Gastonia golfer Taylor sits in second at Girls National Junior Championship

Posted July 15, 2009

After yesterday’s round of 67, Chihiro Ikeda from Manila, The Philippines, shot 68 today for a 2 day total of 135 at the Women’s Western Golf Association’s (WWGA) 83rd National Junior Championship at Hope Valley Country Club in Durham, North Carolina. Her closest competitor, Courtney Taylor, of Gastonia, North Carolina, has a two day total of 143 after rounds of 73-70. The 8 shot lead will be tested starting tomorrow when single elimination Match Play starts, the lowest 32 players in the event competing for the title of Champion.

Ikeda, 18, almost won the Medalist title in 2007, the last time she played in this event when it was held at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio. Her one day total of 70 placed her second in the one day Qualifier. Since that time she has won the the 2008 Thailand Junior Championship, the 2008 Philippine Ladies Open, the 2008 and 2009 DHL Amateur Opens and the 2009 FCWT Mission Hills Open.

Now Ikeda has also won the Marion Miley Bracelet, one of the WWGA’s trophies. This award was created in 1941 in memory of Miss Marion Miley, a prominent golfer of the time who was a two-time winner of the WWGA Amateur Championship. Originally it was awarded to the Low Qualifier of the Amateur and the WWGA Open. When the Open was discontinued in 1967, the bracelet became the trophy for the Low Qualifier in the WWGA Amateur and Junior Championships within the same year. The bracelet has individual discs with the name of each winner engraved. Past winners include Laura Baugh, Nancy Lopez, Erin O’Neil, Cristie Kerr, Candy Hannemann and Candie Kung. Ikeda placed 14th in the two day qualifying for this year’s WWGA Amateur Championship with a score of 153 which earned her the right to have her name etched on a new disc.

The second low round of the day was 70 turned in by Courtney Taylor, Gastonia, North Carolina. Taylor was a Mid-Atlantic Team Member in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She also was the 2008 Carolinas Golf Association Junior Girl Match Play Championship and won the Peggy Kirk Bell Tour Championship in 2009. She may have had something else going for her today in that her grandparents are members of Hope Valley Country Club where the event is being played.

Other low scores turned in include par 72 by Courtney McKim, Raleigh, North Carolina; 73’s by Yugene Lee, Athens, Georgia and Rebecca Lee-Bentham, North York, Ontario, Canada; and 74’s by Katie Kirk, Gastonia, North Carolina; Augusta James, Bath, Ontario, Canada; Lori Beth Adams, Burlington, North Carolina; and Laura Wearn, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Yesterday’s leaders Karli Heimbecker, Sanford, North Carolina, shot 77 and Allison Emrey, Charlotte, North Carolina, shot 76 after playing the back nine in her bare feet due to blisters. 13 year old Kari Bellville, Granger, Indiana, shot 75 today to match her 78 from yesterday for a two total of 153 which easily qualified her for the Championship Flight.

The cut for Championship Flight came in at 160. 3 players tied at for the one remaining spot. Samantha O’Donnell, Chapin, South Carolina, won the playoff by paring the 10th hole. Taylor Slagle, Southlake, Texas and Emily Wickstrom, Austin, Texas will now compete in the First Flight.

The Championship Flight matches will start between 8:30 and 10:22 am on Wednesday. 7 players from North Carolina are included in this Flight as well as 6 Canadians, 4 Georgians, and 3 players from South Carolina. The public is invited to attend free of charge.


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