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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fahey's four birdies at Gulph Mills make her the Inter-Ac champ



   Notre Dame junior Meghan Fahey just wanted to make her last high school round of the spring a good one.
   Four birdies later, Fahey had a 1-under 36 on a very testy 2,556-yard, par-37 front nine at Gulph Mills Golf Club Wednesday and a four-shot victory in the Inter-Ac League Championship.
   She bested a field that included three former champions, her playing partner, Agnes Irwin sophomore Kaitlyn Lees, her teammate, Notre Dame sophomore Olivia Traynor and Baldwin senior Caroline Rosen.
   Lees gave Fahey a pretty good battle before settling for a runnerup finish at 3-over 40. Fahey’s teammates, Traynor and sophomore Brianna Marmorstein finished tied for third with Marmorstein getting the third-place plaque on a match of cards.
   “I haven’t really played that well during the high school season,” said Fahey, a member at Overbrook Golf Club, Notre Dame’s home course, and Merion Golf Club. “I’ve been putting well and I just putted pretty well today.”
   The greens are always a test at Gulph Mills and that was certainly the case Wednesday, but Fahey did a nice job of working the slopes on some of her approaches to set up short birdie putts.
   “I was trying to do that and it worked a couple of times and a couple of times I just got lucky,” Fahey said. "My biggest problem is, at times, I'm too hard on myself."
   After a three-putt bogey at the first to open her round, Fahey made a par at the second. She was in front of the par-5 third hole in two, chipped it to 12 feet and dropped in the birdie putt. Then she drilled a pitching wedge to two feet at the 105-yard fourth hole and made the putt for a second straight birdie.
   “I thought that shot might go in the hole for a second,” Fahey said. “Back-to-back birdies, that was pretty nice.”
   A poor approach into a bunker at the fifth hole led to a double bogey and Fahey and Lees were deadlocked at 1-over standing on the tee at the 404-yard, par-5 seventh.
   Fahey played the slope perfectly on her short approach at the seventh and holed the four-foot birdie putt. Left with a short approach after nearly driving the green at the 253-yard, par-4 eighth, Fahey again got the ball to stop 10 feet from the hole and again made the birdie try.
   A nice two-putt from 30 feet on the ninth hole enabled Fahey to complete a sub-par run on the Gulph Mills front side.
   Lees, the reigning Pennsylvania Junior champion who plays out of Philadelphia Country Club, had three three-putts, but also made some testy par-saving putts. Lees won the Inter-Ac title three years ago as a seventh-grader and has finished second, third and second again since then. She’s been among the best players in the Inter-Ac for four seasons and she still has two to go.
   Fahey and the Irish once again completed a perfect 8-0 run through their Inter-Ac dual matches. It was Notre Dame’s eighth straight Inter-Ac title and seventh straight undefeated run through the league. The Irish winning streak has reached 52 matches.
   Thomas Verdi had been Mary Jane Wetzel’s assistant for four years and took the reins as the head coach this spring after Wetzel retired.
   “We broke our school record with a 201 at Overbrook and the next week we had a 201 at Philadelphia Country Club, which is also our record for any course,” Verdi said.
   Notre Dame qualified its eight top players for Wednesday’s championship. Following Fahey, Marmorstein and Traynor, junior Bridget Pyott had a 45, senior Maggie Cass had a 47, senior Maddie Keane had a 48, senior Gabby Morganti had a 50 and junior Addie Lennon had a 51.
   The senior co-captains, Cass, Keane and Morganti will leave Notre Dame having never lost a high school match.
   “We don’t really think that much about keeping the streak going,” Fahey said. “Winning’s nice, but we’re just trying to play as well as we can.”
   Heading the Episcopal Academy foursome that qualified for Wednesday's championship was Lauren Jones, who had a 47. Also for the Churchwomen, Maddie Bacskai carded a 50, MaryKate Chambers had a 55 and Bella Echevarria posted a 59.
   You can catch periodic golf updates as well as alerts to blog posts on Twitter @tmacgolf16. You can contact me at chaseutfan@gmail.com. With 24 loops at Stonewall this spring, I think I qualify as a caddy for hire. Just sayin. It would certainly make for some interesting blog posts.



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