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Rebecca Lee-Bentham claims Canadian Junior Girls Championship

CAMLACHIE, ON (Aug. 7, 2010)– After an exciting day of play, Team Canada Development Squad member Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto held onto her third round lead to win the 2010 Royale Cup Canadian Junior Girls Championship at Sawmill Creek Golf Resort in Camlachie, Ont.

Lee-Bentham, who finished third at last year’s event, had a two-stroke lead coming into today’s final round. She started the day with three birdies, which put her four-strokes ahead of competitor Taylor Kim of Surrey, B.C. who was following closely in second.

On the ninth hole, Kim sunk a long birdie putt, while Lee-Bentham missed hers for par to bring her back to her original two-stroke lead.

“I was really nervous all day because I really wanted to win,” said Lee-Bentham.

In the back nine, the 18-year-old recovered her solid lead after Taylor fired a bogey and a double bogey on holes 10 and 11. She played the back nine with consistency, and ended the tournament with a score of 73-68-67-70-278 (-6).

“I got off to a slow start this week, but I was able to keep my nerves under control and finish off with great confidence,” added Lee-Bentham. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Runner-up finisher Kim proved to be a strong contender this week. The 15-year-old kept spectators on their toes the whole front nine, as she inched closer to Lee-Bentham’s score by carding two birdies and sinking solid putts.

“I’ve never done this well at a national event,” said Kim. “My goal was to finish in the top five, so I’m really pleased with my performance this week.”

Kim finished with a final score of 71-69-70-72-282 (-2) to finish tied for second in the Junior division with Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont. Kim was also crowned the winner of the Juvenile division by an impressive nine-strokes, ahead of runner-upJennifer Yang of Coquitlam, B.C., who finished with a score of 78-72-73-68-291 (+7). Finishing tied for third with a total score of 294 (+10) was Katlyn Elliott of Peterborough, Ont., and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont.

Marchand, the leader of the tournament after the first round on Tuesday, was content with her second place finish and score of 67-71-72-72-282 (-2). The 18-year-old struggled to sink her putts until the 18th hole, where she jumped and cheered with excitement as the large crowd applauded her final shot of the championship.

“One of my goals this year was to finish one of my last tournaments under par, so I’m really happy that I was able to accomplish that goal,” said Marchand. “I played solid all week, and I really couldn’t ask for a better tournament.”

Lee-Bentham and Marchand will be competing at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship next week in Charlotte, N.C., before heading to school at the University of Texas-Austin and North Carolina State, respectively.
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