Samantha Dizon gears up for tough US Girls' Junior grind

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Samantha Dizon gears up for tough US Girls' Junior grind
Sam Dizon beams as she holds her trophy after topping the amateur side of the Asian Senior [email protected]

MANILA, Philippines — Samantha Dizon wages a lonely battle in a field teeming with A-list talents in pursuit of the country’s first US Girls’ Junior crown in nine years when the top US Golf Association event is fired off Monday at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Dizon is one of the least fancied players in the huge 156-player field set to slug it out for the Top 64 berths in the 36-hole stroke play eliminations with action shifting medal to match starting Wednesday.

The ICTSI-backed Dizon clinched a spot in the annual USGA championship, which Princess Superal ruled in playoff fashion in 2014 in Arizona, becoming the first Filipino winner in USGA, with a joint runner-up finish in the recent Illinois qualifier.

Dizon, who has racked up a number of victories in the Singapore junior circuit where she is based, placed sixth in her last event in the FCG World Series Global Cup in California. But she brims with confidence two days before she launches her campaign in a late start.

Dizon mixes it up with Americans Asterisk Talley and Jennifer Seo at 2:16 p.m. at the backside of the par-72 layout. She is the lone Philippine entry in the event which drew the leading junior players from 14 nations, including top bets from 32 states in the US.

Two USGA champions banner the cast with Sara Im and Thienna Huynh, both from Georgia, teaming up to win the Women’s Amateur Four-Ball crown in Puerto Rico last April.

There are also five players in the Top 100 of the women’s world amateur ranking, including No. 15 Megha Ganne from New Jersey, No. 44 Saki Baba from Japan, Florida’s No. 76 Bailey Shoemaker, No. 89 Yana Wilson from Nevada and Taiwanese No. 90 Ting Hsuan Huang.

Three others are current college players, including Midwestern State U’s Kodi Nolen, Texas Tech U’s Lauren Zaretsky and Rocky Mountain College’s Valentina Zuleta, while 34 players have signed national letters of intent with colleges for Fall 2022.

Six also vied in the recent US Women’s Open at Pine Needles in North Carolina, including Im, Baba, Shoemaker, Kylie Choi, Nika Ito and Catherine Park.

Meanwhile, Chanelle Avaricio wavered with a third round 78 and dropped to joint 28th in the Texarkana Children Charities Open of the Women’s All Pro Tour  paced by Singaporean Amanda Tan in Arizona Friday.

Avaricio, a four-time Ladies Philippine Golf Tour champion, bounced back with a 71 from an opening 74 in her WAPT debut but limped on a woeful backside 41 at the Texarkana Country Club course, leading to her six over card and a 54-hole total of 223, 13 strokes off Tan, who pooled a 210 after a 66 for a one-stroke lead over local bet Kennedy Pedigo, who matched par 72, and South African Cara Gorlei, who shot a 70, for 224s.


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