- Golfer Benefits
KINGSTON, Massachusetts – After a tightly contested first round, Sofie Robinson (Weston Golf Club) came away with an edge at the Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship Powered by KOHR Golf at Indian Pond Country Club on Tuesday.
Sophie Lim (KOHR Golf Center) took the lead in the Silver Division, while Reva MacHanavajhula (Youth on Course/Mass Golf) leads in the Junior-Mite Division.
Robinson recovered from a 3-over start on the front nine and made birdie on holes 11, 15 and 16 to card an even-par 72. Robinson was the only golfer to finish at par on the challenging course at Indian Pond.
Close behind were Emma Abramson (The Ridge Club) and Renna Chang (Youth on Course/Mass Golf) with 1-over 73s. Both rose to the top of the standings after posting strong back nines.
“I started off with a double so I was not planning to provisional off the tee, but then I finished 1-over so I was really happy with my perseverance to come back and shoot lower than how I started off on the first hole,” Abramson said.
The Sandwich native punctuated her performance with a long putt for birdie on the par-5 18th hole.
“I didn’t drop many today until the last four holes, so making some clutch putts coming in definitely feels good,” she said.
There was a five-way tie for fourth place between Clara Chae (KOHR Golf Center), Isabel Brozena (Indian Ridge Country Club), Kaitlyn Doe (Student Member/MIAA), Alexandra Pool (Pine Brook Country Club) and 2021 Girls’ Junior Champion Annie Dai (Student Member/MIAA), who all shot a 2-over 74.
“I actually wasn’t striking the ball very well and I could definitely putt better but I think because the distance of this place was so short, it didn’t really cost me that much, so I actually scored pretty well,” Dai said.
As a returning champion, Dai said her mindset and approach at this year’s championship are different than the ones she took into the 2021 competition.
“It definitely puts a little bit more pressure on me, but I think I’m just gonna have fun this year and it would be great to play well as well,” she said.
Heading into the final round, Dai hopes to keep her tee shots in play and work on her putting, though she is pleased with how her chipping has looked thus far.
Tying at 3-over were Alika Lavu (MIAA), Piper Jordan (Boston Golf Club) and Morgan Smith (Vesper Country Club), who is coming off her second appearance in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Lavu recorded the best score of the afternoon on the front nine, clocking a 2-under 34 to take a two-stroke lead heading into the back nine. Jordan also found herself in a solid position heading into the back nine after carding an even-par 36 to start the round.
“I thought it was pretty good, I made some birdies, which is nice because I normally don’t make much,” Jordan joked. “I stuck one to about a foot to make a birdie, so that was probably the best shot of the day.”
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Robinson finished with the best 9-hole score in the Championship Division after recording a 33 on the back nine, which made her the golfer to beat for much of the afternoon.
Abramson and Chang both came back from up-and-down starts on the front nine to card 35s on the back nine. While Abramson got her 35 by knocking in putts down the stretch, Chang got hers with a birdie on 14 and an eagle on the par-4 15th hole. Chang was one of two golfers to make an eagle in the Championship Division, both of which came on hole 15. Brozena was the other golfer to eagle the hole.
Though several golfers noted that the back nine caused more trouble than the front nine, especially due to the increased number of hazards and a bout of late-afternoon wind, Doe made a move at the end of the round with three birdies to propel her to fourth place. Smith also carded a 36 on the back nine to bounce back from a 3-over start.
Paired with Sadie Cumming (Dedham Country and Polo Club), Lim got out to an early lead over the rest of the field after making birdie on the par-4 third hole. Lim held steady against the rest of the field and withstood bogeys on the final three holes to finish with an 82, 9 strokes better than the second-place finishers. The Boston native carded two birdies throughout the round, which led the Silver Division.
Cumming and Olivia Arone (The Ridge Club) each carded a 91 to slide into second place behind Lim. Alora Assad (Country Club of Wilbraham) finished with a 98 to record the third-best score of the morning.
In the 9-hole Junior-Mite competition, MacHanavajhula shot a 1-over 37 to finish as the Round 1 leader. MacHanavajhula recorded birdies on holes 2 and 5 and was the only Junior-Mite golfer to make birdie.
Isabella Arone (Brae Burn Country Club) recovered from a challenging start on hole 1 to finish four strokes back of MacHanavajhula with a 4-over 41, good for second place heading into Day 2. Alyssa Paine (MIAA) sits in third with a 47.
The championship features five of the six golfers from the 2022 Junior Inter-City Team Matches squad: Amy Lyon (Winchester Country Club), Champa Visetsin (Student Member/MIAA), Maddie Smith (Mount Pleasant Golf Club), Clara Chae (KOHR Golf Center) and Lillian Guleserian (Blue Hill Country Club). Chae’s 2-over 74 was the best finish out of the group on Monday.
After taking third place in the matches at Radley Run Country Club in June as part of the team, Guleserian said she enjoyed seeing her teammates again at the Girls’ Junior even though they are competing against one another instead of playing together.
“It’s definitely different because when you play as a team, you know their games,” Guleserian said. “But it’s nice to see them here.”
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