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Murphy adds another trophy to her summer collection

Posted: July 5, 2011 11:15 a.m.
Updated: July 6, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Local knowledge seemed to be the winning advantage as local favorite Kelli Murphy of Elgin captured the 55th Carolinas Golf Association Junior Girls Championship title by defeating  Allison Emrey of Charlotte by a 1-up margin in the finals played on Thursday, June 30 at Woodcreek Farms in Elgin.

Murphy, a rising sophomore at Lugoff-Elgin High School and a starter for the Demons’ golf team which played in the state class AAAA championship tournament, is a member of Woodcreek Farms.

"I probably knew the way the greens reacted to putts more than anyone else this week. But to be honest, I never thought I would get this far," Murphy said. "I just thought I would come here play pretty decent a few days and head home. This win means a lot to me."

The tournament crown was the second of the summer for Murphy, who won the 2011 Women’s City Golf Championship of the Greater Columbia Area.

Murphy shot a 74 in stroke play to finish third and earn herself a spot in the 16-girl championship flight.

In match play, Murphy won two matches on the first day with former L-E golf teammate and Southern Wesleyan University signee Cory Spaulding serving as her caddy. One day later, on championship day, another former teammate, 2011 L-E graduate Creighton Segars, was Murphy’s caddy.

Murphy faced off against McKenzie Talbert of North Augusta in the first semifinal match of the morning and would go on to beat the defending event champion 3 & 2. At one point, Murphy was four-under par on her round. Talbert would drain a 50-foot putt to keep the match going after 16 holes, but Murphy won the par 5 17th to take Talbert out of the championship.

In the final championship match Emrey would get off to a slow start. "I think we were both so tired," Emrey said. "This is a long week and it takes a lot of focus to keep your game going."

Emrey went one down after the first hole but quickly bounced back with a birdie to take the match back to all square. The players turned to the outward nine and Murphy held a 1-up advantage. Emrey would then go on to win holes 11, 12 and 13 to go two up after Murphy made a mental error, conceding a hole at which she could have tied Emrey with a par.

"My mind went blank out on those holes. I was mentally exhausted," Murphy laughed. When asked what got her to bounce back into the match she simply said, "A good pep talk from my caddie."

Murphy would go on to win holes 14 and 16 with a birdie to get the match back to all square. Both players made impressive birdies on the par 5 17th. But it was the 18th hole that sealed the deal for Murphy. After both players reached the green with good approach shots from the fairway Murphy drained a 42-foot putt while Emrey’s chance at birdie hit the hole and bounced out.

"I couldn’t believe my putt went in," Murphy laughed. "What a week!"

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