Makin’ it look easy
Consistency pays off for Xiao in winning championships
Susan Xiao travelled all the way from Surrey, B.C., to rural Cumberland thinking a top-10 finish would make the long round-trip all worth it.
Well it certainly was — every kilometre of it.
By the time she made the clubhouse turn Friday, with nine of 72 holes still to play, the ultra-composed 15-yearold already had a pretty good idea she was about to become both the Canadian junior and juvenile champion at the 63rd annual Canadian Junior Girls Golf Championship at an often-trying Camelot Golf and Country Club.
The only thing that slowed Xiao down was the sound of a horn ordering players from the course with the approach of a storm and that was just as she and her playing partners approached the 18th tee.
Thirty minutes of a frustrating weather delay and a 10-foot putt for quick par four on the 18th later, Xiao was Queen of both age groups in Canadian golf and had an automatic exemption in to the 2018 Canadian Amateur Women’s Golf Championship at Marina Drive Golf Club in Vancouver, which will be an easy daily commute compared to Cumberland.
Xiao’s final round at three under left her five under for the tournament and the only player to break par.
London’s Ellie Szeryk and Mary Parsons, of Delta, B.C., tied for second at ever-par 288 with Parsons and Richmond Hill’s Tiana Cruz the only other golfers to play the final round under par.
The champion was a model of consistency with rounds of 70-73-71-69 and put the win away almost matter-offactly with a string of birdies on holes 11, 12 and 13.
How consistent is consecutive rounds of twounder, one-over, oneunder and three-under?
Xiao rarely showed any emotion until it came time to make a champion’s speech and endure interview afterwards.
The speech and interviews could’ve happen quickly enough.
The only frustrating part of her day was the delay.
“I was like can’t we just fin- Susan Xiao celebrates her birdie putt on the second hole during the final round of the Canadian Junior Girls Championship held at Camelot Golf Course in Ottawa. ish,” said Xiao, who heard the horn as she was pushing her cart away from No. 17 to the 18th tee. “But words can’t describe how happy I am.
“I never thought of winning this tournament this year. I would have been happy with a top-10 finish.
“But I thought about the start of the back nine I had it. I knew I had a good lead and I just stuck with my own game.”
Xiao’s own game is never trying to do the impossible. She keeps things simple and keeps things clean.
“Down the fairway and onto the green,” said playing partner Ellie Szeryk, who started the day a stroke behind the winner. “That’s how she does it.”