Haikou, China: Six junior golfers from China have qualified for the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) World Stars of Junior Golf Championship.
The triumphant sextet are now primed for a trip to Las Vegas in July, following their successes in the event’s inaugural China qualifier over the Lava Fields Course at Mission Hills Haikou in Hainan.
The lucky winners also were able to watch Korean Kim Hae-rym complete a dramatic play-off victory in the World Ladies Championship on the neighbouring Blackstone Course at Mission Hills, before posing for photos with the newly-crowned champion.
“To win the World Stars of Junior Golf Championship and qualify for Las Vegas is so exciting,” said 16-year-old Quan Rong-hui of China who finished on 10-over.
Like Kim, she had to come through a play-off to win the girls’ title. “Then to watch the World Ladies Championship and be involved in the official prize presentation with all the cameras watching is a dream come true,” she said.
With more than 100 golfers aged between nine and 17 taking part in the Mission Hills World Stars of Junior Golf Championship on the tropical Hainan Island, it was China’s Huang Jiapei, 16, who emerged triumphant overall with a three-round total of 217, one-over-par.
The other age-group winners who qualified for Las Vegas were Chen You-yu (Boys’ 11-14), Cai Dan-lin (Girls’ 11-14), Li Jia-wei (Boys’ 9-10) and Li Jia-ying (Girls’ 9-10).
The players received their invitations from tournament founder Thomas Yoon, and all six Chinese earn free entry into the IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf Championship in Las Vegas in July.
The tournament is ranked by The R&A, NJGS, Golfweek and the AJGA and is seen by many as a stepping stone into college golf.