Aussie girls slide in dramatic finale

Blanca Fernandez, Dimana Viudes, Elena Arias
Young Spaniards Blanca Fernandez, Dimana Viudes and Elena Arias are the world junior champions. Picture: GOLF CANADA

Alizza Hetherington saved her best to last, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Australia’s slide at the World Junior Girls Championship in Canada.

After a promising start, the young team of Victorians Hetherington and Gabi Ruffels and Steph Kyriacou faded to finish 16th at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa.

The tournament was won by Spain, which completed a miraculous comeback to pip South Korea in a playoff after spotting the favourites eight strokes to start the final-round.

Remarkably, after Spain’s twin birdies were good enough in the team playoff, Korean Seo-yun Kwon then scrambled a par to win the individual playoff over Italy’s Alessia Nobilio after the former had seemingly lost the event with a late triple-bogey.

Sadly, though, Australia was not a part of the excitement.

Hetherington peeled off four mid-round birdies in her closing 74, the best score of her week in the Canadian capital after starting with 76-76-78.

It proved enough for the Royal Melbourne member, formerly of the Northern Territory, to join level with her Aussie teammates in a share of 41st in the individual race.

Victoria Golf Club member Ruffels, who opened with a classy 69, couldn’t get off the bogey train in her closing two rounds and signed for rounds of 81-78.

Kyriacou, of Sydney’s St Michael’s Golf Club, made her final round score count for Australia when she pipped Ruffels by two strokes, but her rounds of 77-78-76 didn’t cash in on her opening 73.

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