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Choi leads Canada to dramatic Copa victory

Media Release

1/6/2013 7:48:29 PM

Oakville, Ont. - The Canadian contingent of Albin Choi of Toronto, Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., Augusta James of Bath, Ont. and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont. carded a combined final-round 6-over-par 294 to claim the overall championship at the 2013 Copa de las Americas at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, Fla. on Sunday.

Contested on the par-72 TPC Blue Monster Course, Canada posted a four-day tally of 25-over-par 1177 to win by one stroke over Team Mexico and two strokes over two-time defending overall champion, Team USA.

Canada secured its third Copa de las Americas overall title with the victory, having previously earned wins at the inaugural event at Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort & Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico in 2003 and again at El Tigre Club de Golf in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico in 2005.

Entering the day with a five-stroke advantage over Team USA and Team Mexico atop the leader board in the overall championship, both countries made late charges to narrow Canada's lead to just one stroke down the stretch. Choi sank a 12-foot par putt on No. 18 to protect the lead and secure the Copa de las Americas title for Canada.

"I couldn't be more proud of the team this week. They played fantastically well," said Team Canada Men's Squad Assistant Coach Robert Ratcliffe, on site with the players at Doral. "We did a great job in preparing for and reviewing each round and making the necessary adjustments. Our post-round evaluations and practices went extremely well, and the fact that the players were familiar with one another from the Team Canada program and the World Amateur Team Championships brought a great sense of 'team' to the group."

"It feels great to come away with the win," said Conners. "Everyone on the team played great and we had lots of fun. We stumbled a bit at the end, but Albin came through with a huge par on the last to secure the win!"

Henderson led Canada in scoring on Sunday with round of 2-under par 70, tops on the day amongst female competitors in the field. Conners shot 1-over par 73, while Choi posted a round of 2-over par 74. James closed her Copa de las Americas event with a round of 5-over par 77.

The duo of Choi and Conners earned runner-up honors in the men's team competition, finishing four strokes back of Mexico's Rodolfo Cazauban and Carlos Ortiz at 3-over par 579.

Choi, a former member of Team Canada's National Squad and a junior at North Carolina State University, and Conners, a member of Team Canada's National Squad and a junior at Kent State University, finished at even-par 288 and 3-over par 291 respectively.

Team USA, meanwhile, claimed the women's team title for a third consecutive time as Americans Lindy Duncan and Erynne Lee bested Henderson and James by one stroke for the win.

The Canadian duo posted a championship tally of 22-over par 598 as Henderson, a member of Team Canada's National Squad, shot 5-over par 293 and James, also a member of Team Canada's National Squad and a sophomore at North Carolina State University, shot 17-over par 305 over the course of the competition.

Mexico's Ortiz led the men in individual scoring at 1-under par 287, one stroke ahead of Choi who finished tied for second and four ahead of Conners who was sixth.

Lee of the United States led the women in individual scoring at 3-over par 291, two strokes clear of Henderson who placed third and 14 strokes ahead of James who was fifth.

A biennial team event, the Copa de las Americas is an amateur team competition for countries in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Eleven men's teams and eight women's teams competed in the fifth playing of the championship which consisted of three 72-hole, stroke-play competitions - overall, men and women. Eighteen holes of stroke-play were contested on each of the four days of the event.

The 2013 Copa de las Americas marked the first time that the championship was conducted within the contiguous United States of America and hosted by the United States Golf Association.