Lou Daniella Uy nips Chinese for world title
SAN DIEGO, California—“I just can’t believe this, it was given to me by God.”
Lou Daniella Uy was overcome with emotion while describing the almost magical comeback that gave Team Philippines its lone victory in the 47th Callaway Junior World championships here Friday (Saturday in Manila).
Rallying from four strokes down with seven holes left at Torrey Pines North course, Uy closed out with four birdies against a bogey to shoot a 68 and tie for the lead, then frustrated Ziyi Wang of China in a sudden-death playoff to clinch the girls’ 15-17 years title.
Uy’s victory was the first by a Philippine bet in the 15-17 division, 18 years since Jennifer Rosales, now an LPGA campaigner, triumphed. Two years later in 1998, Fil-American Dorothy Delasin also raised the champion’s trophy.
“This is just so awesome, I really didn’t expect it,” said Uy, one of the 45 kids sent here by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines.
Uy placed second to a Fil-American in the same division also at Torrey Pines last year.
“That was just a crazy stretch, I believe I couldn’t have won if not for that long birdie on the 14th,” said Uy. “I’m also happy that I won with my family around me, my mom, my dad and my brother.”
It was a much-needed last-gasp win for the Filipinos after Jed Dy settled for second place behind Japanese-American Tatsuki Nemoto in the boys’ 9-10 years play Thursday at Lawrence Welk Resort Fountain course.
Uy was about to tee off on the 12th when she saw the leader board that showed her still trailing by four. She thought her final bid to win a Junior World title was doomed.
It was not.
Things got crazy as soon as she banged in a 16-footer for birdie on the 12th. Then came another birdie from 32 feet on the 13th and yet another from 16 feet on the next hole that got her entertaining thoughts of winning again.
Her momentum was dashed by a missed green bogey on the 16th but she was surprised to learn that a birdie on the 18th had set her up for a playoff with Wang, who staged her own rally to match Uy’s 280 aggregate.
Princess Superal and Miya Legaspi also finished strong with Superal posting a second straight 70 for a 10th place tie with a 285 aggregate and Legaspi winding up 15th with her 74-289. Pauline del Rosario turned in a 5-under 67 capped by a last-hole eagle to share 19th place.
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