Samantha Marie Bruce, an incoming 13 year old Grade 9 student at the Assumption in San Lorenzo recently won three major junior golf open tournaments in Northern California’s Bay Area to cap a successful summer golf tournament tour in the U.S.
The 5’11” power hitting teen, first captured the Girls Overall (12-17 Years Old) title at the San Jose City Junior Golf Championships held last June 17-18 at the Santa Teresa Golf Club in San Jose, California scoring a two day total 1 under par 145 (72-73) to post the only subpar score and lead by three strokes after two days of competition. Bruce defeated a bevy of senior H.S. golfers who are already U.S. Division I college signees going to top programs.
Next up was the Santa Clara Junior Championships held last July 21 at the Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club in Santa Clara, California. Bruce again submitted the only under par score for the tournament in capturing her second Girls Overall (12-17 Years Old) crown by posting a 1 under par 71 on a very windswept day to lead the field by at least 4 strokes.
Sam then capped her Bay Area triple crown run by winning the 86th San Francisco Junior Championships last July 30-31 at the Lincoln Golf Course in downtown San Francisco with a 149 total for two days. She is one of the youngest if not the youngest to ever win the city junior title and perhaps the first to win the three city junior title in the same year.
She is the second player from the Philippines to win this event with Jayvee Agojo winning in 2000 and 2004. Fil-Am Dorothy Delasin, a former multi-winner in the LPGA and a Daly City native, also won in 1995.
On her wins, Sam said that: “I am very happy with how I performed. It’s nice to win in the Bay Area where my dad’s and Mom’s family migrated to in the 70’s. We have relatives all over San Francisco and Silicon Valley and it feels like winning in your hometown. ”
Sam had a busy summer in the U.S. playing in 15 events in two and a half months. She placed 6th in the tough Sacramento City Women’s Amateur Open with a 1 under par 143 total (71-72) total and also won the Central Valley Junior Amateur Championships for Girls 12-14, missing the Girls Overall title by one stroke after leading by three on the first day. She was also 2nd in Girls 12-14 at the Stevenson Junior Amateur Championships losing the tile also by one stroke.
Sam placed third with a 1 over par 73 at the qualifying event for an AJGA open event in Medford, Oregon to capture top qualifier spot to the main draw where she scored a respectable 12 over par 228 (77-76-75) over three days for 13th place. She placed 5th and 7th at the AJGA qualifiers for Open events in ASU Karsten in Arizona and El Serrano in California respectively to miss the cut by just 2 and 1 stroke.
Sam played three USGA sectional qualifying events for the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Women’s Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur championships but was not fortunate enough to progress to the main draw. She also placed 4th in the other two junior tournaments she joined in California for her worst junior event finish the whole summer.
On her performance and the competition in the U.S, she commented that: “This summer was another eye opener for us as there was top flight competition in every tournament. You had to take every win, no one was going to give it to you. We have to prepare even harder and train smarter if we want to be competitive next year”.
To recap, Sam won the following:
1) Girls Overall Champion (12-17)
86th San Francisco City Junior Championships
Lincoln Park, San Francisco, CA
2) Girls Overall Champion (12-17)
San Jose City Junior Championships
Santa Teresa Golf Club, San Jose, CA
3) Girls Overall Champion (12-17)
Santa Clara Junior Championships
Santa Clara Golf Club, Santa Clara, CA
4) Girls 12-14
Central Valley Junior Championships
Stevinsons Ranch Golf Club, Srevinsons, CA