Ye Captures 71st U.S. Girls’ Amateur

Lei Ye of China, who will be a freshman at Stanford in the fall, captured the 71st U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship with a 1-up victory over Jillian Bourdage of Tamarac, Fla., in the 36-hole final at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point, Wis.

The 18-year-old Ye made a three-foot par putt on the final hole to secure the victory after Bourdage, 17, who has committed to Ohio State in 2020, missed a five-footer for a birdie that would have forced a playoff.

“This tournament is the ultimate achievement of junior golf, so yeah, it’s been a perfect ending,” said Ye, who became the second player from China to win a United States Golf Association event after making a six-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take the lead. “That last putt, although it was three feet, I was definitely nervous. It’s a big putt. I just told myself, you’ve practiced this thousands and thousands of times, you could do it in your sleep.

“On 17 I saw her hit it left, and I thought it might have gone in the water (the ball stayed dry). I mean, it didn’t change too much how I was going to approach that shot because it was 105 yards, which is a wedge shot, which I have been hitting well this week, so I just thought that I’d land it about 100 (yards), a couple yards right on that slope and have it carry it down toward the flag.

“It’s definitely unbelievable. This is my last junior tournament, so it’s truly a phenomenal way to end it, on such a high note.”

Ye, who attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., never trailed in the match and was 3 up after the morning 18 holes, but Bourdage squared the match with birdies on the 24th and 25th holes. Seven times, Bourdage won a hole after losing the previous one before Ye prevailed.

In the semiinals, Ye defeated Nicole Witson of San Diego, 3 and 2, while Bourdage got past stroke-play medalist Yuka Saso of the Philippines, 2 up.

Ye, who captured the 2018 Annika Invitational, earned berths in the U.S. Women’s Amateur next month, plus the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open.

Former U.S. Girls Amateur champions include Marlene Bauer, Mickey Wright, Inbee Park, Julieta Granada, JoAnne Gunderson, Nancy Lopez, Amy Alcott, Hollis Stacey, Dana Lofland, Pat Hurst, Michelle McCann, Brandie Burton, Emilee Klein, Kellee Booth, Heather Farr, Kelli Kuehne, Beth Bauer, I.K. Kim, Lexi Thompson, Jenny Shin, Ariya Jutanugarn, Minjee Lee and Yealimi Noh.

For complete results, visit–girls–junior.html#!scoring

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