Coquitlam teen Jisoo Keel played beyond her years to capture the season opening event on the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Tour at Richmond Country Club on Wednesday.
The 16-year-old amateur converted three birdies on her last five holes of the day, including a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to seal the victory with a two-day total of 1-under 143. Kee bested Vancouver's So Yeon Park and Renee Skidmore of Everett, Wash. by a single stroke for the win as the pair finished at even-par 144.
With the victory, Keel earned an exemption into the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open which will be held at The Vancouver Golf Club from August 20-26.
"It's an absolute victory for me because the CN Canadian Women's Open is right in my hometown this year. It's just 10 minutes from my high school," Keel said. "I am so happy to be able to play. I am so honored to play in my hometown in front of friends and family."
Keel, who also happens to play out of The Vancouver Golf Club, is excited for the opportunity to compete on a course she is already very familiar with.
"It's one of the best courses I've ever played on. Conditions are always great," Keel said. "I'm really grateful toward the staff and the committee members for letting me play and practice there. I think it's a huge advantage for me."
Park and Skidmore, both of whom are professionals, each collected $8,498.18, sharing the first and second place winners' cheques.
The field of 89 players included Richmond's own Christine Wong, who was fresh off an impressive season at San Diego State where she earned conference player of the year honours. The former Quilchena junior was in contention after an opening 1-over 73 but slipped to an 80 on Wednesday and settled for a tie for 38th.