Michelle Liu has risen to the occasion so far at the 106th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.
Liu, a Vancouver, B.C., product is having a week to remember at Red Deer Golf and Country Club.
After three rounds, the 12-year-old, yes, 12, is holding her own playing among the world’s best female amateurs, including many collegiate level golfers.
She fired a one-over-par 73 Thursday and is one-under through 54 holes at the tournament. Her score doesn’t immediately jump off the page, but the steady play from the youngster is turning heads so far. Her one-under is currently tied for sixth, and she is the only Canadian in the top 10.
“I’ve played really well for my skill. I’ve been putting very well, so I’ve been saving pars and making birdies,” she said.
“It’s better (than) I expected, I didn’t expect to play this well. It’s nice.”
The young golfer even signed a few autographs coming off the 18th green, something she laughed about after the round.
“It makes me proud of my game and how I’ve been playing,” she said.
— Golf Canada (@GolfCanada) July 25, 2019
Liu and the rest of the field are still chasing the second-best female amateur in the world. Andrea Lee posted a three-under score Thursday and is 10-under for the tournament. The Hermosa Beach, Calif., native said it was a tricky round, but she scrambled to make nine straight pars on the back nine after shooting three-under on the front.
“Even today they had some pretty tough pin locations out there. It was really gusty and windy, so just had to grind. Had to save par quite a few times. Just stuck with the game plan and that’s all I can ask for really,” she said.
Lee and many of the other big names had a tough Day 2 at the event, battling through a one-hour rain delay. After the delay, RDGCC showed its teeth with strong wind and cold conditions. Lee still managed to fire a one-under 71.
— Byron Hackett (@RDAbyronhackett) July 25, 2019
“(Wednesday) was tough. It was rainy and windy and cold. It was a grind. Had to stay really patient. Had a lot of long puts and had to be satisfied with par,” she said.
To finish the championship off, Lee noted she needs to simply do more of what she’s done in the first three rounds. Convert putts and stay patient.
“Just try and stay really patient like I have been the last few days. Hit fairways and greens and hopefully post a good number, enough to win,” Lee added.
Jennifer Chang, who had the clubhouse lead after 36-holes struggled Thursday and finished at one-over, three back of Lee. Brianna Navarrosa birdied the 18th hole, and she is four back of Lee heading into the final round Friday.
Quebec’s Sarah-Eve Rheaume is tied for 15th and Brigitte Thibault is tied for 19th at three-over. Calgary native’s Kehler Koss and Sabrine Garrison are tied at 11-over.
The first tee time Friday is 7:30 a.m., and the final group will take to the first tee at 9:31 a.m.