Kim and Marlboro rule District girls golf

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Catherine Kim went into the Freehold Regional District Girls Golf Tournament anticipating the worse.

“The day before I had played 18 holes in the Shore Conference and it was 90 degrees,” she pointed out. “It drained me.

“I thought I’d do terribly [at the District tournament],” she added. “I wasn’t expecting to play well.”

While she may not have played her best golf over nine holes at the Pine Brook Golf Course in Manalapan on May 28, the Marlboro senior played well enough to win the District title after a playoff with Freehold Township’sAmy Palmer. Both carded 44s, one stroke ahead of Colts Neck’s Arianna Hatchett and three better than the two-time defending champion Meghan Kelly of Howell (47).

“I was pretty shocked,” said Kim, who will continue to play golf at the College of New Jersey. “I didn’t expect to win.”

The playoff started on the first hole, a long par-4. Having gotten in trouble with her driver the first time around, Kim played it safe using a 6-iron and just putting the ball in play.

“I was pretty shaky on the tee,” she recalled.

However, she found a fairway bunker. She was able to get the ball out and close to the green. Her pitch shot rolled onto the fringe, however, she rolled her chip shot with 2 feet for a bogey.With Palmer shooting five off the green, Kim could win it if she could nail her downhill 2-footer.

“I was reading the green from every direction, I was looking for any possible break,” she said. “It was straight downhill. I hit it and held my breath until it went in.”

This is just the third year for the girls’ District Tournament and Kim sees herself and the other girls as trailblazers.

“It’s a great honor to be playing in this tournament,” she said. “It’s very young right now, but it will grow up to be a large event.”

Kim enjoyed a double victory as the Marlboro girls also captured the team championship by just three strokes over Colts Neck, 199-202.

Heather Evankow, Grace Lee and Michelle Yang were Marlboro’s scorers. Evankow tied Kelly for fourth place with a 47. Lee had a 51 and Yang, 576.

Alexa Messinger and Patty Yang played on the team throughout the season.

The Mustangs, coached by Tom Sandoval, were 10-8 in dual meets. He pointed out that theMustangs have a very bright future. Kim is the only senior in the group.

At the Shore Conference tournament, played at Suneagles Golf Course in Fort Monmouth,Kimled the girls tying for eighth place with a 94 on the par-73 course. Colts Neck’s Nicole Danzi tied for 20th (101) and Kellywas 22nd (102).Hatchett had 26th place to herself (107) and her teammate Deanna Dechirico was 29th (110).

Colts Neck finished fourth (317).