CHANDLER, Ariz. (Dec. 30, 2013) - Krystal Quihuis of Tucson shot a 14-under-par 202 to complete a wire-to-wire finish on Monday in winning the prestigious 43rd annual Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship presented by the AB Farrington Foundation.
"It means so much to me to win this tournament, it's one of the elite tournaments and I feel really privledged and honored to win it," said Quihuis, who shot a 4-under 68 in Monday's final round. "I'd also like to thank all the players because without them I don't think I would have shot 14-under. They really pushed me so I'm thankful because they are making me better."
Quihuis, a two-time state high school champion at Salpointe Catholic, finished three shots ahead of Vanderbilt University freshman Simin Feng, of Windermere, Fla., who shot a 4-under 68 on Monday to finish at 11-under 205.
In the final group with Quihuis, Feng tried to make a move on the back nine but came by short.
"Things were really going my way and her way, so even though I put pressure on her, she still had a comeback," said Feng. "Unfortunately, I missed two four-footers for birdie and that happened at what is supposed to be the turning point of the tournament and I kind of got lost there. That's what pulled me back."
Quihuis, a member of the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team, led after both of the first two rounds of the three-day tourney for top female golfers ages 13 to 23 at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz.
"I just stuck to my game plan and I wanted to hit all of my shots where I wanted to and I did and that's what got me this far," Quihuis said.
Angel Yin, of Arcadia, Calif., a co-champion of the Arizona Silver Belle Championship the last time it was held at Whirlwind in 2011, shot a 4-under 68 on Monday to finish third at 9-under 207, best in the 15-16 age group.
Haley Moore, a 15-year-old sophomore from Escondido, Calif., had the best round of the day, a 6-under 66, to place fourth, six shots back.
"I was hitting good iron shots all day," Moore said. "The first two days I had trouble putting and I went out and practiced and today everything went well."
Lisbeth Brooks, of Waunakee, Wis., a sophomore at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., shot a 5-under 67 on Monday, tying Moore at 208. Brooks was the top scorer in the 19-23 age group.
Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, shot a 3-under 69 on Monday after two straight rounds of 70 and tied for sixth at 7-under for the tournament with Jiyoon Jang, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., who had a 71 on Monday. Jang is a sophomore at Palm Desert High School.
Arizona State University freshman Mikayla Harmon and Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley, Calif. finished tied for eighth at 6-under 210.
Scottsdale's Madison Kerley was 10th at 211 after a 1-over 73 on Monday.
Muni He, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., won the 13-14 age group with a three-day total of 2-under 214.
A field of 110, including many top-ranked junior golfers, played the 54-hole tournament over three days on the 6,487-yard Devil's Claw course at Whirlwind.
The Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event -- 18 holes over three days. This year, there was a cut after the first two rounds to the low 70 scores and ties, with at least half of the golfers in each age bracket playing the final round. The Silver Belle is unique in that there are both age division winners and an overall champion after the three days of competition. Points earned from the Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship go toward players' World Amateur Golf Ranking.
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