Surrey’s Susan Xiao Sweeps Canadian Junior And Juvenile Titles

Surrey's Susan Xiao Holds The Trophy Alongside One Of Canada's Finest Following Her Victory In The Canadian Junior Girls Championship - Image Credit Bernard Brault/Golf Canada

Delta’s Mary Parsons Ties For Second; Two Other British Columbians In Top 10

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Susan Xiao didn’t make a bogey Friday until it really didn’t matter. The only blemish on Xiao’s card in the final round of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship came on the par 4 17th hole, where a bogey cut the 15-year-old Surrey resident’s lead to five shots from six. Xiao figured she could hang on from there.

She did just that, parring the 18th hole to win by five shots. She also captured the Juvenile Championship for players 16 and under, which was being contested at the same time at Camelot Golf & Country Club in Cumberland, Ont.

“This means the world to me,” said Xiao. “This is the biggest win I have ever had. It definitely means a lot to me.” Xiao closed with a three-under 69 Friday and finished the 72-hole event at five-under par. Delta’s Mary Parsons and Ellie Szeryk of London, Ont., tied for second.

Xiao began the day with a slim one-shot lead over Szeryk and a serious case of butterflies. “I was definitely feeling a lot of pressure before the round,” Xiao said. Those nerves settled when she rolled in a seven-foot birdie putt on the second hole. But it wasn’t until she made three straight birdies early on the back nine that Xiao began to entertain thoughts of  actually winning the tournament.

“I started my back nine par, birdie, birdie, birdie and that’s when I started to think I was going to win,” she said. Her victory march up the 18th fairway was delayed when play was suspended briefly because of a nearby storm. “Right when I was about to walk to the 18th tee play was called because of a storm and we all had to come back to the clubhouse,” said Xiao, who plays out of Morgan Creek Golf Club and is about to enter Grade 11 at Southridge school in Surrey. 

Xiao had entered the tournament with some momentum as she was coming off a solid sixth-place showing at last week’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in Guelph, Ont. “I was confident and wanted to win this week, but I really didn’t think I’d win,” she said. “I really wasn’t expecting this. I feel like I have worked really hard for this. Over the winter, I practised a lot and really worked on my game. I think that gave me confidence. This week, I hit everything really well -- my drives, my irons and I putted well.”

Parsons, who closed with a one-under 71, didn’t putt nearly as well as she would have liked. She was hitting her irons close all day, but missed several short birdie opportunities. “I was giving myself tons of opportunities,” Parsons said. “I just couldn’t capitalize on them. On nine, I stuck it to nine feet and burned the edge. On 10 I had a four-footer for birdie and missed it. On 11 I stuck it to six feet and missed it. On 12 I made a dumb bogey and missed the green from 100 yards. I missed another short birdie putt on 13. So I wasn’t really happy with the way I played today.”

Parsons, who made a tournament-high 21 birdies this week, is now off to San Diego where she will compete in next week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Two other British Columbians finished inside the top 10.B.C. Junior Girls champion Alisha Lau of Richmond tied for sixth at four-over par after carding an even-par 72 on Friday. Hannah Lee of Surrey tied for seventh at six-over.

Other B.C. players finishing inside the top 30 included Victoria Liu of Vancouver (T13), Esther Subin Lee of Maple Ridge, Karen Zhang of Richmond, Akari Hayashi of Victoria  (all T15), Kate Choi of Surrey (T21), Chaewon Baek of Langley (24th), Emma Yang of Langley (25th), Angel Lin of Surrey, Phoebe Yue of West Vancouver, Euna Han of Coquitlam (all T27).

For complete final scoring please CLICK HERE.

CHIP SHOTS: Xiao is the third straight British Columbian to win the Canadian Junior Girls Championship. Naomi Ko of Victoria won last year, while Surrey’s Michelle Kim took the title in 2015.