Leigh Chien grabs the win at the California Women’s Championship
Leigh Chien (AJGA)
Incoming high school freshman Leigh Chien (Irvine, California) picked apart Ojai Valley Inn & Spa over the course of three days.
The No. 16 ranked player in the AJGA Rolex rankings lapped the field by seven shots. At 14-years-old, Chien is no stranger to elite competition. Winning the AJGA’s KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational in both 2019, and 2020, Chien earned herself Symetra Tour starts with each win.
Fast forward to this week and it was business as usual for Chien. Kicking off the tournament with a 1-over 72, she was six-shots off the lead heading into Tuesday’s second round. Chien got hot early as she was 5-under through six holes. Cooling off, Chien finished the rest of her round at 1-over as she carded a 4-under 67 to climb the leaderboard.
Sleeping on a 1-shot lead, Chien kept the momentum going on Wednesday. Matching her front nine Tuesday score of 32, she had a more colorful back nine as the event came to a close. Extending her lead to six shots after the opening nine, Chien kept it steady as she traded three birdies and two bogeys for a 5-under 66 and an 8-under, 205 total.
Chien’s nearest competitor was 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Round of 64 finalist Madelyn Gamble. Gamble posted rounds of 72-72-68 (212) to be Chien’s closest competition and only other golfer under par.
Cal-Berkley’s Eun Soo Jeon and Boston College’s Bibilani Liu both finished at even-par in a tie for third.
It is without a doubt that no moment is too big for Chien. The rising star will be a name we will be seeing atop major leaderboards in no time.
View results for California Women's Championship
ABOUT THE California Women's Championship
54 holes of individual stroke play championship with
Championship and Senior (ages 50 and older)
divisions. No age limit, no residency requirement.
Championship is open to all female amateurs with a
maximum USGA Handicap Index of 18.4 as of July
2022. The field is limited to 90 players with the
handicap indexes in each division as of July 23,
New this year, the Senior Division will be guaranteed
players and the Championship Division will be
guaranteed 58 players.
View Complete Tournament Information