Girl power! Crofton House And York House Win B.C. High School Golf Championships

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

In what is a B.C. first, two all-girl teams have won British Columbia High School Golf Championships.

The girls from Vancouver’s Crofton House School captured the Double-A Championship played at Pheasant Glen Golf Course in Qualicum. Up the road in Nanoose Bay, the York House School all-girls team from Vancouver was winning the Single A provincial title at Fairwinds Golf Course.

This is the first year that Crofton House, which is an all-girls private school, has had a golf program. Nothing like starting out on top.

The school had the benefit of having two of Canada’s top juniors on its squad. Michelle Liu won the B.C. Women’s Amateur back in 2020 and qualified to compete in an LPGA event when she was 12 years old.

Fellow Grade 12 student Vanessa Zhang was on the team that won a gold medal for Canada at last fall’s World Junior Girls Golf Championship. The other three members of the Crofton House team — Elsa Wu, Cassie Chen and Grace Guan — are all in Grade 8.

It is not uncommon for girls to play big roles in helping their school win provincial golf titles, but this is the first time teams comprised of only girls have won a provincial golf title.

“It’s really cool,” Liu said of her all-girls team winning the provincials. “This is my Grade 12 year and prior to this, I had never played high school golf because my school didn’t have a golf team. So that made it extra special."

Liu and Zhang have competed together and against one another for many years, But Liu said it was fun to get to help mentor the three younger members of the Crofton House team.

“It was really great to get to know the three Grade 8 girls a little bit more. They also played really good golf. It was really cool to represent the school. It’s getting near graduation season and it feels good to wrap it up on a good note like this.”

Crofton House beat the host school, Kwalikum Secondary, by eight shots to win the 36-hole competition. Zhang beat Liu by five shots to win the girl's individual title.

“It’s cool because York House won the Single-A as well so we had two all-girts teams win this year,” Zhang said. “It has definitely been interesting playing high school golf because other than playing World Junior Girls this is the first time I have competed on a team for an entire season.

So it was nice to get to know some of the Grade 8s in my school and get to practise and compete with them and try to be a mentor to them. It was also my first time playing against boys so that was interesting.”

Asked if some of the boys were upset at getting beat by the girls, Zhang laughed and said, “Oh yeah, they were a little mad.”

Zhang and Liu are both off to Harvard University to begin their collegiate golf careers this fall. “We are very proud of our varsity golf team for earning gold at the provincial championships,” said Ena Harrop, Head of School at Crofton House.

“This is the inaugural year for the Crofton House golf team and it was a remarkable season thanks to our dedicated coaches and players. . .I couldn’t have imagined a better beginning to our golf program.”

York House was the all-girls pioneer in B.C. high school golf. Coach David Prissinotti, a social studies teacher and athletic director at York House, started the program last year at the all-girls private school and his team went on to finish their Single-A championship debut in third place.

This year, they won it all. “We put our team together last year and didn’t know what to expect,” Prissinotti said. “Crofton got wind of it and I am sure that raised their attention over there so they put together a team this year and said if York House can do it, so can we. And of course they are loaded with those two Grade 12s. My team is young. I went over with three Grade 9s and one Grade 10.”

The York House team of Chelsea Ji, Annie Liu, Martina Ling and Olivia Zhang beat second-place Southridge School of Surrey by 23 shots. Ji won the girl’s individual title by eight shots over Mandy Wang of Southridge. Samuel Kurytnik of Nanaimo Christian won the boy’s individual title by 21 shots over Eason Liu of Southridge.

“It was so much fun to watch these girls, with all their composure, beat the boys,” Prissinotti said.

The Triple-A championship was held this at Arbutus Ridge Golf Course in Cobble Hill. St. George’s School of Vancouver edged Lord Byng of Vancouver by six shots to win the team title. Team members Ryan Liang, Jacky Tang, Jerry Li, Troy Gadalla and William Hou helped the Saints become the first school to win three straight B.C. titles.

“We are also the only school to win it four times at the Triple-A level,” said St. George’s coach Paul Proznick.

“We’re pretty proud about that because as you know golf is a pretty volatile sport. We are happy with our roster because it’s not top-heavy in the sense that we have one Grade 12, one Grade 11, two Grade 10s and one Grade 9. So things for the future are still looking pretty good.”

Oakley Mayner of Kelowna Secondary won the individual boys title by one shot over Ryan Liang of St. George’s. Amy Lee of Walnut Grove Secondary in Langley beat Chelsea Truong of Oak Bay Secondary in Victoria in a marathon nine-hole playoff to win the individual girls' title.