Ringsby Sweeps CWGA Junior Titles
16-year-old set to play in USA-China Youth Golf Match
by Gary Baines
School is starting about now for many kids, but Calli Ringsby is playing so well that her summer vacation will be extended.
The 16-year-old from Denver Country Club is certainly finishing the summer tournament schedule on a high note. On Thursday, she won the CWGA Junior Match Play Championship, becoming just the third golfer since 2000 to sweep the association's Junior Stroke Play and Junior Match Play titles in the same year.
In addition, Ringsby has been chosen by the USGA to represent the U.S. in the USA-China Youth Golf Match that will be played Aug. 23 and 24 in San Martin, Calif. Only four girls and four boys -- all 16 or under -- are selected for each side, so it's no small honor. All the players are members of Leadership Links, which promotes service and volunteerism among junior golfers, and they are all leading candidates for the USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award.
The competition will include four foursomes matches, four four-ball matches and eight singles matches. The U.S. team prevailed in the inaugural matches, held in 2008 in China.
"It'll be a great experience," said Ringsby, who will miss the first week of her junior year at Cherry Creek High School because of the event. "Anytime you're part of an American team, it's a big honor to represent your country."
But on Thursday, the first order of business was the final of the CWGA Junior Match Play at Wellshire Golf Course in Denver. With the title on the line, Ringsby (pictured above) defeated Sydney Merchant of Red Rocks Country Club 3 and 2.
Coming on the heels of her CWGA Junior Stroke Play victory in late June, Ringsby joins Somin Lee (2009) and Kelly Jacques (2002) as the only golfers in the new millennium to sweep the CWGA's Junior Stroke and Junior Match in the same year.
"I'm pretty excited, with this being my second CWGA junior (title of the year)," Ringsby said. "After I won Stroke it was on my mind, but in match play you don't have as much control as you do in stroke play."
Now, Ringsby said, it's a goal to join Lee and Wendy Werley as the only players to have won both junior titles plus the CWGA Stroke Play and Match Play in their careers.
In Thursday's match, Ringsby never trailed. She and Merchant were tied after seven holes, but Ringsby won five of the next six and held on for a relatively easy victory.
The championship flight consolation final went much longer as University of Wyoming-bound Kathleen Kershisnik of Columbine Country Club overcame Jennifer Kupcho of CommonGround Golf Course in 21 holes. Kershisnik drained a 25-foot birdie putt to end the match.
CWGA Junior Match Play Championship
Wellshire GC in Denver
Calli Ringsby, Denver CC def. Sydney Merchant, Red Rocks CC 3 and 2
Championship Flight Consolation
Kathleen Kershisnik, Columbine CC def. Jennifer Kupcho, CommonGround GC 21 holes
Dani Urman, Meridian GC def. Sydney Gillespie, Highlands Ranch GC 2 up
First Flight Consolation
Jordan Sunset, Boulder CC def. Michelle Romano, Colorado GC 1 up
Jaylee Tait, Raccoon Creek GC def. Emma Johnson, CommonGround GC 3 and 2
Second Flight Consolation
Nayoun Kim, South Suburban Family Sports def. Katherine Kemp, The Broadmoor GC 3 and 1
Kelsey Petersen, Mariana Butte GC def Mary Weinstein, Green Valley Ranch GC 4 and 2
Third Flight Consolation
Jennifer Hankins, Thorncreek GC def. Jennifer Kempton, Lone Tree GC Forfeit
Zarena Brown, Lake Arbor GC def. Michelle Nakayama, Patty Jewett GC 4 and 3
Fourth Flight Consolation
Chase Piper, Cherry Hills CC def. Madison Tenney, CommonGround GC Forfeit