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Garvin defeats Walsh for Massachusetts Women's Am title
Angela Garvin and Anne Walsh (Mass Golf/Twitter photo)
Angela Garvin and Anne Walsh (Mass Golf/Twitter photo)

With one championship title secured for the season and earning medalist honors after the first two rounds of stroke play, it was obvious that Angela Garvin was the one to beat in match play at the 116th Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship. Very rarely did she let her foot off the peddle as she propelled herself through a difficult bracket of talented golfers from across the Bay State. Garvin finished her week of competition with a 4-and-3 victory over Anne Walsh, who plays out of The Country Club, on Thursday afternoon at Weston Golf Club.

This is just the fourth time that a Junior Girls' champion has won the Women’s Amateur Championship in the same year, with the first occasion coming in 1954 with Joanne Goodwin, followed by Loren Milhench in 1985 and most recently in 2005 when Chelsea Curtis.

Angela Garvin has had a dream final home stretch on the Mass Golf Championship summer schedule, winning the 2019 Girls Junior just over a week ago and using that as a springboard toward a victory in the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Championship. Garvin won stroke-play medalist honors through the first two rounds of competition, as she was the only player to be combined under par for the stroke play qualifier. Her steady play has given her the confidence needed going into her freshman year at the University of Maryland.

“I don’t think I can really ask for any better way to end off the season before starting school, ” said Garvin. “It’s just helped my confidence. I think I’ve proved to myself how I can play how I think I should be able to play and I just hope that I can carry this momentum into the fall at Maryland.”

Usually a razor-sharp iron player, Garvin had to rely on her putter Thursday, as she had some longer looks at birdie and par today.

“My long putting was really good today,” said Garvin. “I think my irons weren’t as good today as they were, so I had more lag putts. My speed was really good. I was able to limit the mistakes and put a little bit more pressure on Anne(Walsh) to have to make the birdies which obviously makes it a little bit more difficult.”

Garvin found herself in a similar situation as two years prior, leading the championship match by multiple strokes. This year, though, would be different, as she wanted to make sure she held on to the lead to clinch her first championship. Although it hurt at the time, Garvin used it as a positive learning experience.

“I learned that you have to stay focused,” said Garvin. “Even when you get a lead, you can’t sit back. It was definitely really tough to lose that day. But I think I learned from that and I used that today because I did have a lead on the front. It helped me to stay focused. Even just two years ago, losing that tournament gave me so much more motivation to come back and you know, maybe win it. So when I found out I was in the finals today just I wasn’t thinking about it, but I was thinking about all I learned.”

Anne Walsh had a great week herself, upsetting Megan Buck and Hannah Ghelfi in match play on Wednesday. Defeating Rebecca Skoler on 18 in her morning match had her in terrific position going into the championship.

“Yeah, this morning’s match was really fun,” said Walsh. “I played well on the front nine and then Rebecca (Skoler) made some great putts, she birdied 17. Then on 18 to have that shot coming in. I think I just kind of pretended I was at the range just put a good swing on it. Then I was able to stick it close so that was a really nice way to finish.”

Walsh has been playing in Mass Golf Women’s events for most of of her childhood, and loves the competition and relationships it brings.

“I think junior golf in mass is definitely on the rise,” said Walsh. “I think when I first started there were fewer girls and now to see players like Sofie Robinson out here she’s younger, and Christine Mandela. There’s a lot of great girl golfers playing in this event. It’s nice to see that it’s growing.

ABOUT THE Massachusetts Women's Amateur

18-hole stroke play qualifier for 2 match play flights of 32 players. Must have a current established GHIN handicap from a Massachusetts Golf Association member club.

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