Yoemans Wins Girls Minnesota Junior PGA Championship
Sophia Yoemans of Red Wing shot a final round 2-over 74 to win the Girls 2017 Minnesota Junior PGA Championship at Bunker Hills Golf Course. Yoemans shot a two-day 4-over 148 which was more than enough for the victory and to earn an invitation to the 42nd Junior PGA Championship held at the Country Club of St. Albans in St. Albans, Missouri on July 18-21, 2017.
Yoemans, a Class AAA co-champion earlier this summer, finished four shots ahead of Olivia Peterson, Leah Herzog, and Megan Welch who finished in a three-way tie for second.
“I was hitting the ball really well the past two days,” said Yoemans, who is having quite the summer. “My putting was not good. I was very frustrated but hung in there and kept making pars.”
Amazingly, Yoemans won by four shots without recording a birdie over the two days.
“I honestly didn’t think I had a chance at all,” she stressed. “I started the day three shots back and was not making any birdies. I had to play my game and didn’t know what was going on with the final pairing.”
She did just that as the final pairing felt the pressure and couldn’t take advantage of others’ mishaps.
Janice Kim, yesterday’s 18-hole leader at 1-under, was 1-over on the day and even-par for the tournament through 15 holes before the wheels came off. She quadruple-bogeyed the 16th before going a combined 7-over across the final two holes to finish 9-over for the tournament.
Yoemans, ironically enough, will also be competing in the U.S. Girls’ Junior down the road the following week at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Missouri.
“I’m excited to be going down there [to Missouri] and hopefully it will be a good experience. It will be fun with there being two qualifiers this year, so I’ll know someone,” she said chuckling.
“I’ve never played in a national event before, so I’ll be playing in this and the Junior Girls. I’ll be living in Missouri for a while here,” she added smiling.
Joining Yoemans at the national Junior PGA Championship is her Red Wing teammate, Leah Herzog, who won a playoff for the second qualifier spot. Herzog also won the 13-15 age division.
“Yesterday I played really well. I hadn’t broken 75 recently, and it felt good to be able to do that,” emphasized Herzog. “Today was rough. I didn’t hit the ball great or make many putts, but I held it together on the back nine.”
After 36 holes, she found herself in a tie with Peterson and Welch. On the first playoff hole, Herzog nailed a 15-foot birdie and Peterson followed suit with a 10-foot birdie of her own to eliminate Welch.
“I drilled my putt on the first playoff hole,” she said smirking. “It was going way past and luckily caught the hole.”
Peterson found trouble in the lateral hazard off the tee on the second playoff hole opening the door for Herzog to two-putt for the win and second qualifying spot.
Herzog’s sister, Steph, was last year’s champion and competed in the 41st Junior PGA Championship at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, Rhode Island. This family is no stranger to success.
“She said it was a whole lot of fun and a great experience to play in a tournament such as this,” she added. “I’m just excited to be going with Sophia cause we’re best friends. It’s great that we are going the same year.”
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