Brampton, Ont. – Team United States (USA) shot a combined even par round to remain at 3-under to hold a two-shot lead over Team Canada after two rounds at the eighth annual World Junior Girls Championship, presented by Sargent Farms at the Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont.
Tougher conditions on Thursday saw the sunny skies from Wednesday disappear as the wind picked up midway through the round. Team USA were led by Mia Hammond of New Albany, Ohio and Molly Brown Davidson of Springville, Ala. who both shot even par rounds of 71 to keep Team USA at 3-under for the tournament. Teammate Chloe Kovelesky of Boca Raton, Fla. shot a round of 3-over 74. The top two individual scores count towards the combined team score each day.
Davidson began her round on the back nine and rallied after a tough start to record six birdies on the front nine to finish at even par. She credited a well-timed joke from her team captain and improved ball striking to help turn things around on Thursday, “We just kept fighting today. Conditions were not easy, but we just wanted to keep fighting for our team and each other. In my head, I just wanted to keep going and making those putts. I was really motivated to just keep it going,” said Davidson.
Team USA takes a two-shot lead into Friday’s third round over Team Canada 1. Team Canada was led by 14-year-old Anna Huang of Vancouver who shot a 2-under 69 to help move Canada up one spot into second.
“I think we all did really good. We’re just supporting each other and helping each other out on the course. It’s really fun, we’re just trying to keep it together and hope for the best the next two days,” said Huang.
Huang’s teammates on Team Canada 1 include 17-year-old Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto (2-over 73) and 16-year-old Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver (4-over 75).
Team Canada 2 sits at 21-over and features 16-year-old Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C. (3-over 74), 14-year-old Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. (6-over 77) and 14-year-old Miranda Lu of Vancouver (7-over 78).
World Junior Girls Championship, presented by Sargent Farms, team standings:
|1||United States||-3 (139-142)|
|2||Canada 1||-1 (141-142)|
|3||South Korea||E (143-141)|
|T4||Czech Republic||+3 (145-142)|
|16||Chinese Taipei||+17 (148-153)|
|19||Canada 2||+21 (154-151)|
Click here for the full team competition leaderboard.
In the individual competition, Hammond maintains a one-shot lead heading into Friday’s third round over Huang and Denisa Vodickova of the Czech Republic. Vodickova fired the low round of the day with a 3-under 68 to put herself in a tie for second with Huang.
Hammond also started her round on the back nine where she was 2-over. After a bogey on the first hole (10th hole), she went on to grab three birdies and finished with four straight pars to maintain her lead after two days.
“It was definitely a rocky start for me. I know I said yesterday my ball striking is a big portion of my game and today it was a little off. I was kind of in-between clubs all day and I seemed to pick the wrong option between the two for the first 11 holes and finally on number 12, I finally hit a shot inside of ten feet and I made the putt and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the round,” said Hammond.
Anastasia Hekkonen of Finland and Soomin Oh of South Korea sit in a tie for fourth place at 1-under and are both two shots back. Savannah de Bock of Belgium is alone in sixth at even par and five golfers find themselves tied for seventh at 1-over including, Matilda Björkman (Sweden), Francesca Fiorellini (Italy), Vanessa Borovilos (Canada 1), Molly Brown Davidson (USA) and Andrea Revuelta Goicoechea (Spain).
Click here for the second round individual leaderboard.
This year marks the largest field in tournament history, with a total of 66 athletes comprising 22 teams and representing 21 countries competing for the team and individual titles. This year’s field for the World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargent Farms is highlighted by eight competitors currently ranked inside the World Golf Amateur Rankings (WAGR) top-100 including the tournament’s top-ranked player, Spain’s Rocío Tejedo Mulet (no. 23). Spain and South Korea both feature two players ranked inside the WAGR top-100, with Spain’s Andrea Revuelta Goicoechea (no. 33) and South Korea’s Hyojin Yang (no. 60) and Soomin Oh (no. 67).
Defending champions Spain (2017 & 2022) is tied with South Korea (2015 & 2019) for the most victories in the event’s seven-year history, with two each. Other team winners include the United States (2014), Philippines (2016), and Italy (2018). South Korea and Sweden are tied with the most podium finishes in tournament history with four each. Canada’s best finish in the team competition was third in 2014 and fourth in 2018. A history of past individual and team winners is available here.
Several players who have competed in the World Junior Girls Golf Championship have gone on to have great success on the LPGA Tour, led by Canadian Brooke Henderson, a 13-time LPGA winner and Canada’s winningest professional golfer, who finished fourth in the individual competition at the inaugural championship hosted in 2014.
Other notable competitors who went on to become LPGA Tour winners include Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand who won back-to-back World Junior titles in 2018 and 2019 as well as Yuka Saso of the Philippines who won the 2016 World Junior title. The 2023 CPKC Women’s Open winner, Megan Khang of the United States competed in the inaugural tournament in 2014. Other former World Junior competitors who have gone on to win on the LPGA Tour include Hannah Green of Australia and Maja Stark of Sweden.
The individual champion will receive an exemption into the 2024 CPKC Women’s Open being held at Earl Grey Golf Club in Calgary from July 22 – 28, 2024.
For third round tee times, please click here.