Monet Chun wins 108th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship
Golf New Brunswick
KITCHENER, Ont. – On a day where her idol, Brooke Henderson, made history overseas, Monet Chun added her own name to the record books by winning the 108th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, presented by BDO.
Chun, 21, fired an even-par 73 to win the national championship by two shots over Alissa Xu. With the win comes an exemption into the CP Women’s Open at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, August 22-28, as well as a spot in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, August 8-14, at Chambers Bay.
“I was coming into this week just trying to put together a couple of good rounds, but I’m happy that it worked out,” said Chun. “Coming into the stretch was a little bit stressful just because it was getting pretty close there, but I didn’t really change too much in my game.”
With a six-stroke advantage entering the day, the stage was set for Monet Chun on Friday at Westmount Golf & Country Club, and she did not disappoint. All day, crowds followed the lead group through the fairways at Westmount Golf & Country Club and the support did not go unnoticed.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a crowd that big following me around. It’s pretty cool to get some local people just watching and, yeah, I had a lot of fun,” said the Michigan University product.
Along with the Duchess of Connaught Gold Cup, Chun will take home a cheque of $1,200. To align with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, competed for a purse of $8,000 CAD. Along with Chun, top-10 finishers and ties earned a piece of the prize money.
With Lauren Zaretsky’s win in 2021, the pair become the first Canadian duo to win back-to-back since Henderson and Augusta James did it in 2013 and 2014.
“Following in their footsteps is a big thing, just as a Canadian… I don’t know, it’s nice and a lot of fun,” Chun said, at a loss for words.
Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach, Salimah Mussani, followed the final pairing and couldn’t be happier for not only Chun, but women’s golf in Canada.
“This is best case scenario,” said Mussani. “It was definitely something that was important to us, some national pride to have a Canadian win this and for it to be a member of our team, it was definitely special,” said Mussani.
Although she made it look easy this week, that wasn’t always the case for Chun who admits she struggled with her game a short time ago. With hard work and patience came a national championship and memories that will last a lifetime.
“It’s been a huge couple of years just grinding it out,” said Chun. “Coming out here today and having this win is huge for me,” said Chun. “It seems like my game is coming towards where it should be or going in the right direction, so I’m happy.”
Chun’s range session following her second round 78 was a turning point in the week for the champion, and though Mussani was there for pointers, she directed all the credit to the player for putting in the work.
“She knows what she needs to take care of, she knows her putting needs to be key here, we did a lot of work on that. She focused on it, she spent the time in the mornings and after her rounds and she took care of business,” said Mussani. “She just gets things done.”
Xu gave Chun a run for her money, firing a found-under par 69 to finish as the runner-up. The 16-year-old rolled in six birdies to post her second round under par for the tournament. In third was the Newport Beach, Calif. native, Katherine Muzi, and Team Canada National Junior Squad member Lauren Kim with a score of even-par over the 72-hole championship.
Team British Columbia took home the Interprovincial Team Trophy with a five stroke victory over Team Quebec.
B.C. wins interprovincial; Muzi leads at Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship
Golf New Brunswick
KITCHENER, Ont. – Team Québec and Team British Columbia were neck-and-neck coming down the stretch, but it was the latter who escaped victorious in the interprovincial team competition at the 108th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, presented by BDO.
With half a hole remaining, Mother Nature decided to make her presence known by way of lightning and thunder, forcing officials to suspend play. After a short delay, the final group of Leah John (B.C.), Céleste Dao (Québec), and Erin Kim (Ontario), returned to hole their final putts and officially put a stamp on the interprovincial team championship.
B.C. entered the day one stroke up on Québec and the lead barely budged for most of the round, but in crunch time it was the team from Canada’s west coast – composed of Yan Jun (Victoria) Liu, Leah John and Ha Young Chan – who prevailed, winning by five strokes to capture the Interprovincial Team Trophy.
Vancouver’s Liu and John captained the ship for B.C., firing rounds of 73 and 75, respectively, in Wednesday’s second round to secure the 36-hole team championship title. Individually, Liu ranks T3, while John is positioned T5 heading into day three.
The player they are chasing is Katherine Muzi – the highest ranked competitor in the field on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Muzi, 22, waited, and waited and waited to make her move but when she did, there was no stopping the American. After an opening round two-over par 74, the Newport Beach, Calif., native carded a four-under par 69 to vault atop the leaderboard through two rounds.
Muzi, who started her day on No. 10, birdied hole No. 5 to spark a four-hole birdie streak and a back nine rally that helped her leapfrog the field ahead. The University of South Carolina Trojan sits at three-under par for the tournament and owns a one-shot advantage halfway through the national championship.
Alissa Xu had a day of her own, firing a three-under par 70 on a wind-howling afternoon at Westmount Golf & Country Club. The Richmond Hill, Ont., native withstood gusts of up to 60km/h and climbed 13 spots up the leaderboard into sole possession of second place.
“I really just tried to just focus on the process and not the score because I find that distracting at times,” said Xu. “Just [wanted] to pick the right clubs and pick the right targets to shoot at.”
That she did. The 16-year-old poured in five birdies to join the leaders on the front page of the leaderboard. She says her goal is to simply stay level-headed entering the final rounds and focus only on what she can control.
Rebecca Kim made one of the biggest splashes in round two, jumping 23 spots on the leaderboard and into the top-10 with a one-under par 72 on a day where birdies came few and far between.
“I was able to handle the wind well today; it was definitely really gusty, so I think that was definitely something that was to my advantage,” said the Victoria, B.C., native. “I was a lot cleaner with my approach shots [today]. I gave myself more looks; I was just kind of tighter to the pins and I got more stuff up-and-down,” she added.
Kim says she focuses on staying resilient through the adversity and that playing ‘gritty’ will be the payoff to success the rest of the way.
First round leader, Leigh Chien, struggled on day two, shooting a six-over par 79. The American remains in a tie for third place, however, and very much in contention with 36 holes left to play.
With the cutline set at 13-over, 73 players advanced to the ‘weekend’ in Kitchener. The third round is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. The leaders will tee off in the final group at 9:30 a.m.
Chien takes centre stage on day one at Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship
Golf New Brunswick
KITCHENER, Ont. – American, Leigh Chien, birdied early and often en route to a seven-under par 66 and four-stroke lead in the opening round of the 2022 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, presented by BDO.
Scoring conditions were at a premium for the morning wave at Westmount Golf & Country Club and Chien wasted no time pouncing on the opportunity. The 16-year-old rolled in five birdies over her opening eight holes and never looked back, as she continued to distance herself from the pack with an additional three birdies on the back nine. Her lone blunder came on the par-4 No. 15.
“I feel pretty good going into tomorrow,” said Chien. “I just tried to make as many birdies as possible and as few mistakes as possible and I was able to do that [today]. Westmount is really nice; the conditions are great [and] the greens are really smooth. I think that really helped me shoot low.”
Team Canada’s Monet Chun paced the rest of the pack with a three-under par 70 for sole possession of second place, The Richmond Hill, Ont. native carded three birdies and an eagle for the low-Canadian score of the day.
“Putting myself in a good position early is ideal, because it’s such a long four rounds,” said Chun. “Continuing what I’m doing; hitting lots of greens, lots of fairways and making as many putts as possible,” said the 18-year-old on what she thinks it will take to win the tournament.
Five other Canadians ended round one inside the top-10, including Team Canada member Céleste Dao. Dao, who plays her college golf at the University of Georgia, got off to blistering hot start, making three birdies through five. The middle part of the Quebec native’s round caused her headaches, as she fell back to even par with a stretch of bogeys. The 21-year-old bounced back brilliantly, however, with a birdie on her 17th hole to get back into the red numbers.
The highlight of the day – and quite possibly the tournament – belonged to Élizabeth Labbé. Labbé, the runner-up at this year’s Canadian University/College Championship, carved an iron into the 149-yard par-3 No. 17 at Westmount and watched her ball drop for a hole-in-one. The ace helped the UBC Thunderbird to a round of two-over par 75. She sits T23 heading into the second round.
Team British Columbia leads the interprovincial team championship by one stroke over Team Québec. B.C., made up of Ha Young Chang, Leah John and Yan Jun (Victoria) Liu, fired a combined two-under par on the day. Team Ontario (+10), Team Alberta (+13) and Team Manitoba (+19) follow in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Canadian and international amateurs set to compete at 108th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship
Golf New Brunswick
KITCHENER, Ont. – The 108th installment of the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, presented by BDO, gets underway this week at Westmount Golf & Country Club in Kitchener, Ont. from July 19-22.
The championship, which was first held in 1901, is one of the longest standing amateur events in the world. The inaugural tournament at Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Que., featured only three players. Fast forward over a century later and 140 players will look to etch their name into the Duchess of Connaughton Gold Cup in 2022.
“Golf Canada is excited for the return of not only a marquee event in Canadian golf history, but also one of the premier amateur events in the world,” says Tournament Director, Mary Beth McKenna. “We’re confident Westmount Golf & Country Club will offer a challenging yet fair test for the players as they showcase their talents on an elite golf course.”
Practice rounds are scheduled for July 18, before the official 72-hole stroke play competition begins on July 19. Play is scheduled to wrap up on July 22, followed by an awards ceremony and champions reception. The field will be cut to the low 70 players (including ties) after 36 holes.
For the first time since 2019, the tournament will welcome the return of international players following complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten players from the United States, two from Mexico and one from Australia are slated to tee it up north of the border this week, including Katherine Muzi and Bentley Cotton, ranked No. 127 and 250 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, respectively.
Also being re-introduced this year is the inter-provincial team competition. The inter-provincial championship will be played in conjunction with the first 36 holes of the competition, with three-player teams vying for the team title. Team Ontario – composed of Sarah Dunning, Emily Zhu and Tiana Cruz – are the reigning champions from 2019. Dunning and Zhu are both in the field in Kitchener this week.
Four members of Team Canada’s National Amateur Squad are pencilled into the draw at Westmount: Brooke Rivers (Brampton, Ont.); Céleste Dao (Notre-Dame-de-Ile-Perrot, Que.); Monet Chun (Richmond Hill, Ont.); and Sarah-Eve Rhéaume (Québec City, Que.).
The National Junior Squad will also be well-represented at the 18-hole championship course west of Toronto, with seven members of the team slated to compete: Angela Arora (Surrey, B.C.); Anne-Léa Lavoie (Québec, Que.); Emily Zhu (Richmond Hill, Ont.); Lauren Kim (Surrey, B.C.); Luna Lu (Burnaby, B.C.); Martina Yu (Coquitlam, B.C.); and Yeji Kwon (Coquitlam, B.C.).
Red Deer, Alta.’s Eileen Park is the youngest player in the field at the age of 13; Katherine Hou and Sophia Xu are also only 13 years old, but Park’s date of birth is the latest of the three. Rhonda Orr, out of Winnipeg Man., is the oldest competitor in the field at 60. There are four members of Westmount Golf & Country Club teeing it up this week: Sarah Dunning, Angela Lee, Madeline MacMillan and Laura McIntosh.
New to this year’s tournament is a purse payout. To align with the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, players at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship will now compete for a purse of $8,000 CAD. Amateur golfers may accept prize money up to a maximum of $1,200 CAD, and payouts will be awarded to the top-10 finishers and ties.
Westmount Golf & Country Club was designed by world-renown architect Stanley Thompson and opened in 1931. Since then, it has played hosts to a number of national and provincial championships, notably the 1957 Canadian Open, 1969 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship and 2009 Canadian Junior Boys Championship. Known for its undulating fairways and sloping greens, the championship course is set up to play fast and firm as it tests an elite field of amateur golfers this week. Westmount last hosted the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in 1965.
“We are very excited to host 108th Canadian Women’s Amateur at Westmount this coming week,” said General Manager, Brad Duench. “Our Tournament Committee has worked very hard leading up to this week and I know our membership will be out to support these accomplished athletes. [I] do sense we have a buzz in the community about the event and we are excited to welcome everyone to Westmount this week,” he added.
The Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship was last played in 2021 at Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club in Spruce Grove, Alta. Team Canada National Junior Squad member Lauren Zaretsky was crowned champion, finishing at two-under par to win by as many strokes.
The last time Canadians won in back-to-back years was in 2013 & 2014, when Brooke Henderson and Augusta James captured the national titles.
Along with the championship’s storied history comes its coveted cast of competitors. Marlene Stewart Streit, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, sits atop the class with 11 victories and five runner-up finishes at the national event. Since then, the tournament has proved to be a breading ground for some of golf’s brightest young stars. Ariya Jutanugarn (2012), Brooke Henderson (2013), Jennifer Kupcho (2017) and Yealimi Noh (2018) are previous winners who now find themselves competing on the LPGA Tour.
The winner of the championship will earn an exemption into the 2022 CP Women’s Open, August 22-28, at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, as well as the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, August 8-14, at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wisc.
More information about the 2022 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship can be found here.