LEI Ye watched Jillian Bourdage flub a five-foot birdie putt on the 36th hole to escape with a 1-up victory and become the new US Girls’ Junior champion on Saturday at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (Sunday, Manila time).
Ye went 3-up after the first half of their marathon 36-hole duel but needed to produce a pair of birdies on Nos. 33 and 35 to hang on to a 1-up lead as Bourdage kept fighting back with her clutch shots and putts.
But the Florida ace missed the putt that mattered most, enabling the seventh-ranked incoming Stanford U freshman to clinch the victory and become only the second Chinese to win a USGA championship.
“This tournament is the ultimate achievement of junior golf, so yeah, it’s a perfect ending,” said Ye, who joined 2014 US Women’s Amateur Public Links winner Alice Jo as the only players from China to claim a USGA crown.
Bourdage stopped top seed Yuka Saso in the semifinals.