Chung, Pedersen tie for second at Reunion Resort
REUNION, Fla. -- Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif., closed with a 5-under-par 67 to win wire-to-wire at the ANNIKA Invitational, setting a tournament record of 10-under-par 206. In a tie for second, Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., and Emily Pedersen of Denmark finished three strokes back at 7-under-par 209 at Reunion Resort.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ANNIKA Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play competition featuring 73 girls, ages 12-18, from 11 foreign countries, 17 states and Puerto Rico. The par-72 Independence (Watson) Course at Reunion Resort was played at 6,347 yards.
Wu, 16, never relinquished her lead, opening the round with birdies on Nos. 1 and 3. She totaled five birdies for the day against no bogeys. Her round was highlighted by a 15-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 16th, which pushed her lead to 3 with two to play.
"Today I played aggressive," said Wu on her first Invitational victory. "This win builds my confidence for future Invitationals."
After finishing T8 at the 2012 ANNIKA Invitational, Wu was determined to return for a victory at Reunion.
"Last year, I thought, 'I want to be that person making the winning putt,'" Wu said. "It happened today, so I'm happy."
Wu, who has verbally committed to UCLA, earned her second AJGA career victory in July 2012 at the AJGA Junior at Centennial and went on to earn four consecutive top 10s.
Chung, 17, began the round tied for fourth, and finished T2 behind the strength of seven birdies in a final-round 67. She fired consecutive birdies on Nos. 14, 15, and 16 and closed the tournament with a birdie on the 18th. The second-place finish comes after battling a knee injury.
"This was a good comeback for me," said Chung, the 2011 Thunderbird International Junior champion. "I'm happy with my finish and I'm really happy for Bethany."
Denmark's Pedersen, 16, finished with a 4-under-par 68 in her AJGA debut. She credited her round to strong iron play, and closed with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.
"It's nice to play against the best girls in America," said Pedersen, the 2012 champion of the Doral / Publix Junior Golf Classic. "It gives me such confidence that I can play on top all week and that I shot three rounds under par."
Yu Liu of Beijing, China, finished fourth at 5-under-par 211, while Ruixin Liu of Kissimmee, Fla., Linnea Strom of Sweden and Simin Feng of Windermere, Fla., tied for fifth at 3-under-par 213.