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 2011 Headlines Archive

Merzbacher, MacDonald, and Liu Champions at CJGA World Junior Challenge Presented by Golfweek

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Palm Harbor, FL (December 30, 2011) – The final round of the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) 19th Annual World Junior Challenge, presented by Golfweek took place today on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Golf Resort. Mika Liu of Bradenton, FL and Kyle MacDonald of Oakville, ON lead the tournament from start to finish capturing the Girls Division and Boys 14 & Under Division respectively, while Chad MerzBacher from Dublin, OH managed to earn the outright victory after entering the day tied for the lead in the Boys 15-19 Division.

Despite the pressure of being chased by the entire field the past two rounds, 12-year-old Liu not only held onto her lead during the final round, she extended it. Shooting the tournament round low in the division with a 76 (+5), Liu earned a nine-stroke victory with a tournament total of 232 (+19). “I credit this victory to my coach and family… they were all here watching and supporting me,” said Liu. Sydney MacDonald of Calgary, AB finished in second place with a solid performance throughout the tournament, while Nicole Autrique of Mexico made her way into third place with an excellent closing round.
It was a similar story in the Boys 14 & Under Division as MacDonald shot the division low 72 (+1) to pull away from the field today and finish the tournament with a 224 (+11). “This victory means a lot,” stated MacDonald, “my confidence level has gone way up, I have shown I can compete at this level.” Kyle Gorospe of Mississauga, ON and Regina, SK native Noah Vongphit put together solid rounds to jump into second and third place respectively, resulting in the Canadians sweeping the division.
There has been a cluster at the top of the Boys 15-19 Division since the opening round and after 36 holes two players were still tied for the lead. Merzbacher managed to fend of the rest of the field during today’s final round with a steady 75 (+4) for a tournament total of 218 (+5). “It was a little bit of a struggle,” admitted Merzbacher, “but I held it together and just stayed consistent.”  Daniel Kim from Kennesaw, GA and Colton Kalkanis of Hillsdale, ON matched Merzbacher’s 75 (+4) allowing them to jump them into second and third place respectively.
The event will return to Innisbrook Golf Resort in December 27-30, 2012 as the CJGA marks their 20th anniversary.
For full interview with:
Boys 15-19 Division
Boys 14 & Under
Girls Division
About The CJGA World Junior Challenge
The CJGA World Junior Challenge, now in its 19th year, is one of the marquee events conducted by the Canadian Junior Golf Association. Since the inaugural tee-off in 1993, the World Junior Challenge has seen thousands of junior golfers, representing over 30 countries, pitted against one another in a friendly, yet competitive environment held at some of Florida’s most prolific golf courses. This highly recognized event, typically held during the winter holiday season, offers Canadian and International juniors alike the opportunity to compete in an internationally ranked tournament while experiencing the culture of Florida golf.
About the CJGA Canadian Junior Golf Association is a ‘registered Canadian amateur athletic association’ (RCAAA) not-for-profit registered federally with Revenue Canada.. The Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) is dedicated to providing Canada's junior golfers with the necessary skills and knowledge required to lay a foundation for a future in competitive golf. Through its six-stage competitive development program that focuses on tournaments, clinics, international competitions, and mentoring programs with PGA Tour professionals, the CJGA introduces the game to juniors as young as five and offers competitive multi-day events for the more advanced golfer. The CJGA acts as a feeder system to provincial and national competitions, collegiate and university golf, as well as professional and recreational golf. For more information please visit
The Canadian Junior Golf Association is generously supported by its National Founding Partner, LEXUS.
For Additional Information:
John Lawrence
WJC Tournament Director
Canadian Junior Golf Association



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