Emily Dunlap is checking goals off her list. The rising senior at Mauldin High School put a gold star next to “winning a CGA title” with her victory in the Carolinas Golf Association South Carolina Match Play championship.
“I play in as many CGA events as I can,” she said. “I love the competition and it is a lot of fun so it was great to get a win, especially in a match play tournament,” said Dunlap.
The future College of Charleston golfer got off to a good start with a third place finish in the stroke play qualifying round. Dunlap finished three shots behind medalist Anna Grace Brock of Greenwood.
In the first round of match play Dunlap faced Carly Lyvers of Greenville in what would turn out to be her most difficult match in the championship.
“We have played together before and I kind of new her game. We went back and forth before I was able to get the win,” she said..
Dunlap won her first match 2&1 and went on to win both her round of 8 and semi-final matches by convincing scores of 7&5.
“I gained a lot of confidence in those two matches. I hit the ball well and made some big putts. I thought I had some momentum going into the final,” said Dunlap.
Brock earned her spot in the finals with a hard fought win over Kerington Lamb of Easley. The Greenwood golfer won her semi-final match in 21 holes.
In the championship match Dunlap got off to a good start and went 2up early in the round. She lost a hole to Brock on number four, but regained a two hole advantage on the fifth hole and added another birdie on the eighth hole.
“After that I was hitting the ball great and really felt confident, but Anna Grace stayed with me and even though I felt good about things the match wasn’t over,” said Dunlap.
Brock had cut Dunlap’s lead to two by number 15. The match went dormie when both golfers pared the 16th hole.
On number 17 Brock hit a fine shot on the par 3 100 yard hole. She was easily in birdie range.
Dunlap followed Brock’s good shot with an even better shot. She hit her sand wedge to within two feet of the pin.
Brock missed her birdie putt while Dunlap was able to tap in the short birdie to win the championship 3&1.
“It was a great way to finish it out. This was the first time I have played four straight days in a tournament and especially playing match play made it a real challenge. I’m just so happy to get the win.
Dunlap first won an important event as an eighth grader capturing the AAAA South Carolina High School Upper State title. She has won the same title several more times and has a pair of SCJGA Cheraw Fall Challenge championship also on her resume.