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Local Girl Ties for Low Medalist at U.S. Girls’ Junior Qualifier
(Photo courtesy of Randy Dodson)
By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern
Millcreek, UT – A Utah teenager qualified for the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior – tying for the low-medalist position.
Tess Blair, a local girl who plays most of her golf at Glenmoor Golf Course, took advantage of scoreable conditions Tuesday at Hidden Valley Country Club – located on the southeast bench of the Salt Lake Valley. Blair, along with California’s Yukino Yoshihara and Florida’s Ya Chun Chang, will be heading to Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California for the 70th playing of the national event, July 16-21.
In a field of 32 players, ages 18 and under with handicaps no higher than a 9.4, Blair came out ready to play in the lukewarm temperatures with the wind gusting across the relatively flat golf course – except the few undulating holes to open and close each nine on the Lake and Valley courses.
Blair, having posted a 1-under-par 71 on the 6,132-yard course, put together an impressive string of four birdies during her first seven holes of play – birdieing holes 2, 4, 5 and 7. After carding a 32 (-4) on her front nine, she did everything she could to hold onto that momentum as she made the turn.
Starting with five pars, Blair looked to be the low medalist but slightly crumbled coming into the home stretch – bogeying three of her last four holes to shoot a 39 (+1) on the back.
Yoshihara, a product of the San Diego Junior Golf organization, also shot a solid 1-under par 71. Having tied Blair for the most birdies in the field, Yoshihara played a more even keel round – balancing each birdie made with a bogey on the very next hole, except the first birdie on the par-4 4th.
Chang, all the way from Florida’s IMG Academy, finished just a shot back at even par to claim the third and final qualifying spot. Chang’s birdie on the uphill par-5 18th secured her spot and helped avoid a playoff for the final spot.
Abbey Porter, from just around the “point of the mountain” in Alpine, was the other local girl to finish with any hopes of making it to the championship as the first alternate – shooting a 73 (+1). Morgan Goldstein, from Nevada, shot a 2-over-par 74 to take the second alternate spot.
The field consisted of players from six different states: Utah, Texas, Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona.
For complete results, CLICK HERE.