Dramatic Finishes Close Out PING Canadian Junior Match Play Championship
Richmond Hill, ON (July 30, 2015)- Thursday marked the final day of the CJGA PING Canadian Junior Match Play Championship at Lakeridge Links Golf Club in Brooklin, ON. Players were greeted with calm winds and clear skies for the morning semi-final matches.
The day began with the Girls 14 & Under division matches, where Vaijayanti Bharkhada of Brampton, ON took match one by a score of 4&3. In the second match, Sophie Kim of Toronto, ON earned a spot in the final match by defeating Claire Hwang by a score of 4&2.
T he next semi-final match pegged Girls 15-19 division top seed Sydney Naro against fifth seed Sonia Nagindas. Naro was able to earn the first spot in the final with after winning 2-up on the 18th hole. In match four, Delana Basanisi earned the second spot in the final defeating Sydney Lia 1-up.
In the Boys 14 & Under division, William Duquette of Laval, QC walked to a 5&4 victory over Eric Byun to earn a spot in the afternoon finals match. Yaroslav Ilyenko of Stoufville, ON joined Duquette, after battling back from being 3-down at the turn to defeat Freddy D’Angelo 2-up on the 18th hole.
The final two matches of the morning, played by the Boys 15-19 division, proved to be the most lopsided victories. Peyton Collins of Langton, ON took the first match by a score of 6&5 over Matthew Anderson. The second match was dominated by Mitchell MacLeod of Oro-Medonte, ON, who defeated Matthew Suarez by a score of 6&5 as well, setting the scene for the afternoon finals matches.
As afternoon tee times approached, wind conditions picked up considerably, creating even faster conditions on the course, which had played fast all week. The opening finals match was the Girls 14 & Under division, between Vaijaynti Bharkhada and Sophie Kim. The match started with Kim winning the first two holes, and taking a 1-up lead into the back nine. After pars on the 10th and 12th holes, Bharkhada took her first lead of the day. Another par on the 16th hole was good enough to give Bharkhada a 1-up lead that she would not relinquish, winning the match 1-up on the 18th. “Going into the day my plan was to continue battling regardless of my match standing, and that mindset allowed me to win today”, Bharkhada said after the round.
The Girls 15-19 division final saw top seed Sydney Naro taking on second seed Delana Basanisi. Naro began the round by playing the first five holes in 3-under, allowing her to take a 4-up lead after the first six holes. After this, the round took a dramatic turn as Basanisi closed the lead to 2-up by the turn, then won four straight holes between the 13th and 16th hole, giving her a 1-up lead. Basanisi ended the match winning the 18th hole for a 2-up victory. This was her first CJGA victory.
The Boys 14 & Under division final was the most dramatic of the afternoon. Yaroslav Ilyenko and William Duquette traded shots all day, and Ilyenko entered the 18th hole with a 1-up lead. After hitting an approach to inside 30 feet, a two-putt from Duquette was good enough to extend the match to extra holes. But on the first playoff hole, Ilyenko made a clutch 3-footer for par to seal his second CJGA victory of the season. “The finish was nerve racking but this victory feels amazing after a long week”, Ilyenko had to say after the win.
The last match of the tournament was a showdown between Peyton Callens and Mitchell MacLeod in the boys 15-19 division. MacLeod opened the round strong taking a two up lead after eight holes. Callens then caught fire, making three straight birdies between the 9th and 11th hole, and winning the first five holes on the back 9 to take a three up lead after 14. After a halve on 15, and a loss on 16, a two putt par on the difficult par 3 17th hole was good enough to close out a 2&1 victory. This marked Callens second CJGA PING Canadian Junior Match Play Championship in a row, repeating his 2014 victory in the Boys 14 & Under division.
We want to thank everyone for coming out this week and look forward to seeing players and parents at our next event.