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Republic of Korea holds lead at mid-way point of World Junior Girls Championship:

Korea’s Seo-yun Kwon maintains individual advantage by four strokes

Céleste Dao fires a 2-under-par 70 to lead all Canadians

OTTAWA – The Republic of Korea successfully battled the heat once again at The Marshes Golf Club, carding a 6-under 138 on Wednesday to extend their team lead through two rounds of the World Junior Girls Championship.

On the strength of Hae-Ran Ryu’s 4-under 68, the Koreans have built up a seven-stroke team advantage. The trio’s second-counting score was posted by the individual leader, Seo-yun Kwon, who maintained her first-round lead after carding five birdies on the day to move to 9 under for the tournament — good for a four-stroke cushion.

Chasing Kwon for the individual title are five competitors deadlocked in second place at 6 under par: Esther Henseleit (Germany), Alessia Nobilio (Italy), Linn Grant (Sweden), Hana Ryskova (Czech Republic) and Annabel Wilson (Ireland).

Wilson carded the low-round of the day with a six-birdie, 5-under-par effort.

“Everything was going well today, it was a stress-free round of golf,” said Wilson, who played in the inaugural World Junior Girls Championship in 2014. “My putter was hot today which was the biggest difference from yesterday. I hit one more green yesterday but I took five less shots today so it really was all because of the putter.”

The Korean squad are looking to mirror their success from the 2015 championship — also hosted at The Marshes — where they recorded an 18-stroke team victory. They are currently trailed by the Americans at 9 under and Germans at 7 under.

Céleste Dao of Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot, Que., posted four birdies on the day to lead all Canadians at even-par for the tournament (74-70).

“I had a good start, I was hitting the ball well but my long putts were the key,” said the 16-year-old Dao. “I was 3 under after the front nine, which was a great start for me.”

Playing for Canada on home soil was not lost on the reigning Quebec Women’s Amateur champion.

“It’s an honour for me to play for Canada at this tournament,” added Dao. “I know that the scores will be low because it is the best in the world competing but it doesn’t change how I approach my game. It is just great to compare my game with theirs.”

The second round was delayed from 2:45 p.m. to 4:03 p.m. due to lightning.

The third round of tournament play will begin 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.