The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, July 11, 2019
Girls Junior PGA Championship — Interview with Rose Zhan — Must-click links in women's golf
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Girls Junior PGA Championship
THESE GIRLS ARE GOOD. I’ve found myself thinking that a lot the last few days.
We still have about a round and a half to go, but the 2019 Girls Junior PGA Championship has been an impressive one to watch unfold this week. Yesterday, Megha Ganne set a new course record (8-under), which was also the all-time lowest round score in the history of the event! She had a bogey-free round—the first in her career. I had the chance to talk to her after her round and she mentioned to me that her dad has been begging for a bogey-free round since she was eight years old! He unfortunately was not there to see it in person, but I’m sure he’s still proud.
Another big highlight this week was a hole-in-one during the first round from Cassie Kim. It was her first career ace!
Alexa Pano, the top-ranked junior who I talked about in last week’s newsletter, also had a really strong day today. She struggled in the first two rounds, but leaped up the leaderboard 33 spots shooting a 7-under and to get into the Top 10. She had a chance to tie Megha’s new course record set yesterday, but bogey’d the final hole. Pano has a really bright career ahead of her.
The Champion and Runner-up of this event will get into the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which is pretty incredible for these young golfers. The Top 10 will also get an automatic exemption into next year’s Girls Junior Championship. During a Ryder Cup year, so 2020 being the next, the Champion and Runner-up also get a spot on the Junior Ryder Cup team.
It’s looking like Rose Zhang will more than likely be one of those players! As of 2:00 p.m. today (July 11), she holds a three-shot lead over Yuka Saso. The course is playing a little tougher today and the wind has picked up this afternoon. But if the first two rounds were any indication, she will have a rock solid finish.
I got to chat to her after her round yesterday and that’s included as this week’s interview! Not included below, however, is if she was superstitious and what she ate for breakfast yesterday. The answers? Yes, she has superstitions of using the same ball marker. And she ate eggs, bacon and a muffin for breakfast. Seems it did the trick! We will see if any more records will be broken the next two days.
This Week in Women’s Golf
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Yealimi Noh learning life lessons on the LPGA already at age 17.
Yealimi Noh also placed in the Top 10 in her FIRST event as a pro. Wow.
It’s not equal pay yet, but women’s golf is adding more prize money.
Brittany Lincicome had her baby two months early, but thankfully the baby is okay!
The Women’s British Open is increasing its purse by 40%. Huge.
The LPGA is bringing a new event to Florida!
Round 3 is today of the Girls Junior PGA! See how the week is unfolding so far.
It’s Marathon Classic week on the LPGA Tour. Here are five favorites to win it.
There were REALLY low scores at the Thornberry Classic last week.
I mean really low scores—but Shanshan Feng walked away victorious.
Canadian Brooke Henderson is making her mark on the LPGA Tour.
Speaking of Brooke, she won an ESPY last night!
This is a brilliant partnership between the LPGA and moms on tour.
Here are all 71 teams playing at theDow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland.
This former pro golfer opened up about her struggles with gender identity.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Rose Zhang
I had the chance to talk to Rose Zhang following her second round yesterday afternoon! She has thrived at the Girls Junior PGA Championship the last three years (as noted in the tweet above) and still has one more year of eligibility in 2020. She is an excellent junior golfer and is going to be a really good pro as well when that times comes. Round three is underway as we speak, and she still sits atop the leaderboard. See what she had to say about the week so far!
Were you in the zone and have you ever felt like you did today on the golf course?
Yes, I was pretty concentrated on the course today. I didn’t really feel any nerves. I was just trying to play my game as usual; wasn’t trying to change anything. I wasn’t specifically looking at any other scores to help keep myself in check and managed to shoot a pretty good score.
Can you give some highlights and insights into your round?
The eagle putt, I know it’s sounds cliche, but I was just trying not to three-putt. The putt that I had was pretty slope-y and it had a pretty big downhill. I was just trying to get it past the hole and close enough for a birdie opportunity and it rolled in. It was just that kind of day where everything was going well on the golf course. It was around a 25-foot putt, so it wasn’t bad.
Talk about the back nine and your big save on the fifth hole. Was it tougher than the front?
For me, the back nine was a little tougher. I wasn’t striking the ball as well as I would have liked, but on No. 5, I hit it a little right. That’s not where you want to miss it on that hole. I stayed a little too aggressive on that one since the pin is tucked on the right side. I was just trying to, you know, if I one chip, one putted, one chip, two putted, I would still go to the next hole. I wasn’t too worried about it.
You’ve been really strong in this event the last three years. Are you a person of routine or how do you stay so consistent in your game?
It’s really hard to stay consistent each year. But I feel like each year is a new challenge and I’m just trying to improve each year. If my game goes bad one year, it’s alright, because I have more to improve on. Staying consistent just means staying more aggressive in your game and trying to improve.
You are 50-under par since 2017 at this event. What do you think allows you to perform at this level?
I feel like this championship has some of the best players from all states. Not just AJGA Invitationals, it would mostly just be according to rankings, and I have a lot of good friends there but in this tournament there’s a lot of new people you meet from each state. I think just making new friendships and having fun has been the most important.