The Canada 1 Team: Anna Huang, Vanessa Zhang and Vanessa Borovilos, celebrated their team victory at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship at the Brampton Golf Club. The tournament concluded on October 7th with Team Canada securing their first ever team win. This was yet another chapter in what has been an exciting season for Canadian golf.
Team Canada 1 Players:
- Anna Huang (14) of Vancouver (71-69-70-70—280)
- Vanessa Borovilos (17) of Toronto (70-73-73-75—291)
- Vanessa Zhang (17) of Vancouver (72-75-80-68—295)
Team Canada 1 began the final day with a share of the third-round lead alongside Korea and the United States They needed a late-round charge in order to overtake Korea, who held a one-shot team lead through 16 holes. The tournament shifted on the par-5 17th hole when Huang made birdie for Canada, and Korea’s Soomin Oh made bogey. Zhang then stepped up with birdie on the par-418th, followed by Huang rolling in a par-putt to secure Canada’s first-ever team gold medal at the prestigious international junior championship. Canada’s previous best team finish at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship was a bronze medal in 2014. The Team Canada 2 squad of 14-year-old Miranda Lu of Vancouver, 16-year-old Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C. and 14-year-old Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. finished in 18th place.
This year marked the largest field in tournament history, with a total of 66 athletes comprising 22 teams and representing 21 countries competing for the team and individual titles.
World Junior Girls Championship, presented by Sargent Farms – final team standings:
1 Canada 1 (-4) 141-142-143-138—564
2 Korea (-3) 143-141-142-139—565
3 Czech Republic (+4) 145-142-142-143—572
4 Sweden (+5) 140-147-144-142—573
5 Mexico (+8) 144-144-149-139—576
6 United States (+9) 139-142-145-151—577
7 Belgium (+12) 142-149-146-143—580
8 Spain (+15) 143-144-149-147—583
9 Italy (+16) 146-144-152-142—584
10 England (+17) 141-148-149-147—585
11 Germany (+26) 148-147-149-150—594
12 Finland (+28) 146-147-154-149—596
13 Denmark (+29) 151-147-147-152—597
14 Poland (+32) 148-147-150-155—600
15 Chinese Taipei (+35) 148-153-146-156—603
T16 Switzerland (+36) 148-147-158-151—604
T16 Colombia (+36) 153-150-151-150—604
18 Canada 2 (+43) 154-151-153-153—611
19 Peru (+44) 151-155-158-148—612
20 Iceland (+47) 152-156-154-153—615
T21 Austria (+51) 149-154-159-157—619
T21 Wales (+51) 155-158-156-150—619
The Future of Canadian Golf is Bright
It is apparent that Canada has the third biggest market in golf, with some 2,500 courses. While Japan and the U.S. lead with 3,500 courses, and 17,000 courses respectively. Golf Canada has, in the last couple of years, been aided by a significant infusion of funds from private sources to support its development programs for amateurs and young pros. It has been widely discussed that Golf Canada is committing to have 30 Canadians on the PGA and LPGA tours by 2032. Four Canadians won on the PGA Tour this past season. Now, seven Canadians have been assured full-time status on the PGA Tour for next year. The list includes Nick Taylor, who won the RBC Canadian Open in June, Corey Connors, Adam Svensson, Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes, Ben Silverman and Roger Sloan. Taylor Pendrith, currently 123rd on the FedEx Cup, must play well in the tour’s remaining 2023 events, to join them. Others, such as Michael Gligic and David Hearn, also have some status. On the women’s side, only Brooke Henderson has been guaranteed to have exempt status. Maddie Szeryk is 103rd on the tour’s points list, and must finish among the top 100 to be considered. Maude-Aimee LeBlanc will return from injury next year while others could get there via the circuit’s Q-Series.
It has appeared more and more promising that a large number of Canadian golfers will progress to major professional tours in the next few years. Nine Canadians have reached the match-play segment of the recent U.S. Junior Girls Championship. They achieved this by qualifying at sites last spring in both the U.S. and in Canada. First Tee programs have become of great importance. Around 65 programs for kids ages 7 to 18 are operating in Canada. Centennial Park Golf Centre in Etobicoke, Ont., has inaugurated its First Tee program this past week. Fundraising started in Alberta this past summer so that a First Tee program can begin there as well.
It remains a common perception in Canada, and throughout the world, that golf is a “rich man’s sport”. Yet golf is indeed a game for everyone, as all interested parties agree. You see public basketball courts, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, ice rinks; yet no putting greens (which would take up much less space). This negative mindset has plagued the game of golf for decades. Despite all this, Canada Golf is determined to thrive.
Golf Canada has announced they will be hosting the World Junior Girls Golf Championship for the next three years. Credit Valley Golf and Country Club in Mississauga, Ont. will host in 2024, followed by St. Catharines Golf and Country Club in St. Catharines, Ont. in 2025 and The Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Gatineau, Que. in 2026.
Source: Lorne Rubenstein for ScoreGolf; Mike Masaro for World Juniors Girls Golf; and Golf Canada
– Photo: Christian Bender/Golf Canada –