Storylines for 2013 U.S. Girls' Junior July 20, 2013 By Christina Lance, USGA

Of the 156 championship competitors, 94 are competing in their first U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Eighty-four young women are competing in their first USGA championship.

The average age of the Girls’ Junior competitors is 16.04 years old.

The youngest player in the championship field is Sabrina Iqbal, of San Jose, Calif., who turned 12 on July 19, three days prior to the start of the championship. 

The championship’s oldest competitor is McKenzie Neisen, of New Prague, Minn., who will turn 18 on July 28, the day after the championship ends.

There are 12 countries represented at the championship: Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States of America.

There are 31 states represented at the championship: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Defending Girls’ Junior champion Minjee Lee, 17, of Australia is the only USGA champion in the field. 

Three Girls’ Junior competitors qualified for last month’s U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton N.Y.: low amateur Casie Cathrea, 17, of Livermore, Calif. (75-73-79-70—297, T25); Yueer Feng, 17, of Orlando, Fla. (72-77-79-76—304, T54); and Gabriella Then, 17, of Upland, Calif. (77-78—MC). Cathrea’s final-round 70 was tied for Sunday’s low score and was one of only four sub-par rounds that day.

Five championship competitors are in the top 50 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking as of July 21: Minjee Lee (No. 4); Casie Cathrea (No. 10); Nicole Morales, 17, of South Salem, N.Y. (No. 12); Hannah Green, 16, of Australia (No. 27); and Bethany Wu, 16, of Diamond Bar, Calif. (No. 37). 

Two championship competitors played in the 2012 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship: Minjee Lee (Australia) and Marijosse Navarro (Mexico). Navarro also competed in the 2010 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.

Four players are competing in their fifth Girls’ Junior: Casie Cathrea; Yueer Feng; Megan Khang, 15, of Rockland, Mass.; and Nicole Morales. Eight players are competing in their fourth championship: Lakareber Abe, 17, of Angleton, Texas; Lyberty Anderson, 17, of Chesterfield, Va.; Kelsey Badmaev, 17, of Blythewood, S.C.; Allisen Corpuz, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii; Christina Foster, 17, of Canada; Rinko Mitsunaga, 16, of Roswell, Ga.; Maddie Szeryk, 16, of Allen, Texas; and Gabriella Then.

There are three sets of sisters in the championship field: Emily (17) and Kristen (15) Gillman, of Austin, Texas; Anina (12) and Hana (17) Ku, of Basking Ridge, N.J.; and Angella (14) and Gabriella Then, of Upland, Calif. 

Player Notes

Lakareber Abe, 17, of Angleton, Texas, was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 Women’s Amateur Public Links, and the runner-up at the 2013 Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions and the 2012 UnderArmour/Vicky Hurst Championship.

Claire Cameron, 14, of Martinsville, Ind., won the 2013 Indiana Girls State Junior Championship and became the youngest winner in championship history.

Abbey Carlson, 15, of Lake Mary, Fla., won the 2012 Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands.

Aliea Clark, 17, of Carlsbad, Calif., had an exciting encounter following her 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior qualifying round at Los Angeles Country Club. After a frustrating round that didn’t get her into the championship, Clark spent some time on the practice green and received a few tips from a stranger. That stranger was two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Trevino.

Megan Conder, 17, of Brentwood, Calif., has had the opportunity to meet many celebrities through her experiences with The First Tee of Contra Costa, including Tom Brady, Ben Crenshaw and Lindsey Vonn.

Allisen Corpuz, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii, played in the 2008 Women’s Amateur Public Links at age 10, making her the youngest competitor in USGA championship history. 

Kendra Dalton, 17, of Wake Forest, N.C., considers her favorite golf memory to be a trip to Ireland with her father. They were able to play The European Club, Portmarnock Golf Club, the Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club, Waterville Golf Links and Old Head Golf Links.

Elsa Diaz, 17, of San Antonio, Texas, is the niece of retired National Basketball Association player Bruce Bowen. Through her uncle, she had the opportunity to meet Rory McIlroy prior to the 2013 Valero Texas Open.

Isabella DiLisio, 16, of Hatfield, Pa., is the great-granddaughter of Nick Ciocca, who caddied for Ben Hogan when he won the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. DiLisio served as a standard bearer for the 2013 U.S. Open, also conducted at Merion. 

Dree Fausnaugh, 16, of Lake Mary, Fla., once shot a commercial with Tiger Woods, who taught her how to hit a cut shot.

Jamie Freedman, 17, of Miami, Fla., was a member of the Miami Heat Junior Jam dance team for four years.

Kristen Gillman, 15, of Austin, Texas, won the 2013 AJGA Genesis Shootout presented by the Valero Texas Open.

Hannah Green, 16, of Australia, is a member of Golf Australia’s National Junior Squad. She won the 2013 WA Women’s 72-Hole Stroke Play, finished second at the 2013 Australian Girls’ Amateur and reached the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Women’s Amateur.

Lauren Johnson, 17, of Signal Mountain, Tenn., attends the Baylor School, which counts among its golf alumni 2011 USA Walker Cup Team member Harris English and 2012 USA Curtis Cup Team member Brooke Pancake, as well as 2004 U.S. Amateur runner-up Luke List. 

Isabelle Kane, 17, of Winnetka, Ill., recently had the opportunity to play a round with PGA Tour player Luke Donald, who also lives near Chicago.

Megan Khang, 15, of Rockland, Mass., won the 2012 and 2013 Connecticut Women’s Open Championship. In 2009, Khang became the youngest qualifier in championship history. On the first day of the championship, she was 11 years, 8 months and 28 days of age.

Cherokee Kim, 17, of Dupont, Wash., won the 2012 and 2013 Washington 2A Golf State Championship titles. She is the cousin of frequent USGA competitor Erynne Lee.

Cheyenne Knight, 16, of Aledo, Texas, won the 2012 KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open and was the runner-up in 2013.

Anina Ku, 12, of Basking Ridge, N.J., performed at Carnegie Hall on the violin at age 4. 

Hana Ku, 17, of Basking Ridge, N.J., participated in the 2012 USA-China Youth Golf Match conducted at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. Ku, a former volunteer at the USGA Museum’s Photo Archive who will attend Princeton University in the fall, served as a standard bearer and worked at the scoreboard for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open held at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

Andrea Lee, 14, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., was the runner-up at the 2013 Rolex Tournament of Champions.

Minjee Lee, 17, of Australia, is a member of Golf Australia’s National Squad Tier One. So far in 2013, she has won the Australian Women’s Amateur, Australian Girls’ Amateur and Western Australian Amateur.

Mika Liu, 14, of Beverly Hills, Calif., was the runner-up at the 2013 Scott Robertson Memorial and the 2012 Harder Hall Invitational.

Nicole Morales, 17, of South Salem, N.Y., won the 2013 Thunderbird International Junior. Her father is a tennis professional, and she was once one of the top-ranked junior tennis players in New York. Morales will attend the University of Alabama in the fall.

Kelli Murphy, 17, of Elgin, S.C., won the 2011 and 2013 Carolinas Junior Girls Championships.

Marijosse Navarro, 16, of San Antonio, Texas, won the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Mexican Women’s Amateur Championships. She reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur, where she fell to eventual runner-up Jaye Marie Green.

Krystal Quihuis, 17, of Tucson, Ariz., won the 2013 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic.

Riley Rennell, 14, of Columbia, Tenn., won the 2013 McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends. She has trained in taekwondo since age 6 and is currently a senior third-degree black belt. Her caddy, Matt Gallant, is a professional caddie at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., and caddied for President Barack Obama when he played a round with Tiger Woods in 2012. Gallant learned the game of golf from Rennell’s father, PGA professional Rob Rennell.

Isabella Salant, 17, of Carlsbad, Calif., performed at Carnegie Hall in 2012 with her high school’s A Cappella ensemble. She is also a skilled violinist and has performed with the San Diego Youth Symphony.

Kathleen Scavo, 15, of Benicia, Calif., won the 2012 and 2013 California Junior Girls’ State Championships.

Nikolette Schroeder, 16, of Avon Lake, Ohio, is a two-time national champion in junior drag racing. 

Samantha Spencer, 17, of Canada, will represent her home province of Ontario at the 2013 Canada Summer Games. She won the gold medal at the 2012 Canada Summer Games. 

Jessica Spicer, 15, of Bahama, N.C., is a former competitive synchronized ice skater and competed in the 2010 Synchronized Skating National Championship.

Lauren Stephenson, 16, of Lexington, S.C., won the 2013 Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open and the 2013 TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior All-Star at Chateau Elan. 

Gigi Stoll, 16, of Beaverton, Ore., won the 2013 Oregon Junior Stroke Play and Junior Amateur Championships and was the runner-up at the 2013 Oregon Women’s Amateur Championship. At age 11, Stoll advanced to the national finals of the Elks Free Throw Shooting Championship at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., where she finished sixth.

Bailey Tardy, 16, of Norcross, Ga., won the 2013 Georgia State Golf Association’s Girls’ Championship. Her 54-hole score of 210 is tied for the lowest score in championship history, as is her first-round 68.

Gabriella Then, 17, of Upland, Calif., won the 2013 Scott Robertson Memorial.  

Ana Paula Valdes, 16, of Hilton Head, S.C., qualified for the LPGA’s 2010 Tres Marias Championship.

Maria Vesga, 15, of Colombia, won the 2013 Midwest Junior Players Championship.

Samantha Wagner, 16, of Windermere, Fla., was the runner-up at the 2013 Kathy Whitworth Invitational and the 2012 Junior PGA Championship. In 2008, she became the first 11-year-old to qualify for the Girls’ Junior.

Elizabeth Wang, 13, of San Marino, Calif., has perfect musical pitch. She is a percussionist and has performed with the Colorado Junior and Senior Symphonies.

Kelly Whaley, 16, of Farmington, Conn., won the 2011 Connecticut Women’s Amateur. She is the daughter of Suzy Whaley, a renowned golf professional and instructor who qualified for the PGA Tour’s 2003 Greater Hartford Open after winning the 2002 Connecticut Section PGA Championship.

Kenzie Wright, 15, of Frisco, Texas, raised $1,500 for childhood cancer research through the AJGA Leadership Links Program. She has worked as an on-court promotions intern for the Texas Legends, an NBA Development League team.

Bethany Wu, 16, of Diamond Bar, Calif., won the 2013 ANNIKA Invitational.