American Brianna Navarrosa hugs her dad Anthony, who caddied for her all week at the 106th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship at Red Deer Golf and Country Club. Navarrosa won the tournament with a score of 10-under-par. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

American Brianna Navarrosa wins Canadian Women’s Amateur

12-year-old Michelle Liu finishes as low Canadian

Brianna Navarrosa showed nerves of steel at the 106th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.

On a picture-perfect day at Red Deer Golf and Country Club, the 17-year-old high school senior from California swiped the big prize from a few of the world’s best amateurs.

Playing in the final threesome with 54-hole leader and number two ranked female in the world, Andrea Lee, Navarrosa was never intimidated. She never wavered and came from four strokes back and also fended off a charge from world number 15 Jennifer Chang to capture the title on Friday. Navarrosa finished at 10-under-par for the tournament, which included a four-under-par 68 in the final round.

“It’s a good catapult for my amateur career and hopefully professional in the long run. Right now I’m just going to take each win at a time and enjoy the moment,” said the 17-year-old San Diego, Cali. native.

“At the start of the round my goal was to come top 5 or top 3, just finish strong and have a good round. As the front nine went on, I just kept making birdies and par. The competitors I was playing with were hanging in there, too. I just stuck to my game plan and stayed calm.”

Michelle Liu of Vancouver, B.C. finished as the low Canadian and was the feel-good story of the week. The 12-year-old was calm, cool and collected against a field that had much more experience in big pressure moments. Undeterred, Liu carded a two-over 74 on Friday, ending the week at one-over and in a tie for 12th.

“It was up and down, but I managed to keep it together and finished two-over today. I started off three over after four holes. So wasn’t very great. I came back from that and was one over before I made another bogey,” said Liu.

With the finish, Liu became the youngest player ever to earn an exemption into the CP Women’s Open. She will be 12 years, nine months and six days old when the 2019 CP Women’s Open tees off on Aug. 22 at Magna Golf Club in Ontario.

“It means a lot to me to be able to play in a professional tournament. Especially one that’s national,” said Liu, who started playing golf just six years ago.

Navarrosa had some tense moments in the final round to close out the title. She had a pair of clutch par putts on 14 and 15, before a birdie on 16 to go two up. After a remarkable bunker shot on 17, she missed a short putt for bogey and was just one up on Chang heading to the final hole.

“Going into 18 I was thinking to forget that,” she said in reference to the bogey on 17.

“(On 18) even with a putt that close, I was shaking. I was so happy that my hard work is paying off.”

Chang even had a chance to force a playoff, but narrowly missed a 15-footer for birdie on 18. Navarrosa tapped in for par and got a hug from her dad, Anthony, who had been her caddie the whole week.

“His eyes were closed the majority of the time I was putting just because of how nervous he was. It runs in the family. I appreciate him being here. He’s never at tournaments usually, so him caddying and supporting me in my first amateur win means a lot,” she said.

Chang shot a two-under Friday and finished at nine-under in second place. Lee finished third after a three-over in the final round. Alyaa Abdulghany also made a charge up the leaderboard to finish fourth. She entered the final round at even-par and her seven-under 65 was the lowest round of the tournament.



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Michelle Liu, 12, of Vancouver, B.C. was the top Canadian at the 106th Canadian Women’s Amateur and earned an exemption to the CP Women’s Open in Ontario later this summer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Brianna Navarrosa stares down a par putt on the 15th hole at Red Deer Golf and Country Club. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

American Brianna Navarrosa hugs her dad Anthony, who caddied for her all week at the 106th Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship at Red Deer Golf and Country Club. Navarrosa won the tournament with a score of 10-under-par. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Brianna Navarrosa hits a drive on the 16th hole at Red Deer Golf and Country Club. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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