USA Leads By 16 After 54 Holes of World Girls Junior September 29, 2014 By Golf Canada

Mika Liu's 5-under 67 on Tuesday helped the USA to extend its lead to 16 shots over Canada heading into the final round. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada – Team USA continues to dominate the World Junior Girls Golf Championship, firing a team-score of 7-under par 137 to increase their lead to 16 shots heading into the final round of the inaugural event at Angus Glen Golf Club.

After starting the day with a  12-shot lead, Team USA (137-141-137 -415) continued their sizzling play on Tuesday and with only 18 holes to play, looks poised to claim the championship on Wednesday.

Mika Liu (70-69-67 -206) continued to lead the way for the Americans, shooting 5-under 67 Tuesday, while teammate Megan Khang (67-73-70 -210) shot a 2-under 70.  Host Canada (144-146-141 -431) is the closest challenger heading into the final round.

“You know what, I am just so proud of these kids – it’s shaping up really well,” said Team USA captain Courtney Myhrum. “This is a marathon, this format – everybody has to play well, you can’t just have one superstar on your team. [Mika] is unbelievable, they all are. A 16-stroke lead going into the final round,  it’s a nice place to be.”

Liu, 15, tied the low round of the championship with her 5-under 67,  which included six birdies against a single bogey in breezy, overcast conditions at Angus Glen. The young American standout set out Tuesday to improve on her 69 a day earlier and did just that.

“Today, I improved on what I practiced yesterday. I hit the fairways I missed yesterday, I hit greens, and just had many more opportunities for birdies, and I did make more,” said Liu, currently the no. 48-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. I only made one bogey today, so that was very helpful. I will continue to work on my swing, and I will focus mainly on putting again – both on the short putts and long ones for speed.  Mentally, I will still be the same as during the practice round. I will play my game, talk to my teammates, talk to the other players and enjoy my time out there.”

Angel Yin (73-72-73—218) shot a non-counting 1-over 73 for the USA.

Team Canada had their best round of the championship. Naomi Ko,17, (77-79-70 -226) posted her best round of the  championship with a 2-under 70 to lead the way for Canada, which heads into Wednesday’s final round two strokes ahead of Team Denmark (149-143-141—433) for second place.

2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up Brooke Mackenzie Henderson,17, (70-73-71 -214) posted a score of 1-under 71 for Canada.

Spain is alone in fourth at 3-over for the championship (147-146-142 -435) with Italy (147-145-146 -438) and Sweden (150-144-144 -438) tied for fifth at 6-over.

With her third-round 67, Liu continues to top the individual leader board at 10-under par, four strokes better than Khang ). Henderson  is alone in third at 2-under, while Denmark’s Line Hansen (76-67-72 -215) and Hana Ryskova of the Czech Republic (74-71-70 -215) are tied for fourth at 1-under.