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Girls golf: Kaitlyn Lee refuses to yield, wins Section 1 championship
Author: Mike Dougherty, firstname.lastname@example.org
There were some wobbles early in the final round of the Section 1 Girls Championship on Wednesday, but the Scarsdale junior self-corrected and ran away from the field at the Whippoorwill Club, posting a seven-stroke victory.
Lee carded a 78 in the final round, finishing with a 3-over total of 148.
Ursuline sophomore Alice Hodge carded a 76 in the final round to move into second place. Carmel senior Amanda Tully shot a 77 and finished third at 11-over.
“I felt like the best approach was to just start over, play it like it was a one-day tournament,” said Lee, who came in with a six-shot cushion. “Things were rough on at the beginning of the day, but I pulled through at the end and I’m very proud of how I played.”
She made three bogeys and one double on the front side Wednesday, but nobody was able to make a run in breezy conditions to apply pressure.
Over the last nine holes, Lee was even.
“My ball-striking was a strength in this one,” she added. “I was able to stick a lot of balls close to the pin and even though I didn’t make any in this round, I had a lot of putts for birdies.”
It was nearly even more of a runaway.
“Everything was burning the edge of the cup,” Hodge said. “I was rooting for Kaitlyn because we’re all best friends.”
That happens when a core group of golfers wins three straight NYSPHSAA championships.
“States is just an awesome experience,” said Hodge, who along with 13 pars had two birdies, two bogeys and one triple. “I get to play with my best friends and my sister. It’s a lot of fun.”
The other six qualifiers were Dobbs Ferry’s Taylor Miano (159), Ursuline’s Caroline Hodge (160), Lourdes’ Cameron James (163), Carmel’s Caitlin Tully (164), Edgemont’s Evelyn Chu (166) and Rye’s Amanda Latkany (170), who got in with a bogey on the second hole of a playoff with John Jay’s Kaylie Klemme.
“I’m so happy for Kaitlyn,” said Amanda Tully, who’s going to be playing in the state tournament for a fourth time. “She’s a great player, a great person. There is a little pressure to even make the state team because there are so many good players here. It’s very competitive, especially when you compare us to other sections. Just making it past the first day at Centennial was hard.”
The state tournament will be played June 1-3 at Bethpage State Park’s Yellow Course.
Caroline Hodge, the defending champion, matched her sister’s charge with a 3-over 76 and climbed into fifth place to complete a run of six consecutive state appearances.
“I didn’t play my best the first day,” she said. “I just decided to come out here and have some fun. I was playing with one of my best friends, Caitlin, and felt the best approach was to trust myself and not worry about where I finished. It’s so much fun getting to play with such a competitive and tight-knit group so I couldn’t imagine not playing with them at states again this year.”
Section 1 Girls Championship
At Whippoorwill Club
1. Kaitlyn Lee, Scarsdale 70-78-148
2. Alice Hodge, Ursuline 79-76-155
3. Amanda Tully, Carmel 79-77-156
4. Taylor Miano, Dobbs Ferry 76-83-159
5. Caroline Hodge, Ursuline 84-76-160
6. Cameron James, Lourdes 83-80-163
7. Caitlin Tully, Carmel 81-83-164
8. Evelyn Chiu, Edgemont 83-83-166
9. Amanda Latkany, Rye 84-86-170
9. Kaylie Klemme, Wappingers 78-92-170
11. Madeleine Zang, Mamaroneck 88-87-175
12. Allyson McPartland, Arlington 89-88-177
12. Teresa Crowley, Carmel 89-88-177
14. Rebecca Maude, Scarsdale 91-93-183
15. Molly Stoltz, Bronxville 86-98-184
16. Sora Park, Wappingers 92-94-186
17. Carly Regan, Carmel 91-96-187
18. Katie Bowen, Scarsdale 90-105-195
19. Jenna Yi, Rye 92-108-200
20. Lauren Selkin Byram Hills/Fox Lane 91-110-201