LETHBRIDGE, Alberta, Canada (July 24, 2012) -- Ariya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand leads the 2012 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship after the first round of competition at Lethbridge Country Club in Lethbridge, Alta.
Jutanugarn, 16, is currently ranked at #2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and back in 2011 she was named the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Junior Player of the Year. She currently leads the Royale Cup Canadian Women`s Amateur Championship field by a single shot at 3-under par 69, thanks to a bogey-free first round that included three birdies. With this score, Jutanugarn ties the course record at Lethbridge Country Club, despite strong winds.
“It`s not surprising [that the course record was tied] because of the field we have here, and with the tough conditions today, I would expect that the 69 won`t stand the rest of the week,” said Brian Huculak, General Manager of Lethbridge Country Club.
Jutanugarn’s older sister Moriya, who is currently ranked at #9 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, is also competing for the Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur title. The 17-year-old sits in a tie for tenth position at 2-over par 74 on the day.
Natalie Gleadall of Stratford, Ont. and Team Canada’s Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C. are currently tied for second place at 2-under par 70. Gleadall, 21, birdied five of the last six holes despite a birdie-free first 12 holes that included a bogey and a double bogey, while Keel, 16, scored four birdies and one double bogey on the day.
Stephanie Liu, 15, of St. Albans, Mo. sits alone in fourth position at 1-under par 71 with three birdies and two bogeys. This puts Liu a single shot ahead of a tie for fifth position between Josée Doyon, 19, of St-Georges-de-Beauce, Que. and Kyle Roig, 19, of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The pair sits at even-par 72 after the first round.
In the Mid-Amateur division (25+ years), Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C., who won the division last year, currently leads by two shots at 3-over par 75, while Margaux Ullett of Calgary and Ivy Steinberg of Stouffville, Ont. are in second position at 5-over par 77. Steinberg leads the Mid-Master division (40+ years) by two shots over Leanne Richardson of Indian Mountain, N.B.
In the Inter-Provincial Team division, Team Québec leads by a single shot over Team Ontario at 4-over par 148. Team Québec consists of Josée Doyon of St-Georges-de-Beauce, Que., Laurence Mignault of Varennes, Que., and Sabrina Sapone of Montreal. In third position at 11-over par 155 is defending Inter-Provincial champions Team BC. The Inter-Provincial Team division champions will be decided tomorrow after the second round of play.
The winner of the 2012 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship will receive an exemption into the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C. from August 20-26. In addition, the champion will receive an exemption into the 2012 USGA Women’s Amateur Championship and, if applicable, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships.
The second round of the 2012 Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship tees off on Wednesday, July 25th at 7:30am MDT.