World Junior Girls: Three teams tied for the lead heading into the Final Round
United States, South Korea, and Canada (Golf Canada Photo)
United States, South Korea, and Canada (Golf Canada Photo)

Team Canada 1, Team United States and South Korea will enter Saturday’s final round all tied for the lead at even par at the eighth annual World Junior Girls Championship at the Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont.

Overnight rain brought about more seasonal conditions for Friday’s third round with players battling the wind and cooler temperatures. Friday also saw numerous changes to the team leaderboard throughout the day and as the final putt dropped, three teams find themselves tied for first.

Team Canada 1 was led by the play of Anna Huang of Vancouver who shot a 1-under 70. Huang also finds herself in second place in the individual championship at 3-under for the tournament. Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto shot a 2-over 73 and Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver shot 9-over 80.

Team Canada 1 Coach Jeff MacDonald of Chester, N.S. is proud of how his team has battled all week heading into Saturday.

“It’s a good spot to be in and when we started the week this is where we wanted to be, and the girls are just really battling. We’ve had a couple tough breaks here and there and a couple things happen out there, but I am really proud of how much they’ve fought each day. It’s really tough out there, it’s really windy and the greens are really tricky, so some things are going to happen that you have to deal with, and they’ve just dealt with it so well to get into the position and give them a chance to win tomorrow.”

Team USA held the lead through the opening two rounds of the world championship but are now tied. Chloe Kovelesky of Boca Raton, Fla. led the way on Friday with a 2-under 69, teammates Mia Hammond of New Albany, Ohio and Molly Brown Davidson of Springville, Ala. both shot rounds of 5-over 76.

Coach Mo Martin is looking forward to Saturday’s final round.

“Couldn’t ask for a better finale tomorrow on Canadian soil. This is the first unified front for the U.S. Development program, and we’re really excited about. I know all three players are honoured to be the face of that and I think they are carrying that with a lot of pride and a lot of passion.”

Two-time champions, South Korea were led by Hyojin Yang who fired a 1-under 70 on Friday. Teammates, Soomin Oh and Seojin Park both recorded rounds of 1-over 72 to grab a piece of the team lead. Coach Naon Min said she hopes her team enjoys the final round, “I’m really proud of them. It’s their first time in Canada and first time playing for Korea and for that I am really proud of them.”

The three countries take a three-shot lead into Saturday, with the Czech Republic in fourth at 3-over and Sweden sits fifth at 5-over.

Team Canada 2 is at 32-over and features 14-year-old Miranda Lu of Vancouver at 5-over 76, 16-year-old Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C., at 6-over 77, and 14-year-old Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. at 9-over 80.

In the individual competition, there is a new leader as Denisa Vodickova of the Czech Republic tied the women’s competitive course record at Brampton Golf Club, shooting a 5-under 66 to move to 7-under for the tournament.

The record was previously set by Brooke Henderson during the 2014 Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship.

Denisa Vodickova
Vodickova had the low round for the second consecutive day and recorded seven birdies in her round. The 18-year-old credited her putting and a change just before the tournament that has helped her this week.

“I changed my grip recently, and it’s working really well, so I think that’s what has helped me the most. My putting was really good, and my irons into the green were great as well.”

Vodickova takes a four-shot lead into Saturday’s final round over Anna Huang. Savannah de Bock of Belgium is in third place at 2-under, with Nora Sundberg of Sweden and Soomin Oh of South Korea tied for fourth at even par.

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ABOUT THE World Junior Girls

First played in 2014, the World Junior Girls Championship features 16 three person teams (two from host Canada). Each team plays a 72-holes of stroke-play and at the end of the final round there are team and individual champions.

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