USA Leads at World Junior Girls Championship September 27, 2014 By Golf Canada

Mika Liu's 2-under 70 helped propel the USA team to a seven-stroke lead following round one of the inaugural World Junior Girls Golf Championship. (Golf Canada)

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada – Megan Khang (5-under 67) and Mika Liu (2-under 70) shot an opening-round 7-under 137 to give Team USA a 7-shot lead through one round of the inaugural World Junior Girls Golf Championship at Angus Glen Golf Club's South Course.

Khang, 16, carded six birdies and a single bogey at Angus Glen on Sunday. Currently the no. 40- ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Khang finished her opening-round in impressive fashion, with birdies on her final four holes.

“I was hitting a lot of great approach shots coming in and my short game was working really well for me,” Khang said following her round. “That’s what I’ve been working on the most and it’s great to see it coming all together. The course was in great shape; I blew some putts by but made some comebackers and that gave me a great confidence boost in the putter.”

Liu, 15, had five birdies and three bogies in her opening round, while teammate Angel Yin shot a non-counting 1-over 73.

 “I’m so proud, the team did a wonderful job; the course was playing great and I’m in awe of how they hit the ball,” said USA captain Courtney Myhrum. “What impresses me so much is that these kids hit greens in regulation and give themselves birdie opportunities one after another. They’re very consistent off the tee and they didn’t get into any trouble.”

Team Canada, led by the world’s no. 1 ranked amateur Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, sits alone in second place at even-par 144 through 18 holes. Henderson (2-under 70) and teammates Grace St. Germain (2-over 74) and Naomi Ko (5-over 77) were grouped with Team USA in Sunday’s opening round.

Henderson, 17, finished with four birdies, while St-Germain, 16, was 1-under through 16 holes before a bogey, double-bogey finish.

“It was little bit slow to start, I wasn’t hitting the ball quite as good as I would have liked to,” said Henderson, the runner-up in last month's U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and low amateur in the U.S. Women’s Open in June. “Throughout the round I started to get a bit more comfortable. The last couple of holes I was playing my best golf; three birdies in the last four or five holes, so I’m happy with that.”

Team Finland’s Anna Backman (1-under 71), Sandra Salonen (2-over 74) and Ellinoora Moisio (10-over 82) are alone in third at 145.

With her opening round 67, Khang sits alone atop the individual leader board with a three-stroke lead over Liu and Henderson heading into Monday’s second round.