Brooke Henderson, just 14 years old, earned her second straight Investors Group Ontario Junior Girls’ title, topping the field by five strokes at Shelburne Golf and Country Club.
The Team Canada developmental squad member from Smith Falls became one of the youngest-ever players to win a professional event at the Quebec stop of the CN Canadian Women’s Tour earlier this season, and had been anticipating the opportunity to take on the field of Ontario’s best junior girls in Shelburne.
“I love to play the Ontario Junior, and I have been looking forward to being able to defend my title since the beginning of the summer,” said Henderson on Friday (July 13). “The course here was in great shape. Some holes out there you had to be really sure that you hit the fairway or you’d be in trouble but it was lots of fun to play.”
She arrived on Tuesday for the first day of competition fresh from a win at the US Women’s Amateur qualifying event in York, Pennsylvania, but showed no signs of fatigue by opening with a three-under par 69.
“The win Monday was a good set up for this event because I knew exactly where my game was at,” she explained.
Henderson sat tied after the first round alongside Ball State University women’s golf team member Jenna Hague, 18, of Burlington and Orangeville’s Stephanie Tucker after all three fired female competitive course-record tying 69s. Henderson pulled ahead by delivering a second 69 on Wednesday, followed by a two-under 70 Thursday to gain a seven stroke advantage heading into Friday’s final round.
“I wanted to focus on playing my game and shooting low numbers over the last few days,” said Henderson of breaking away from the pack after the first round. “Jenna and Stephanie played really well and just slipped back a little but Jenna had a great performance again today.”
Henderson closed out the tournament at nine-under par with a total score of 279 (69-69-70-71) and will now prepare to play in the US Junior Girls’ Championship next week, followed by the Canadian Women’s Amateur and Canadian Junior Girls as well as the US Women’s Amateur.
Hague earns runner up honours in the tournament with a four round total of 284 (69-73-73-69), four-under par. The Burlington Golf and Country Club member is coming off a stellar year at Ball State where she earned medalist honours at the Mid-Atlantic conference championship and was named Ball State freshman of the year. She will now prepare to take on Ontario’s best female golfers at the Ontario Women’s Amateur set to take place next week at Loyalist Country Club in Bath.
Third place went to Brampton Golf Club member Tucker, who recovered strongly in her final round performance with a 70 after carding a pair of 77s midweek. She closed out the tournament with a total of 293, five-over par. Henderson, Hague and Tucker will represent the province at the inter-provincial team competition at the Canadian Junior Girls’ championship set to take place July 31-Aug. 3 at River Spirit Golf Club in Calgary.
In the district team competition, Lee Ping and Alanna Haynes of Oakville earned the net division title for the Mississauga District with a two-round combined score of 290, two-over par. Haynes finished the tournament tied for 14th place with a 310 total, 22 over par. Kennedy Bodfield of St. Catharines was 18th with a 311 total; Annika Haynes tied at 21st (314); Madison Easterbrook tied at 24th (315); and Lorelle Weavers tied for 35th (325);
The Investors Group Ontario Junior Girls’ Championship is contested annually and features Ontario’s best amateur female golfers age 18 and under. The championship was contested for the 78th time this summer.