Yealimi Noh (NCGA photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA (June 28, 2018) - Four years after her first victory, Concord resident Yealimi Noh returned to capture her second California Junior Girls’ State Championship title. In the near future, the landscape could be changing dramatically.
Noh, 16, won her second CWAC Junior crown on a glorious Thursday afternoon, defeating runner-up and No. 1 seed Madelyn Gamble, 5 and 4, on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula CC. The former Carondelet High standout, who is now home schooled, was again on her game. She’d go 7-under over the 14 holes of the match to leave Gamble, a 15-year-old sophomore at Carondelet, defenseless.
“She made everything,” said Gamble, who never got to play with Noh at Carondelet.
It was yet another big win for Noh. The No.2 seed, Noh won her quarterfinals and semifinals matches by scores of 6 and 5. If it seemed like she was settling in as the week progressed, she was. When she won her first title in 2014, she did that on the Dunes Course at MPCC.
“It feels good to win here again,” Noh said. “I got more and more comfortable on the Shore Course as the week went on. I always enjoy coming here.”
Along with returning to MPCC, Noh was prepping for the upcoming U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at Poppy Hills Golf Course, which is also a match play event.
“I wanted to get in some practice playing match play,” said Noh, whose assault included a 25-foot chip in for birdie from the rough on No.12. “This is a good momentum builder heading into the U.S. Girls’ Junior.”
The schedule will only get more interesting for Noh. Having recently decided to walk away from a full-ride scholarship to UCLA, Noh has plans to turn professional in the fall of 2019.
While that path has already started, a big step will come this October when Noh tees off in the LPGA HanaBank Championship in South Korea on a sponsor’s exemption. She planned on trying to compete at this year’s LPGA Q-School, but has a schedule conflict—so she will wait until next year to really start chasing her dream.
“The plan to turn pro is my decision and mine only. No one pressured me. I just want to turn pro earlier,” Noh said. “I don’t think I’ll adjust well to college golf.”
As for those who doubt her decision and think she may be making a mistake, Noh is confident that in the end she’ll prove them wrong.
“I know that some people are saying it’s too early for me to go pro, and that some think college golf is a stepping stone. Everyone is different. Pro golf is the career I want to follow. So that’s what I’m doing,” Noh said.
Other than facing Noh, Gamble had a great week herself. “It was a lot of fun,” Gamble said. “It was a lot of great competition and it’s such a beautiful place.”
In the Helen Lengfeld Flight, No.8 Nicole Vivier of San Jose took the title, defeating No. 2 Sophie Siminoff of Los Altos Hills, 3 and 2.
In the morning semis, Madelyn Gamble squeezed out a 2 and 1 victory over No.5 Kaleiya Romero. Gamble took a 3-up lead after just seven holes. Romero cut the gap to two holes through 10, but the two halved the remaining seven holes of the match.
Yealimi Noh, meanwhile, cruised to a 6 and 5 win over No.3 Elizabeth Lu. Already 3-up through 8 holes, Noh went on a tear, winning holes No.10 through No. 13 in succession.
ABOUT THE California Junior Girls
The California Junior Girls State Championship was
the first of its kind on the West Coast. It began in
1950 at the Old Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey.
In 1974, the tournament was moved to Monterey
Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach where it
continues to be played today.
Format is 36 holes of stroke play qualifying
from which the low 32 advance to match play.
Players must have reached their 13th birthday by the
first day of the
tournament but not their 19th birthday on or before
the last day of the
tournament. (Players 9 to 12 years old considered at
the discretion of the
View Complete Tournament Information