May cruises to Girls’ Junior title with eight-stroke victory

July 27, 2016

HAMILTON – Holding and eight-stroke advantage after Tuesday’s first round, Lindsay May knew she just had to play solid golf during the final round of the 54th New York State Girls’ Amateur Championship.

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The rising junior at Auburn High School did just that in backing up her amazing 67 with a 1-over round of 73 to win her first Girls’ Amateur title on Wednesday at Seven Oaks Golf Course. May’s total of 140 was eight strokes ahead of Taylor Miano, who finished second after scores of 75 and 73. Caroline Hodge, who posted an impressive 3-under 69 in her second round, finished tied for third at 151 with 11-year-old Bailey Shoemaker.

For May, it adds to her ever-growing list of accomplishments. She’s already won three New York State Public High School Championships.

“It means a lot to me,” May said. “I always like playing in these state tournaments. It’s good competition, they run it well, and everyone is so nice.”

May had everything going during Tuesday’s 5-under round, but just needed to avoid big mistakes Wednesday in order to take home the trophy. She made three birdies and four bogeys during her second round and held off the competition.

“I did mostly what I did yesterday,” May said. “I struggled a bit with my driver and irons today. It’s hard coming off a low round. Taylor was 3-under and gaining on me. She got to within four shots.”

Miano, 14, pulled close with a 3-under 33 on her front nine. She remained within striking distance with three holes left, but her valiant charge came up short when she double bogeyed the par-5 7th.

“I’m happy with my finish,” said Miano, who is from Dobbs Ferry. “It’s one of my best rounds and it’s great to do this in a big event like this. I was hoping to shoot under par, but I’m happy with this score.”

Hodge had the turnaround of the tournament by following Tuesday’s 82 with a stellar 69. She made six birdies and three bogeys in her round.

“I was kind of getting away with some iron shots because my short game was great all day,” said Hodge, who topped her previous best of 71. “I was getting up-and-down all day and it was really fun. … It’s always fun when you’re playing well. I’ve had a rough summer so far. I’ve been struggling and it’s has been frustrating, so it’s nice to go low again.”

Shoemaker has plenty of these opportunities to look forward to during a blossoming amateur career. She already has worldwide wins, most notably winning her age group in the 2015 European Championships in Scotland. Playing against some of the top high school players in the state can only help her progress.

“I’m used to playing with older girls,” Shoemaker said. “It’s lots of fun and good competition. The older girls are nice and treat me the same even though I’m young.”

May has a huge support group, beginning with a talented and decorated golfing family. Her brother Mike is heading to play at Cornell University, and her cousin, David May, was a former star at Clemson University.

“It’s great having them helping me,” May said. “Mike will teach me a bunch of shots and how to handle tricky shots. David helps me more with course management. … And my coach Marty (Nowicki) is a great coach. My father also coaches me, but he’s busy with work, so Marty really helps me and has made a huge impact.”

With several key victories in New York State under her belt, May now heads off to the AJGA Junior at Cattail Creek in Maryland on Aug. 2-4, then to the Junior PGA Championship in Rhode Island on Aug. 8-11.

Girls’ Division winners include: Madison Braman (17); Pasqualina Tartaglione (16); Hodge (15); Melanie Green (14), Mia Avotins (13); and Shoemaker (12-under).

-Nick Sardina – Mid-York Sports Report