Michelle Xing becomes youngest winner in ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada history

Michelle Xing becomes youngest winner in ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada history

Event results can be found here.

Photos can be found and downloaded here.

By: Brendan Stasiewich, PGA of Canada

The ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada is a special event for many reasons; I’m going to give you three of them. 

First, the list of past champions is a who’s-who of Canadian golf – one of those champions, Brooke Henderson, claimed the event at just 16-years old. At the time, she was the youngest to ever win the event. You could say she has gone on to have a pretty good career.

On Friday at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, on the Heathlands course, Michelle Xing followed in Brooke’s footsteps and achieved something nobody else has done before – win the event at just 15-years old.

“That is really cool, I didn’t know that (I was the youngest) at first, but it is so cool,” said Xing, who’s win on Friday was her fourth so far this year.

“I was just trying to stay calm today. After making a bogey on 12 and missing my birdie on 14, I felt as if it wasn’t going my way,” said Xing. “But I remembered there were holes left and my sister caddying helped me stay calm. Either way I would have been proud of myself.”

The second reason the ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada is special is because brings together both the top professionals and amateurs in the country.

Arguably, the Golf Canada women’s teams have never been more talented, with the top three players on the leaderboard this week all being involved with their squads: Xing, Katie Cranston, who finished second, and Nicole Gal, who finished in a tie for third.

When Xing made a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole to cap off her two-stroke win, carding rounds of 70-64-70, her teammates were there to greet her, emptying their water bottles as is tradition.

“We are all really good friends, and it feels good to have them be there to watch me play. It was great,” said Xing, who plays out of Maple Downs Golf & Country Club just outside of Toronto.

Thirdly, this event is part of the She Plays Golf series, which offers exemptions into the CPKC Women’s Open to the top two players on the leaderboard. While this will be Cranston’s third time playing the event, this will be the first time Xing has the opportunity to play in Canada’s national open.

“It’s insane,” said Xing. “It feels great. I’m really looking forward to it; playing a LPGA Tour event for the very first time.”

The Heathlands presented a test that is sure to be of value as Xing prepares for Earl Grey Golf Club in a few weeks. On the 17th hole, under pressure from a tight lie, she was able to hit a chip to tap in distance to give her a one stroke lead heading into the last hole.

On 18, she demonstrated immense composure, sealing the deal with a birdie.

Josee Doyon claimed low professional honours, finishing the event in a tie for third to take home the $15,000 prize.

Thanks to the support of PING, PGA of Canada club professionals were also competing for a $4,500 sub-purse – with Casey MacNeil claiming $1,200 as low club pro.

The 9th hole was designated as the E-Z-GO ‘It’s Good to Go’ Hole of the Week. Any player that made eagle on the hole was entered into a draw for a $250 cash prize thanks to E-Z-GO. Two players made eagle on the 9th hole on Wednesday; Xing and Elliana Buhagiar, while Brooke Rivers made eagle on the hole on Friday.

After a random draw, Elliana Buhagiar claims the bonus $250.  

The full purse summary for the event can be found here.