FRYEBURG — Nora Zhai of Fryeburg Academy recently competed in the Maine Girls State Golf Tournament on a cold wet afternoon at the at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, Maine, on Oct. 4.
Zhai overcame the adversity of the weather to finish fifth with plus-19 round of 91 for 18 holes against a field of 25 girls, qualifying her for the New England Championships.
The tournament featured a rare tie for first between Leavitt teammates Ruby Haylock, a sophomore, and Morgan Dutil, a junior, who shot identical plus-3 rounds of 75.
There was a tie for third at plus-10 (85) between Lindsay Cote of Nokomis and Mia Wang of Gould Academy.
At the states in Maine, Class A, B, C and D play as one division increasing the difficulty of the field.
Zhai had an outstanding day striking the ball. There were two reachable par 5s on the course, and she reached them both with her outstanding long game. Zhai, however, three and four putted those holes. In fairness she has been ill the past couple of weeks, and was unable to practice said Coach Chris Dutton.
She had difficulty with her feel for the pace of the greens. Her only errant tee ball was on the Par 3, fifth hole, where she pulled her tee shot left and into the woods. Zhai drew a good lie and tried to punch out of the woods to the green, but left the ball short, and into the hazard, where she had an unplayable lie. She ended up with a quadruple bogey 7 on the Par 3.
Hopefully, Zhai will have time to work on her short game before New Englands in the spring.
Coach Dutton reported that there were a number of water hazards on the course, and he was “impressed with how Nora worked her ball around each one.”
On the day Zhai shot a 91. Congratulations to Zhai, and coach Dutton and good luck at New Englands.