The ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills ended in dramatic fashion with Yan ”Nicole” Liu of China emerging as the overall and Under 18 division champion by one stroke over Rui Xin ”Rachel” Liu.
The ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills is a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72 Annika Course at Mission Hills Golf Club in China and is being contested by 42 players from four different countries. Created in 2011, it is the first girls-only junior golf tournament held in China and was the first ANNIKA Invitational event held outside of the United States.
Yan Liu took firm control of the tournament after getting off to a fast start. She was at 5-under-par for the tournament through 15 holes and held a three-stroke lead over 36-hole leader, Yu Sang Hou of Chinese Taipei, and China’s Rui Xin Liu. However, a triple bogey on No. 16 soon dropped her one shot back after a Rui Xin Liu birdie on the same hole. Heading into No. 18, Rui Xin Liu, who was playing in the group ahead of Yan Liu and Hou, was at 3-under-par and leading by one over Yan Liu and by two over Hou. After an errant second shot that left her with a difficult chip, Rui Xin Liu finished with a double bogey to drop her to one-under-par for the tournament. Yan Liu came up short with her approach shot, but was able to chip it to six inches to post a 2-under-par 214 total. Hou had a chance to force a playoff with an eight-foot putt for birdie, but missed.
Rui Xin Liu finished in second place at one-under-par 215 after a final-round 68 that included eight birdies. Hou finished third at even-par 216.
Ho Yu An of Chinese Taipei won the Under 15 division by one stroke after a final-round 73 for a 10-over-par 226 total.
For finishing in the top three overall, Yan Liu, Rui Xin Liu and Hou receive exemptions to the 2016 ANNIKA Invitational USA to be played at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida on February 12-15, 2016.
As the overall champion, Yan Liu earns an exemption into the LET’s 2016 Mission Hills World Ladies Championship to be played at Mission Hills, 2015 Xiamen Open International, and the LAGT’s 2016 Hong Kong Ladies Open.
This concludes another successful ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills. We were treated to some fantastic golf and a lot of fun activities all week long. Thank you to Mission Hills Golf Club for all of their support this week.