LEDUC, Alta. – The 66th Canadian Junior Girls Championship will return this year from July 20-23 at Leduc Golf Club in Leduc, Alta., a year after the pandemic forced a cancellation of Golf Canada’s 2020 competitive season.
The 72-hole event kicks off the return of Golf Canada’s National Amateur Championships. The last tournament was conducted in September of 2019.
This year’s 106-player field includes three Team Canada National Junior Squad members; Jennifer Gu (West Vancouver, B.C.), Katie Cranston (Oakville, Ont.), and Nicole Gal (Oakville, Ont.). Due to travel restrictions, only Canadian residents are allowed entry to the event.
This year 11 of Canada’s top 50 players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) will travel to Leduc Golf Club for the championship, including Luna Lu (Burnaby, B.C.), who finished ninth in the 2019 event.
The winner receives an exemption into the 2021 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship held from July 27-30 at Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in Spruce Grove, Alta.
The Canadian Junior Girls Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event, that features a 36-hole cut for the low 70 players and ties. In the event of a tie at the end of four rounds, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff immediately following completion of 72-holes.
The Juvenile division will run concurrently with the Junior division through the 72-hole competition. The Juvenile division is for girls 16 and under.
A practice round will be conducted on July 19, the day before competition begins.
Leduc Golf Course was founded in 1961 as a nine-hole course. Now, it’s an 18-hole course with over 6,000 yards of fairways—some tree-lined and some with water hazards and sloped greens.
Previous winners of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship include Brooke Henderson (2012), Alena Sharp (1999), and Sandra Post (1964-66).
Click here for the full field and tournament information.
Another 16-year-old from B.C., Jennifer Gu of West Vancouver is also a member of the National Junior Squad and is coming off an incredible 2020 season that saw multiple top 10 finishes at major events. Gu won the PGA of BC Junior Championship, finished third at the Alberta Junior Girls Championship and fourth and the B.C. Junior Girls Championship last year.
The 17-year-old from Oakville, Ont. is also a member of the National Junior Squad and like both Arora and Gu, Cranston found a win in 2020, winning the Ontario Junior Girls Championship. In 2019, Cranston finished second at the Future Links Ontario Championship, and third at the Future Links Fall Series (East).
Also from Oakville, 16-year-old Nicole Gal rounds out the National Junior Squad members in the field. In 2020, Gal finished runner-up at the Ontario Junior Girls Championship to fellow Oakville golfer, Cranston, and finished in a tie for eighth at the North & South Junior Amateur. In 2019, Gal won the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship in the Girls 14-15 division.
Celeste Dao’s win in 2018 broke a streak of three straight years in which a British Columbia golfer won the individual event: Susan Xiao in 2017 (Surrey, B.C.), Naomi Ko in 2016 (Victoria, B.C.) and Michelle Kim in 2015 (Surrey, B.C.).
Ten-time LPGA winner and major champion Brooke Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., won the event in 2012 at River Spirit Golf Club in Calgary, Alta.
Heather Kuzmich won four straight Canadian Junior Girls Championships from 1981-1984.
Four Canadian Golf Hall of Fame members are past champions of the event: Betty Stanhope-Cole (1956), Judy Darling Evans (1957), Gail Harvey (1958-60) and Sandra Post (1964-66).
Current LPGA golfer Alena Sharp was the 1999 Canadian Junior Girls Champion.
In 2019, Euna Han of Coquitlam, B.C., set a new course record at the host course, Lethbridge Country Club during the Canadian Junior Girls Championship by shooting an opening-round 64.