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Kelli Murphy wires CGA Jr. girls' tourney field to win title

Posted: June 28, 2013 11:25 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of the CGA/

KELLI MURPHY IS ALL smiles as she hoists the Carolinas Golf Association's Junior Girls Championship trophy after capturing the tourney title last Thursday.

Elgin’s Kelli Murphy, a rising senior at Lugoff-Elgin High School, won the 57th Carolinas Junior Girls Championship in leading the golf tournament played at Wyboo Golf Club in Manning from start to finish.
Murphy, who is committed to continued her academic and golf endeavors at Auburn University, was able to fight through two hard fought matches on a hot and humid day during the semifinal and final rounds. 
Murphy, who won this championship in 2011, was the number one seed after shooting a 1-under par 71 in the stroke-play qualifying round and faced off against Jessica Spicer of Durham, N.C., in Thursday’s semifinal morning match. Spicer would start off strong and would go three up on Murphy at one point, but Murphy, who doesn’t make many mistakes, started getting her putts to fall and was able to gain some momentum back on the inward nine. 
Murphy would go on to defeat the 15-year-old Spicer by a 2 and 1 margin.  “I was a little nervous at the turn,” Murphy admitted. “I just took a deep breath and I told myself one shot at a time. We had a great match.” 
In the day’s other semifinal pairing, Nicole Chin of Irmo, was matched up against 2013 North Carolina Junior Girls Championship runner-up, Emiilia Migliaccio of Cary, N.C. Both long hitters in their own right, Chin would find herself with an early lead and went on to defeat Migliaccio also by a 2 and 1 margin. 
While Murphy is no stranger to being in the finals of this championship --- this is her third straight championship final --- Chin advanced for the first time in many starts. 
“We’re good friends,” Chin said.”  I just want us to play the golf course and not each other.  I want us both to play well.” 
Murphy would gain an early lead after she decided at the last minute to go back to her old putting stroke. “I’ve been working on my putting but it was letting me down a little this week, so I figured I’d just go back to what always seemed to work for me,” Murphy laughed. “I was able to make a lot more putts this afternoon but I still have some work to do.” 
Chin was four down after missing a short putt on the par 5 ninth hole. The long-hitting Chin was able to go for the par 5 11th in two but found the green side bunker. Chin successfully got up-and-down for a birdie-4 and was able to gain some momentum back in the match. 
Having the honor on the 12th tee, Chin hit her approach shot to about a foot from the hole and was conceded her birdie while Murphy missed her attempt to stay three up. 
Chin was starting to feel confident but the hot weather would start to become a factor and Chin would miss her putt to tie the hole and found herself three down yet again. Chin’s drive on the par 5 15th found the left side of the hole in some tall fescue and she was forced to take an unplayable while Murphy’s drive would find the fairway and was able to nuzzle up her birdie putt for a par and her second Carolinas Junior Girls Championship title. 
“This win means a lot to me,” said Murphy, a quarterfinalist in the 2012 United States Golf Association’s Girls’ Junior Championships.
“Not only do I love match play but I love this tournament and to win it again will always hold a special place in my heart.” 
Murphy will also now be a part of the 2013 Carolinas Junior Girls Team Matches (Mid-Atlantic Challenge) held in July for the third straight year.   

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