BROCKTON — Winning golf tournaments is old hat for Lunenburg High junior Emily Nash. But to actually receive a trophy for her excellence? Now that’s some storybook vindication.
Nash recorded the lowest score in the Division 3 Central boys’ championship last October at Blissful Meadows GC, but was denied recognition due to a rule loophole enforced by the MIAA.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity or spewing vitriol at the powers that be, Nash dug deep, spending the winter perfecting her swing while maintaining a kind but determined mentality.
On Wednesday at Thorny Lea Golf Club, Nash claimed what was rightfully hers, shooting a 1-over-par 75 to win the MIAA girls’ individual title by four strokes.
This time, the junior was rewarded with some hardware.
“It’s just great to come back, even after what happened in the fall, to not let it get me down or anything like that,” Nash said. “It definitely was an extra motivation [for me] to try and win this tournament.
“Even though I did win [in October], I didn’t technically get the title from my school or the trophy from my school or anything like that. That definitely motivated me to try to win either sectionals or states. To come back and win this one is a great accomplishment.”
Nash maintained a one-shot lead entering the 18th hole over Concord-Carlisle sophomore Gabrielle Shieh, the defending champion who finished tied for second along with Scituate’s Kaitlynn Washburn (79). In Monday’s North/Central/West qualifier at Townsend Ridge CC, Shieh (71) edged Nash (73) by two strokes.
Where Shieh found trouble on her final hole, Nash soared, two tidy shots preceding a chip from just off the green for eagle that flirted with the flagstick before settling inches from the hole.
“That was definitely one of the highlights,” said Nash of her brilliant final sequence. “I was relieved just to get it close and get it over with.”
After finishing as runners-up in 2017, Notre Dame of Hingham claimed the team title with a combined score of 392, edging Barnstable by eight strokes. Leading the charge were a pair of 87s from Molly Cummins and Jackie Hurley, the two best marks notched in team play.
“The girls fought hard the whole day and from top to bottom, everybody competed until the end,” said Notre Dame coach Jay Durfee.
“Notre Dame Academy has a pretty strong tradition. We’ve been the runner-up a couple of years now without winning, so it’s nice to get back on track to where we were. All our girls bought into what we were doing all year long and this is the ultimate prize.”
MIAA girls’ golf championship
at Thorny Lea GC, Brockton, Mass.
Individuals: 75 – Emily Nash, Lunenburg 79 – Gabrielle Shieh, Concord-Carlisle; Kaitlynn Washburn, Scituate 80 – Angela Garvin, Agawam 83 – Eleanor Parkerson, Boston Latin 84 – Hannah Blonder, Westwood 85 – Emily Moy, Cohasset; Madalin Small, Newton South
Team Results: 1. Notre Dame-Hingham 392; 2. Barnstable 400; 3. Wellesley 406; 4. Duxbury 414; 5. Westborough 421; 6. Ursuline 428.