Yana Wilson earned her 2022 U.S. Girls Junior title with hours and hours of practice at Legacy Golf Club in Henderson. We caught up with her prior to a session on her first day back home, and she shared her thoughts on the victory, her exemption into the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open, joining fellow Southern Nevadan Inbee Park as a champion, and the outpouring of well wishes from her hometown.
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Wilson captured the 73rd U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ken., with a 3-and-2 victory over Gianna Clemente, 14, of Estero, Fla., in Saturday’s 36-hole final.
The title also comes with an exemption into the 78th U.S. Women’s Open Presented by ProMedica next July at iconic Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. A number of U.S. Women’s Open champions have won the U.S. Girls’ Junior, including Mickey Wright, JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Hollis Stacy, Amy Alcott, Inbee Park, Ariya Jutanugarn and last month’s champion, Minjee Lee.
“Honestly, I’m so excited and I’m even more thrilled that it’s at pebble beach, so it’ll be awesome,” Wilson told www.lasvegasgolfinsider.com. “I’m just going to keep working hard and do my best at the U.S. Women’s Open next year. I have no expectations. I mean this year for the U.S. Girls Junior, I didn’t really have any expectations. I didn’t really expect myself to win. So, I feel like I might just carry on that same mindset with me when I play the Open. People don’t expect me to win the whole golf tournament, especially at the Open because I will be playing against the world’s best. I’m just going to do my best and see what happens.”
Wilson is also the reigning Nevada State 5A High School champion and also led Coronado High to the team title. She is a rising junior.