Jasmine and Joshua Koo Capture Big Tournaments on the Same Day

It was great day for the Koo family.

Jasmine Koo, who will be a senior at Cerritos High School in the Fall, turned back Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, 4 and 2,  to capture the title in the 123rd Women’s Western Amateur at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville, Ill.

On the same day, her brother Joshua Koo rallied to win the 121st Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship by defeating Ben Borgida of Shoreline, Wash., 1 up, at Chambers Bay Golf Club in University Place, Wash.

The 17-year-old Jasmine Koo, who won the 2023 California Interscholastic Federation Individual Championship for Cerritos High, hit 15 of 16 greens in the final and made six birdies on Saturday to put her name on the W.A. Alexander Cup and by becoming the first junior to win the Women’s Western Amateur since 2015.

“I came into the week not knowing what to expect, and to win the whole thing is such an honor,” said Koo, who last year won the Girls’ Junior Americas Cup, the Ping Heather Farr Classic and the Sergio and Angela Garcia Foundation Junior Championship. “This is the biggest win I’ve ever had, so I’ll always remember this week.

“I got kind of angry with myself that I missed (a putt on No. 6), so I made up for it by actually making a birdie on seven, then stuck another one on eight. I told myself I just need to keep this going.”

Koo, who played 116 holes during the week in 27-under-par with only seven bogeys against 34 birdies, finished stroke-play qualifying in third place and won five matches against college players during match play.

After building a three-stroke lead, Koo hit her approach with a hybrid to within 15 feet at No. 16 and made the putt to wrap up the victory.

“I think that was the best shot I hit all week and one I’ll never forget,” Koo said of her tee shot on the 16th hole. “I wanted to win it in style with a birdie. Walking down the 16th, I kept telling myself I hadn’t won yet. It was just a big rush when the putt dropped, and all I could think was, ‘I won.’”

Said Englemann, who will be a senior at Stanford and helped the Cardinal claim the 2023 NCAA Women’s Championship: “I really cannot be disappointed because we both played incredible golf today. I’m just really happy to have gotten into the final match and will use this good experience for next time.

“I knew coming in that she’s a strong golfer, and I definitely know that now after watching her make six birdies,” Englemann said. “She’s really good for the future of the game, and it was fun to watch her win a tournament like this.”

Koo joined an illustrious group of past champions in the tournament that dates to 1901, including Patty Berg, Louise Suggs, Nancy Lopez, Betty Jameson, Joanne Gunderson (Carner), Jane Bastanchury, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Beth Daniel, Grace Park, Kellee Booth, Meridith Duncan, Moira Dunn and Ariya Jutanugarn.

Betsie Anthony claimed the first three titles in 1901-02-03.

Joshua Koo rallied from 3-down on the final nine holes to win the 121st Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, winning four of the next six holes, and taking his first lead of the match on the 33rd hole, when Borgida, who plays at Washington State, couldn’t save par after missing the green on the par-3 hole.

Koo, who played for the University of Washington last season but is transferring to Pepperdine, hit a brilliant 3-iron approach shot from 242 yards to within 10 feet on the par-five finishing hole and two-putted for the victory.

“In the afternoon round I felt the momentum was starting to shift,” said Koo, who won the 2021 Toyota Tour Golf Cup. “Ben was starting to struggle off the tee, and I was hitting greens consistently and getting the ball close to the hole. I just had to keep my head down and trust the momentum would stay in my favor.

“From then on I felt I was playing with house money. I played in this championship last year (at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.), but didn’t make it to match play, so this entire week was a great bonus. It’s been a super great experience.”

Previous winners of the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship include Tiger Woods, Joel Kribel, Jim McLean, Ben Crane, Michael Beard, George Von Elm, Jack Neville, Carl Yuan, Shotaro Ban, Anthony Quale, Zac Blair, Mark Wiebe, Brady Stockton, Nick Flanagan and Kermit Zarley Jr.

For complete results, visit: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/9364379886824735876 and https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/8975408497306922532

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles