Higa wins world junior golf championship, the first Okinawan winner since Mika Miyazato in 2006

Higa wins world junior golf championship, the first Okinawan winner since Mika Miyazato in 2006

Riona Higa won the IMGA Academy Junior World Championships, San Diego California on July 13. (Photograph provided by the International Junior Golf Association)


July 14, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

Riona Higa, a 3rd grade student at Kakazu Junior High School, won her first victory at the girls 13-14 year-old division in the IMGA Academy Junior World Championships held in the United States. She played a total 207 of a 9-under-par 72 in the final day held at Rancho Bernardo CC (5830 yards, par 72) in San Diego, California on July 14, Japan time.
 
Higa became the second winner of the IMGA Academy Junior World Championships from Okinawa. The first was Mika Miyazato in 2006.

On the final day, Higa started in eighth place, 6 shots behind, but she won the crown with a big comeback.
Higa struggled with her touch on the green because she was inexperienced at playing on the American lawn. However, she maintained her eighth place and stayed within the winning range when she finished the second day.

On the final day, she finished with 7 birdies, no bogey, and won the victory with 1 stroke lead to the second place.

In last year’s competition, Higa was at the top of the leaders board from the first day, but she missed the victory in the playoff after being caught up with five shots on the last day.

Higa said, about the pressure this year, “Last year, at Naha airport, I vowed to win next year and bring the trophy to Okinawa. It was good to be able to carry out what I promised to everyone.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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