USA Runner-up in World Junior Girls Championship
September 14, 2018
By David Shefter, USGA
Italy outlasted the USA in a one-hole playoff to win the 5th World Junior Girls Championship at Camelot Golf and Country Club in Ottawa, Canada, on Friday.
Going into the final round of the 72-hole team competition, which is conducted by Golf Canada and supported by the International Golf Federation, the USA trailed Italy by one stroke. A 6-under 66 by Zoe Campos, 15, of Valencia, Calif., and a 1-under 71 by Brooke Seay, 18, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., helped the Americans pull into a first-place tie at 22-under 554. Michaela Morard, 16, of Huntsville, Ala., posted a non-counting 72 in the 3-count-2 format.
In the playoff, the USA totaled 2-over par 10 to Italy’s 1-under 7. Campos, who bogeyed the par-5 18th hole in regulation, and Seay each bogeyed the hole, while Morard made a double-bogey 7. Italy registered a birdie and two pars.
“I didn’t know where we stood, but I knew it was pretty close going into the last few holes,” said Seay. “Coming down the stretch, there were definitely a few [shots[ that we left out there. We gave it our best, but the Italians played great. It was a good week of golf, but it hurts a little bit [that we came up just short].”
The USA was seeking its first gold medal since the inaugural competition in 2014 when future USA Curtis Cup competitor Mika Liu also claimed the individual title.
Atthaya Thitikul, 15, of Thailand, carded a final-round 60 to win the individual competition by two strokes over Alessia Nobilio, of Italy. Thitikul’s result helped Thailand finish third in the team competition at 21-under 555.
Campos earned a bronze medal for her individual third-place finish at 14-under 274. She closed with rounds of 65-66 to edge Seay by six strokes. Celeste Dao, of Canada, who competed in the U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek earlier this year, finished fifth at 6-under 282.
“I had a lot of birdies and a lot of birdie opportunities,” said Campos of her performance. “Overall, I thought it was really fun. Playing for your country is a great opportunity.”
Added Seay: “It was a really great experience to meet players from all over the world. Some we knew already from other tournaments, but a lot of them we didn’t. It was cool to learn about their stories and their culture and language. I know I personally enjoyed the team setting and to be able to play for your country, it’s an opportunity we don’t often get. I know we all played our best this week and I’m really proud of our team.”
David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Golf Canada contributed to this report.