Team Canada with the championship, including Fall River's Jeff MacDonald, head coach. (Christian Bender/Golf Canada)

BRAMPTON, ONT./FALL RIVER: A Fall River golf coach was part of another piece of Canadian golf history on Oct. 7 when Team Canada captured its first-ever team title at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargent Farms.

Jeff MacDonald, who now calls Fall River home,  was the head coach of the winning Canadian squad at the championship.

MacDonald has been an assistant coach to Team Canada’s NextGen Golf team with Golf Canada and the Director of Instruction at Ashburn Golf Club for many years.

The best a Canadian squad had placed before was third – this year they won it all.


Canada 1 Team comprised 14-year-old Anna Huang of Vancouver (71-69-70-70—280), 17-year-old Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto (70-73-73-75—291), and 17-year-old Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver (72-75-80-68—295) shot a team-total 138 under cool and blustery conditions at Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont. to finish at 4-under 564 for the championship, a single shot clear of the Republic of Korea. 

Canada 1, who began the day with a share of the third-round lead alongside Korea and the United States, needed a late-round charge to overtake Korea, who held a one-shot team lead through 16 holes. 

The tournament shifted on the par-5 17th hole when Huang made a birdie for Canada and Korea’s Soomin Oh made a bogey.

Zhang then stepped up with a birdie on the par-418th, followed by Huang rolling in a par-putt to secure Canada’s first-ever team gold medal at the prestigious international junior championship. 


MacDonald, who’s hometown is Chester, was proud of how his team battled all week, going head-to-head with powerhouse challengers from Korea and the United States to earn the prestigious title – of world champions. 

“It feels really amazing, the girls have worked so hard, they all contributed so much today, it was really close all day and they dealt with the stress really, really well,” said MacDonald, who was especially proud of the team’s resolve and self-belief that they could win.

“Anna made a huge birdie on 17 while Vanessa was rolling in an incredible 30-footer on 18. We always knew it was a good company to be in, they (Korea and the USA) weren’t going to back down.

“The Koreans made a lot of putts today, they were exceptional, and our Canadians really stepped up to the occasion. They never felt like they couldn’t win this golf tournament.

“The whole time they knew they belonged, and they knew they could compete with those countries. They were competing, they wanted to win, and they knew they could win the whole time.” 


“I think me, and Vanessa (Zhang) did a great job on the last four holes, we both made two birdies, so that was a really great comeback for us, I’m just really proud of how we all did as a team, its not just individual scores, its all about the team effort,” said Huang in a Golf Canada release.

Canada’s previous best team finish at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship was a bronze medal in 2014. 

“I don’t think we all had super high expectations going into this event, we just set out to do our best every single day and it was nice that we saw ourselves on the leaderboard, it more just came down to keeping our practice routines the same and trying our best each and every shot,” said Zhang. 

“It’s such a cool experience, I said this earlier this week, you’re playing for something bigger than yourself, you’re playing for a team, and to do this together, feels pretty cool,” added Borovilos. 


The two-time past winners from Korea would finish with the silver medal, shooting a team-total 3-under 565 followed by Czech Republic earning bronze at 4-over 572.

Rounding out the top-five were Sweden (5-over 573) and Mexico (8-over 576). 

The Team Canada 2 squad of 14-year-old Miranda Lu of Vancouver, 16-year-old Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C. and 14-year-old Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. finished 18th

– With information from Golf Canada press release.