By John Stewart, MSGA
Elyse Smidinger, 15, several times a runner-up in Maryland State and Middle Atlantic championships, finally earned an overall title when she shot 73-73--146 and breezed to a five-stroke victory in the 34th MSGA Junior Girls championship at Eisenhower Golf Course. The final-round score matched Smidinger's best tournament effort, a mark she had set the day before.
The 5,455-yard course played to a par of 35-36 in the event's two days of playing in hot, sunny weather.
Caroline Trevisan, 17, a Congressional Country Club member from Potomac, claimed the runner-up position after defeating Maia Schechter of Manor Country Club on the first playoff hole after they had tied at 151. Trevisan, a Stone Ridge School graduate headed for Georgetown University, had 76-75, while Schechter used the tournament's low round to force overtime with 80-71, and wound up with the 16-18 age-group trophy.
Defending champion Karishma Thiagaraj, 15, who began the last round tied for the lead with Smidinger, quickly fell behind with three bogeys on the first four holes and finished with 79-152. It was good enough however for the 14-15 age-group title.
The 12-13 age group winner was Bryana Nguyen, 13, from Fairway Hills Golf Course.
Smidinger opened a four-stroke lead on Thiagaraj with a front-nine par-35 including birdies at the fourth and seventh, offset by a double bogey at the 156-yard, par-3 eighth. Coming back, she had two more birdies and another double (the 481-yard 16th), then finished par-par.
Earlier in the week, the Crofton Country Club member had finished second by a shot in the annual Middle Atlantic Girls' Junior, winning the 16-18 age-group title. It marked the second straight such performance in this event, as she had tied for second a year ago, one shot behind champion Clare Connolly.
For three consecutive tournament days, Smidinger, an Arundel High School sophomore, amassed 13 birdies but had some problems too, as there were six doubles and a triple along the way.
Mary Jordan Nogay, 15, from Silver Spring, recorded her first hole-in-one when she needed just one 8-iron shot at the 150-yard 15th hole.
The age-group leaders: 16-18: Maia Schechter, Manor CC, 80-71--151; Clare Connolly, Chevy Chase Club, 78-75--153. 14-15: Karishma Thiagaraj, Northwest Park GC, 73-79--152; Stephanie Bosdosh, Holly Hills CC, 82-85--168. 12-13: Bryana Nguyen, Fairway Hills GC, 75-77--152; Khushboo Thiagaraj, Northwest Park GC, 84-74--158.
Posted June 29, 2009