Lakewood, Wash. – Kristen Park, 14, of Buena Park, Calif., became the fourth-youngest champion in U.S. Girls' Junior history Saturday, defeating Japanese-born Ayaka Kaneko of Honolulu, Hawaii, 4 and 3, at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.
Only 1999 winner Aree Song Wongluekiet, 2006 champion Jenny Shin and 2002 champ In-Bee Park were younger than Park (14 years, 7 months, 1 day). Park won three of the first five holes of the afternoon round and owned a 3-up lead after 27 holes. She won the 30th hole with a par and halved the remaining three to beat the 17-year-old Kaneko.
Kaneko was a quarterfinalist at the 2006 U.S. Women's Amateur and qualified for the 2006 U.S. Women's Open, but missed the cut.