A record-tying third victory in her final appearance in the Maryland Junior Girls Amateur was an appropriate sendoff for Elyse Smidinger. Later this summer the Crofton resident will depart for the women’s team at the University of Denver.
Smidinger (71-72 – 143) shot a 1-over-par score Monday and Tuesday at the same University of Maryland Golf Course where she won a pair of Maryland public schools state championships competing for Arundel High.
Smidinger’s victory in the Maryland Junior Girls was the third time in the last four years that she won by five strokes. The one year she didn’t prevail (2010), Smidinger – a competitive gymnast turned golfer — was beaten in a playoff by two-time champion Karishma Thiagaraj of Rockville.
The only other players to win three times in the 36-year history of the event were Stephanie Connelly (2001-02, 2005), now on the Symetra Futures Tour, and Sarah Lebrun (1981-83), a former All-America at Duke, three-time Curtis Cup player, and U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up.