PARKER | Emma Bryant and Amy Chitkoksoong will see each other again when the prep girls golf season begins in the spring and Wednesday provided a bit of a preview.
Bryant, a freshman-to-be at Eaglecrest, and Chitkoksoong, who capped her sophomore year at Grandview with a Class 5A state championship in May, squared off in the final of the JGAC Junior Match Play Championship at Black Bear G.C.
Seeded seventh among 31 players in the field, Bryant emerged as the champion when she bested the top-seeded Chitkoksoong on the final hole to win 1-up.
Coming into the tournament off a great experience at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship — in which she tied for 23rd over three rounds at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida — the 14-year-old Bryant handled her first three matchups with relative ease. She beat No. 16 Mia Blackard 5 and 3, followed that with an 8 and 6 win over 10th-seeded Sofia Choi and then took down second-seeded Natasha Brandy McClain 6 and 5.
Bryant needed 20 holes to outlast No. 3 Sydney Eye in the semifinals, a match in which she birdied the par-4 No. 18 to square the match and won it two holes later.
As the No. 1 seed, Chitkoksoong had an opening-round bye and then got past No. 16 Lisa Kelley (3 and 2), No. 8 Eva Pett (5 and 4) and No. 4 Josie Baker (5 and 3) to reach the championship match of a tournament she won in 2015.
With a pair of pars, Chitkoksoong won the first two holes of the final while Bryant opened with a double bogey and bogey. Bryant got one back with a birdie on the par-3 No. 3 and eventually squared the match with a par on No. 10. The players matched each other until the 18th hole, when Bryant birdied to win it as Chitkoksoong made bogey.
It was a big jump for Bryant from the previous JGAC major — the Colorado Junior Amateur Championship July 10-12 at Legacy Ridge Golf Course — in which she missed the cut after two rounds of stroke play at 32-over-par.
Bryant and Chitkoksoong will likely play with each other plenty when the Centennial League golf season begins on March 1, 2018.
In the JGAC boys Match Play tournament, recent Regis Jesuit grad Tyler Zhang made it into the quarterfinals before he lost, while senior-to-be Drew Anderson fell to eventual champion Kyle Pearson in the round of 16.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2017 GIRLS’ JGAC JUNIOR MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
July 31-Aug. 2 at Black Bear Golf Club
Championship: EMMA BRYANT def. AMY CHITKOKSOONG 1-up
Semifinals: AMY CHITKOKSOONG def. Josie Baker 5 and 3; EMMA BRYANT def. Sydney Eye 20 holes
Quarterfinals: AMY CHITKOKSOONG def. Eva Pett 3 and 2; Josie Baker def. Meghan Vogt 1 up; EMMA BRYANT def. Natasha Brandy McClain 6 and 5; Sydney Eye def. Lexi Mueldener 2 and 1
Round of 16: AMY CHITKOKSOONG def. Lisa Kelley 3 and 2; Eva Pett def. Anju Ogi 1 up; Josie Baker def. Kira Petersen 8 and 7; Meghan Vogt def. Grace Ha 8 and 7; Natasha Brandy McClain def. Ella Chism 5 and 4; EMMA BRYANT def. Sofia Choi 8 and 6; Sydney Eye def. Merielle Gojo 3 and 1; Lexi Mueldener def. Kaylee Chen 1 up
Round of 32: AMY CHITKOKSOONG bye; Lisa Kelley def. Izzy Marchino 2 and 1; Eva Pett def. Holly Lundell 7 and 5; Anju Ogi def. Sarah McDevitt 7 and 5; Josie Baker def. Faith-Lan Tong 10 and 8; Kira Petersen def. SKYLAR CAIN 2 up; Megan Vogt def. Hannah Lawton 8 and 6; Grace Ha def. Timbre Shehee 3 and 1; Natasha Brandy McClain def. Gabi Werst 7 and 6; Ella Chism def. Katelyn Gabler 3 and 2; EMMA BRYANT def. Mia Blackard 5 and 3; Sofia Choi def. Marisa Reeves 1 up; Sydney Eye def. Marin Halvorsen 2 up; Merielle Gojo def. Trinity Stuart 7 and 6; Lexi Mueldener def. Tess Mitchell 19 holes; Kaylee Chen def. Katherine Malcolm 5 and 3