., and Richmond Hill, Ont., native Monet Chun shot identical 75s to finish with shares of 18th as the top Canadians.
“Despite some difficult weather, we have had an exciting and memorable week,” said Tournament Director Mary Beth McKenna. “From our Junior Girls Skills Clinic and Coaching Summit with the PGA of Canada to a fantastic Junior-Amateur event with the Mississauga community and the tournament itself – we have showcased our sport in a positive light. I know all of our players have learned and grown through this competition and have gained some invaluable international experience.”
Additional information on the 2016 World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the tournament’s official website at www.worldjuniorgirls.com.
Yuka Saso regains lead heading into World Junior Girls Championship finale
Philippines stays atop leaderboard in team competition
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Threatening skies cast over Mississaugua Golf and Country Club during the second day of competition came to pass during the third round. Howling winds and waves of rain wreaked havoc throughout a tough day at the World Junior Girls Championship. Yuka Saso of the Philippines conquered the difficult conditions to retake sole possession of the lead in the individual competition.
A steady 1-over 73 showing with a pair of birdies has Saso at even-par 216. The 15-year-old holds a three-stroke advantage over teammate Harmie Nicole Constantino of Taguig, Du Mohan of Fujian, China and Hee-Jung Lim of Paju, Korea.
“I am happy and honoured to have the lead,” said Saso, a native of Santa Rosa. “I wasn’t expecting it though.”
For a third consecutive day, Saso, Constantino and teammate Sofia Angela Legaspi of Quezon City, hold the lead in the team competition at a combined 1-over 433.
“It wasn’t anybody’s expectation for us to be on top at the moment,” said Constantino, mirroring her teammate’s sentiments. “It was a challenge being an underdog coming into the tournament, [and proving] that you are more than that.”
While team competitions can offer a different dynamic in golf tournaments, Constantino appreciates the opportunity to not only play with teammates, but also familiar friends.
“It feels good,” said the 15-year-old. “I have known Yuka since I was eight and we have been together since, so it feels good to be with her now.”
The trio representing Korea – the defending team champions – holds second at 9-over, while 2014 winners Team USA sit third at a combined 13-over.
Jennifer Chang of Cary, N.C., reiterated the importance of past experience when looking ahead to the final round.
“They have played this event before, so I definitely want to get some tips and learn from them and see what I can do to make the team better,” explained the 17-year-old, in reference to her teammates – 2014 individual champion Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, Calif., who played in 2015. “[A podium finish] is very important to us. To come out and represent the United States is big, so we want to make our country proud.”
Leading the Canadians in the field with shares of 15th at 11-over are Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ont., and 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 from the competition is available here.
Six selected to represent Canada at third annual World Junior Girls Championship
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The world’s top female junior golfers will head to Mississauga for the third edition of the World Junior Girls Championship from September 25-30 at Mississaugua Golf & Country Club. Two teams of three athletes will don the red and white of the host nation as Canada competes for the title of World Junior Girls champion.
“It is an honour to represent your country 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 Mississaugua 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 Mississauga, Ont., native Chloe Currie who will look to translate home course advantage into success on the international stage. The member of Mississaugua Golf & Country Club has had a banner year, capturing the 2016 Ontario Juvenile Girls Championship before defending her Ontario Junior Girls title. At the national level, the 16-year-old Team Canada Development Squad member collected runner-up results at the CN Future Links Pacific Championship and the 2016 Canadian Junior Girls Championship.
Mary Parsons opened Golf Canada’s season by claiming victory at the 2016 edition of the CN Future Links Pacific Championship at The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Club in Kamloops, B.C. The product of Delta, B.C., came up just shy of the victory at her province’s Amateur Championship, collecting a second-place result, but then claimed an impressive six-stroke win at the B.C. Junior Girls Championship. The 17-year-old earned third-place at the 2016 Canadian Junior Girls Championship behind Currie.
Completing the Canada One contingent is Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ont. The 2016 Team Ontario member claimed her first CN Future Links title at the Quebec edition of the regional cross-Canada championships for junior golfers. The 15-year-old earned a share of second at her province’s amateur championship before finishing T11 at the national event for amateurs. Chun secured an eighth-place result at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship.
As the host country, Canada reserves the right to field two teams in the 48-player, 15-country competition. Céleste Dao earned her place on the Canada Two squad following an impressive season. A fifth-place showing at the Quebec Women’s Amateur Championship propelled the Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot, Que., native into a runner-up result at her province’s Junior Girls Championship. She tied for eighth in the stroke play component of the U.S. Girls’ Junior before claiming a share of sixth at Canada’s National Junior Girls Championship. The 15-year-old’s season culminated in a convincing nine-stroke victory at the Graham Cooke Junior Invitational.
Hannah Lee is returning for a second stint at the World Junior Girls Championship, having competed in 2015 at The Marshes Golf Club in the nation’s capital. The member of the National Team Development Squad secured a third-place finish at the CN Future Links Ontario Championship. She excelled at the provincial level, claiming fourth at the B.C. Women’s Amateur before earning a T2 at the B.C. Junior Girls competition. An 11th-place showing at the national Junior Girls Championship and a season of lessons-learned garnered the Surrey, B.C., native the growth and experience she needed to emerge victorious at the B.C. Juvenile Championship.
The third and final member of Canada Two is Isabella Portokalis – the 2016 CN Future Links Ontario champion. The London, Ont., native’s 2016 season includes a T2 at the Ontario Junior Girls Championship and a share of seventh at her provincial Women’s Amateur. The 2016 Team Ontario member’s performance at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship earned her a T11 result before she collected a sixth-place finish at the Ontario Juvenile Girls’ Championship.
“Golf Ontario is excited to once again partner with Golf Canada to conduct this global championship at another of Ontario’s storied clubs – Mississaugua Golf & Country 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 Provincial Golf Associations, their home clubs, their parents and of course, the athletes themselves – their joint efforts have made this accomplishment possible and they should all be proud.”
While highlighting the work of those involved with the newest members of Team Canada, Thompson also spoke highly of the talented juniors from coast to coast.
“The selection of these teams was not an easy task. Across the nation, the level of skill shown by our junior-aged players speaks to not only the passion for golf in Canada, but also the excellent work done by golf facilities and our provincial partners to hone the skills of our athletes. We look forward to seeing these six players represent Canada against a number of the best juniors in the world.”
National Team Development Squad Women’s Coach Ann Carroll will once again lend her expertise to Canada One. Coach Mike Martz from the Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear will return to lead Canada Two.
The inaugural World Junior Girls Championship in 2014 was held at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont. Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif., captured individual honours in leading Team USA to victory. Playing in her final event as an amateur, current World No. 3 Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished fourth as Canada One claimed bronze.
The second edition of the tournament was conducted at Ottawa’s The Marshes Golf Club where the trio representing the Republic of Korea completed a wire-to-wire victory to secure the team title. Paju-si, South Korea native Hye-jin Choi finished 12-under in claiming a seven-stroke victory. Choi is currently the No. 15-ranked amateur in the world and counts a victory at the 2016 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship among her accomplishments.
In addition to the 72-hole team and individual competitions, the World Junior Girls Championship will celebrate the sport and focus upon the promotion and development of junior girls golf. Golf Canada will host a PGA of Canada coaches clinic and a girls skill development clinic in the days leading up to the competition’s first round on Tuesday, September 27.
Admission to the competition is free. Additional information regarding the third annual World Junior Girls Championship can be found on the competition’s website.
Mississaugua Golf & Country Club to host third edition of World Junior Girls Championship
World’s top female juniors to gather in Ontario from September 25-30
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – The stage has been set for the world’s best female junior golfers to put their skills on display at the third annual World Junior Girls Championship. Mississaugua Golf & Country Club in Mississauga, Ont., will play host to the tournament from September 25-30 as the world’s premier 18-and-under players gather to compete in both team and individual competition.
“We are thrilled to announce Mississaugua Golf & Country Club as the host of this year’s World Junior Girls Championship. The tournament is a great opportunity for Golf Canada to showcase another of the nation’s tremendous courses and to further the development and skill of this talented group of young women,” said Tournament Director Mary Beth McKenna.
Mississaugua Golf & Country Club boasts more than a century of rich history, having played host to a number of the country’s most prestigious championships. The course exemplifies the challenge and craftsmanship of renowned architect Stanley Thompson, who was instrumental in designing Mississaugua’s last round of major modifications in 1928. Stretching out over the Credit River, the 240-acre course has welcomed the RBC Canadian Open on six occasions – most recently in 1974.
Conducted by Golf Canada in partnership with Golf Ontario and supported by the International Golf Federation and the R&A, the 2016 edition of the World Junior Girls Championship will bring together 48 of the top 18-and-under female golfers from around the globe with 15 different countries slated to participate. As hosts of the event, Canada will feature two three-member teams in the competition.
“We could not be more excited to once again bring the World Junior Girls Championship to Ontario,” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of Golf Ontario. “Mississaugua Golf & Country Club is an exceptional venue that will serve as a fantastic backdrop for this competition. We greatly appreciate the support of our generous sponsors and partners without whom this championship would not be possible. We look forward to seeing the Mississauga golfing community rally around this wonderful event.”
The inaugural World Junior Girls Championship in 2014 saw teams from across the globe take on Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont. Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, Calif., captured individual honours in leading Team USA to victory. Playing in her final event as an amateur, Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished fourth as Canada One claimed bronze.
The second edition of the tournament was staged at Ottawa’s The Marshes Golf Club. The team representing the Republic of Korea completed a wire-to-wire victory to secure the team title. Hye-jin Choi, a native of Paju-si, South Korea, registered a seven-stroke victory with a 12-under performance.
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. In the days leading up to tournament play, Golf Canada will host a PGA of Canada coaches clinic and a girls skill development clinic.
“This world-class competition provides us with the opportunity to foster the continued growth and collaboration between the world’s governing bodies in the sport,” said Scott Simmons, CEO of Golf Canada. “We are proud to once again conduct this championship in support of these fine athletes and to aid in raising the profile of junior girls golf.”
The competition’s first round will begin on Tuesday, September 27. The tournament’s closing ceremonies will immediately follow the conclusion of play on Friday, September 30.
ABOUT THE WORLD JUNIOR GIRLS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
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 16 teams competing over 72 holes for both individual and team honours. The event receives funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; the Golf Canada Foundation (Women’s Golf Fund); Sport Canada; and the R&A. Admission and parking for the World Junior Girls Golf Championship is free. For more information, visit www.worldjuniorgirls.com.
MISSISSAUGA — The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) was pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Volunteer Awards on October 5, at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Day held this year at the Mississaugua Golf & Country Club.
The GAO volunteer recognition program has been designed to recognize outstanding performances and contributions by volunteers who have played an instrumental role in promoting the growth and development of amateur golf throughout the province of Ontario, while preserving the integrity and traditions of the game.
“Our volunteer team in Ontario is second to none and their dedication to the growth of the sport is inspiring,” said GAO Interim Executive Director Mike Kelly. “From course rating to championships to committee work, volunteers move our association forward with passion and for that we are grateful.”
This year, the GAO presented two Honourary Life Director Awards, two Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Awards, the Volunteer of the Year Award and the District Volunteer of the Year Award.
Honourary Life Director Awards — Bill Muzak & Jim Bristow
Honourary Life Directors are recognized for their outstanding achievements through their involvement as a Committee and Board Member. This year the GAO chose to recognize a pair of individuals who have made tremendous contributions to the association and golf in the province.
Bill Muzak, a resident of Baden, can often be seen and heard at many GAO events as a starter welcoming players and guests to the tee at tournaments. He has been volunteering as a Tournament Official since 2001. He also served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014 during which time he sat on numerous board and operating committees.
Jim Bristow, from London, is a past Ontario Golf Association President (1996) and has been a volunteer with the GAO since 2002. He is a level 4 Rules Official, but also works as a Site Coordinator, Senior Rules Official and currently serves on the GAO’s Finance/Risk Committee.
Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award — Randy Millage & Kathy Hill
The Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award is considered the highest honour recognizing individual service to the game of golf in Ontario. The award is named after Richard H. Grimm, who was affectionately known as “Mr. Canadian Open” for his service to the event from 1965 to 1993. The GAO’s Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual’s meritorious service as a volunteer. Recipients of this award embody the principles of integrity, dignity and commitment, which are central to the volunteer experience and to Mr. Grimm’s persona.
Kathy Hill, a Mississauga resident, has been a course rater for more than 20 years. She has been a Team Leader and Chair of the Handicap & Course Rating Committee and is designated as a Master Course Rater. Throughout her time volunteering with the GAO, Hill has shown strong leadership and interpersonal skills. She has taken on additional responsibilities in the form of recruiting and training new course raters and has always been willing to help out when called upon.
Randy Millage, from Ennismore, has been involved in golf in the province since 1980. His work has concentrated on junior programs that began out of his home club: the Peterborough Golf & Country Club. He has also served as club president and on numerous club committees. Millage teamed up with the GAO in order to organize junior events. The events helped to open doors for junior golfers by making connections with NCAA schools. Millage is also a Certified Rules Official and has been a Site Coordinator at GAO qualifiers and championships for many years.
Volunteer of the Year — Pat Newman
The GAO Volunteer of the Year Award has been designed to recognize and honour a GAO volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding performance and contributions while preserving the integrity and traditions of the game.
Pat Newman, a native of Collingwood, has been a GAO volunteer since 2007. As a dedicated Rules Official, Newman has demonstrated his leadership skills in that role along with the positions of Senior Rules Official and Site Coordinator. One of Newman’s greatest accomplishments happened in 2014 when he took on the task of writing and introducing the GAO qualifying manual. It became evident that the manual is a valuable resource for new and returning volunteers and has provided consistency at qualifiers that are operated by volunteers.
District Volunteer of the Year — Shirley Egerton
The District Volunteer of the Year Award has been designed to recognize those volunteers who embody the spirit of volunteerism and have shown dedication by making a significant contribution in promoting, supporting and expanding amateur golf within their district.
Shirley Egerton, who lives in Bath, has been volunteering with the GAO since 2009 as a Tournament Official and has been the Kingston District Coordinator since 2013. Egerton has fully embraced her district community and has taken a special interest in promoting and supporting junior golf in the district. She is always available to help and takes time to mentor new volunteers at qualifiers and championships.
The GAO congratulates all of the 2015 award winners and thanks all of the volunteers who put in countless hours to make GAO events successful.