Nicole Gal wins 66th Canadian Junior Girls Championship by 12 strokes
Team Canada Junior Squad member shoots bogey-free 67 in final roun
LEDUC, Alta. – Team Canada National Junior Squad member Nicole Gal of Oakville, Ont., shot a final-round 67 on Friday to win the 66th Canadian Junior Girls Championship at Leduc Golf Club in Leduc, Alta., by a commanding 12-stroke margin.
Gal finished the championship at 13 under. She finished ahead of fellow Junior Squad member and Oakville resident, Katie Cranston who finished second at 1 under.
“It’s unreal. Especially because the last Canadian Juniors, I missed the cut,” Gal said on winning the tournament. “So, I’m really proud of myself for all the hard work I’ve put in the last couple of years to be standing here where I am.”
Gal also won the Juvenile division, which ran concurrently for girls aged 16 and under, ahead of Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C. at two-over and Martina Yu of Coquitlam, B.C. at three-over. Lu and Yu finished third and fourth overall, respectively.
The 16-year-old registered all four rounds with an under par score (71-69-68-67) and led the field by three at the end of the second round. By the completion of 54-holes, Gal had extended her lead to five strokes after a bogey-free third round.
By the time Gal and the final group reached the turn on Friday, Gal had extended her lead to eight strokes over Cranston and would go on to card a second consecutive bogey-free round.
This is not the first time Gal and Cranston have finished next to each other on the leaderboard. In 2020, Gal finished runner-up to Cranston at the Ontario Junior Girls Championship.
“I also was lucky to play with my best friend so, we kept each other smiling and I think that was a big factor for today,” Gal said on playing with Cranston.
In 2019, Gal notably won the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship in the Girls 14-15 division.
This year’s Canadian Junior Girls Championship began with a 106-player field that included three of the Team Canada National Junior Squad members including Gal, Cranston, and Jennifer Gu of West Vancouver, B.C., who held the 18-hole lead and ultimately finished in a tie for eighth.
The field’s youngest competitor, 11-year-old Lucy Lin, finished in a tie for 12th at 12 over.
With the win Gal receives an exemption into the 2021 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship held July 27-30 at Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in Spruce Grove, Alta.
“It’s the first time I’m playing that event, so I don’t have many expectations yet,” said Gal on the Women’s Amateur. “But if I just take it day by day, I think I will finish pretty well there as well.”
Gal joins a list of notable Canadian golfers to have won the Canadian Junior Girls Championship including LPGA Tour players and Olympians Brooke Henderson (2012) and Alena Sharp (1999), as well as Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Sandra Post (1964-66).
Full results can be found here.
Note to media: High-res champion photo of Nicole Gal can be downloaded here. Credit: Andrew Penner/ Golf Canada
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