Girls Junior Champions Crowned
Mary Janiga, Morgan Baxendale, and Mimi Chen, captured their respective titles at the Girls’ Junior Championship held at LPGA International Golf Course, in Daytona Beach, June 30 - July 2.
Mary Janiga, of Wellington, posted a tournament total of 220 to capture the 16-18 Division title and her first State Championship. After opening with one-under par 71, Janiga would take the lead into the second round of play. In the second round Janiga stumbled a bit posting a round of six-over par 78, and would share the 36-hole lead with Athena Yang, of Winter Haven. The final round provided an exciting finish on Wednesday. Janiga used clutch birdies on 16 and 17 to pull even with Emma Albrecht, of Ormond Beach heading into the final hole of play. After two beautiful shots on the 18th hole Janiga would make par, and Albrecht would just narrowly miss her putt for par to fall just one shot shy of Janiga. Also falling just one shot shy of Janiga was Nicolette Donovan, of Ponte Vedra Beach. Donovan fired a final round of one-under par 71, sinking her birdie putt on her final hole to inch one shot closer. Finishing in fourth place was Athena Yang, of Winter Haven, after rounds of 72-77-73 for a tournament total of 222. Yang made history at the Girls’ Junior, making not one, but two Hole-in-One's. Yang aced the par-3 12th hole on Monday, and made her second ace on Wednesday, on the par-3 7th hole.
In the Girls’ 13-15 Division, Morgan Baxendale, of Windemere, held off the Defending Champion, Kendall Griffin, of Sebring, to capture her first State Championship. Baxendale opened up the event with back-to-back rounds of even par 72 to take a one shot lead into the final round. After firing a four-over par 40 on her front nine, Baxendale would trail Griffin heading into the final nine holes of play. Baxendale played a flawless back nine firing a two-under par 34 for her round of 74 to edge Griffin by one shot. Griffin put together a great effort in her title defense posting rounds of 75-70-74. Alyssa Lamoureux, of Seminole, finished alone in third place with a tournament total of 220.
In the 12 and Under Division, Mimi Chen, of Longwood, captured her first State Championship in dominating fashion. After opening up the event with a one-over par round of 37, Chen would hold a share of the lead heading into the final round. Chen played an incredible final round posting one-under par 34, to cruise to an eight shot victory. Mackenzie Gallagher, of Deltona, finished in second place after rounds of 37-42 for a tournament total of 79.
The Championship was played on the Hills Course, for the Girls 13-15 and 16-18, and the Jones Course, for the 12 and Under Division. The 16-18 and 13-15 Divisions played 18-holes of individual stroke play each day, while the 12 and Under division played 9-holes of individual stroke play each day.