John Doubles Her Lead At B.C. Junior Girls Presented By Maui Jim Championship

Leah John Continues To Lead The B.C. Junior Girls Presented By Maui Jim Championship At Kimberley GC After Two Rounds - Image Credit Lance Kraus Photography

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Leah John finally made some bogeys Wednesday, but a funny thing happened. Her lead doubled at the B.C. Junior Girls Presented By Maui Jim Championship at Kimberley Golf Club.

John, who opened the tournament with a bogey-free, four-under par 68, shot a two-over 74 in the second round and now leads by four shots with a 36-hole total of 142 or two-under par.

“Actually, I was surprised,” John said of her lead increasing. “I knew there would be a chance that I would still be first but I didn’t think it would be by that much of a margin.” John struggled off the tee Wednesday, hitting only five fairways. “I saw a lot of the course today,” she said with a laugh.

Her round included five bogeys and three birdies. “Today was definitely a grind, for sure. I had a couple of mistakes out there and struggled off the tee. But I still managed to make some really decent putts when it mattered and kept trying to make some birdies. I just really hung in there today.”

Amanda Minni of Delta and Phoebe Yue of West Vancouver are tied for second. Yue shot the day’s best round, a one-under par 71.

John, an 18-year-old Vancouver resident and Marine Drive Golf Club member who just graduated from York House School, said she felt that Kimberley Golf Club was set up a little tougher on Wednesday. “The pin placements today on some of the holes were definitely a lot trickier,” she said. “The greens began to speed up and just mentally, with me trying to beat my score yesterday, that also made the course seem harder today.”

John knows a win this week would be the biggest of her young golfing life, but she’s trying hard not to get too far ahead of herself. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about that (winning),” she said. “I can definitely imagine myself holding that trophy. But I am a person who really likes to go one shot at a time. I don’t like predicting my scores for the next day. I think that’s too far ahead.”

Her goals for the rest of the tournament include spending more time in the fairways and taking better advantage of Kimberley’s four par 5 holes. “I definitely think I should be birdieing more of them,” she said.

Angela Zhang of Vancouver shot an even-par 72 and is alone with fourth place at four-over par. Karen Zhang of Richmond is fifth at five-over par after shooting a 79 on Wednesday.

Click HERE for complete B.C. Junior Girls Presented By Maui Jim Championship scoring

CHIP SHOTS: The top three players after Friday’s final round will represent B.C. at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, which goes July 31-Aug. 3 at Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen. . .John and Claire Lovan (Seymour G&CC) teamed up to take the two-day Zone Competition on behalf of Zone 4, which includes Delta, Greater Vancouver, Squamish and the Sunshine Coast, with a 36-hole score of 12-over par.