Parsons Prevails In Playoff To Defend Her Future Links Pacific Championship

Mary Parsons Successfully Defended Her Future Links Pacific Championship At Chilliwack Golf Club - Image Courtesy Golf Canada

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

CHILLIWACK -- Mary Parsons is learning that there is more than one way to win a golf tournament. Some are definitely tougher than others.

Last spring, Parsons went wire-to-wire to cruise to her win at the Future Links Pacific Championship at The Dunes in Kamloops. Her title defence on Sunday at Chilliwack Golf & Country Club was a little more difficult. Actually, a lot more difficult.

The 17-year-old from Delta had to overcome a six-shot deficit in the final round and then beat Coquitlam’s Euna Han in a sudden-death playoff to make it back-to-back wins at the Future Links Pacific tourney.

“It was a little stressful out there knowing Euna is a solid player and I had to go low because I couldn’t count on her shooting high,” Parsons said. Parsons did go low -- carding a five-under 67 to finish the 54-hole tournament tied with Han at five-under par. “I had opportunities and I just had to take them,” Parsons said.

“But there were tons of nerves out there. I managed to overcome them, but they still got to me sometimes. To catch up to Euna and manage the nerves knowing I had to shoot low to defend my title is definitely something I am proud of.”

Parsons, a Grade 12 student at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby, won it on the second hole of the playoff when she got it up and down from the left fringe for par. Han’s approach shot into the green on the second playoff hole caught a branch and she couldn’t get up and down from 55 yards.

Parsons still had to drain a six-foot putt for par to secure the win. “I was lucky to get up and down for par on this hole each day,” she said. “I wasn’t overly confident standing over that putt. I just put a good stroke on it and trusted my line.”

Her win last year in Kamloops kick-started a solid summer for Parsons, who went on to win the B.C. Junior Girls title and finish second at the B.C. Women’s Amateur. That fine play earned her spot on Canada’s national development team and got her a scholarship to Indiana University this fall.

Parsons acknowledged feeling more nerves Sunday than she did last year in Kamloops. “At The Dunes I had more of a comfort space, I think I had an eight-shot lead going into the final round. But this one I knew I had to play strong to catch her.

“I felt more pressure going into this one. Being my last Future Links it is definitely something I am proud of. There was definitely a little more pressure, representing the national team and having to defend the title. I somehow managed to do it.”

Han, who is only 14 and attends Gleneagle Secondary, was disappointed she couldn’t close out the tournament. “it was a good week, but things just didn’t go well today and I can’t really do anything about it,” she said. “I didn’t hit many greens, so I didn’t have many birdie chances. I will learn from this and come back.”

Phoebe Yue of West Vancouver finished two shots back in a two-way tie for third place at three-under par, thanks to a course record seven-under 65 on Sunday that included two eagles. Her first eagle came on the par 4 8th hole, where she holed a 7-iron from 140 yards. 

“It bounced once and then the ball just disappeared,” Yue said. “Then my Mom just started clapping and was like, ‘it went in, it went in!’ She was excited. I was going to get the ball and she was like, ‘let me get a picture!”

Yue, a Grade 11 student at Collingwood Secondary, then chipped in for eagle on the par 5 18th to cap what she called the round of her life. “I was five-under for my round after that eagle on 8 so I just was telling myself to keep going and have a steady back nine,” she said. Susan Xiao of Langley finished tied with Yue at three-under after closing with a one-over 73.

The top six finishers earned exemptions into this summer’s Canadian Junior Girls Championship in Camelot, Ont. The final two spots went to Kathrine Chan of Richmond, who finished fifth at one-over par, and Tiffany Kong of Vancouver, who was in sixth place at four-over par.

2017 Future Links, Driven By Acura Pacific Championship Results – JUNIOR GIRLS DIVISION

1. Mary Parsons, Delta, B.C., *71-73-67-211 (-5) (P)
2. Euna Han, Coquitlam, B.C., *68-70-73-211 (-5) (P)
3. Phoebe Yue, West Vancouver, B.C., *78-70-65-213 (-3)
3. Susan Xiao, Surrey, B.C., *70-70-73-213 (-3)
5. Katherine Chan, Richmond, B.C., *72-71-74-217 (+1)
6. Tiffany Kong, Vancouver, B.C., *77-70-73-220 (+4)

The Future Links Pacific tourney is the first of six regional junior championships presented in partnership with new title sponsor Acura. The event featured a field of 87 junior boys and 33 junior girls.