For those looking ahead to this summer’s 74th U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at the U.S. Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Club, the two finalists from last year who are both still age-eligible, champion Yana Wilson and runner-up Gianna Clemente, each continue to make strong statements. They were in the national spotlight at the 4th Augusta National Women’s Amateur in early April, each making the cut to play the final round at Augusta National Golf Club.
Clemente, who turned 15 a week prior to the event, tied for 14th in her debut and Wilson, a two-time Drive, Chip & Putt champion at Augusta National, tied for 26th after having the honor of hitting the opening tee shot at nearby Champions Retreat, the site of the opening two rounds. The 16-year-old from Henderson, Nev., who has committed to play at the University of Oregon in the fall of 2024, will look to become the first repeat Girls’ Junior champion since Eun Jeong Seong (2015-16).
Meanwhile, Clemente’s showing in Georgia continued a trend of remarkable golf since the 3-and-2 setback to Wilson at The Club at Olde Stone. The Estero, Fla., resident Monday-qualified for three consecutive LPGA Tour events late last summer, won the South-Atlantic Ladies Amateur (SALLY) and tied for eighth in the Sage Valley Junior Invitational.
So a rematch in Colorado Springs could be in order.