GREENWICH — Maryanne Grace not only earned a spot in the Greenwich Academy golf team’s lineup as an eighth-grader, she absolutely excelled this spring.
Monday, Grace’s first season as a member of the Gators concluded and she couldn’t have scripted a better ending.
Shooting an even-par 35 over nine holes at The Round Hill Club’s challenging course, Grace won the Caroline Dym ‘18 FAA Memorial Tournament.
“It feels great, I’m so excited and it’s a great way to end the season with an awesome team,” Grace said.
Sacred Heart Greenwich sophomore MaryGrace Farrell finished second, carding a 1-over-par 36, while Greenwich Academy junior Katie Dzialga, GA senior Emmy Sammons and Sammie Bobman of Rye Country Day School tied for third at 5-over 40.
Grace who shot a 74 at the 18-hole Pippy O’Connor Independent School Tournament birdied the par-3 sixth hole and the par-4 ninth hole at Round Hill Monday. She also sank five parr putts on her way to shooting an impressive 35.
“Actually, I had never played the whole nine all the way through, so it was really nice to play here today,” Grace said. “It got really dark on the eighth hole and the ninth hole it started raining a lot, which made the second shot tricky. Other than that, it was great.”
Greenwich Academy coach Patrick Dwyer saw Grace perform beyond her years all season.
“I am so impressed with her performance,” Dwyer said of Grace. “To finish with a birdie — she was 2-under over the last four holes — that was great to see. The future for her is unlimited and she loves to play. Obviously, she’s competitive. She shot a 74 when it was 40 degrees colder (Pippy O’Connor tourney) and I am thrilled with her for this result.”
Monday’s FAA individual champion began golfing as a 10-year-old.
“My dad got me into playing golf, but I wanted to anyway when I was little,” said Grace, plans on competing in Met PGA tournaments and possibly some AJGA events over the summer. “Playing on this team was so much fun, everyone was super nice and I loved being able to play with so many new people at so many courses.”
Farrell holed birdie putts on the par-5 second hole and the par-3 third hole.
“I was able to capitalize on the only par 5 on the front nine,” Farrell said. “My mid-range irons were consistent for me. My putting was a little off, but I was able to recover. It was a really fun round, we got caught up with a little bit of rain on 8, but it was a great round with great girls.”
Farrell helped key a Tigers squad that posted a record of 8-6.
“We started off the season strong with a win at Taft and we have some really great, young players. Competing in this tournament against such good competition was a good way to end the season.”
Dzialga, a junior, finished her round in style. She birdied the par-4 seventh hole, then got up-and-down for par on the par-4 eighth hole. Her solid round ended with a par putt on No. 9.
“The first couple of holes weren’t as great as the last couple of holes, which was good,” Dzialga said. “I finished stronger than I started. It was super nice out there, the course is so nice and in really good shape for this point of the season.”
Greenwich Academy won the FAA team title by going undefeated in conference play during the regular season.
“Everyone says we have good depth and I agree,” Dzialga said. “The key to us winning our matches has been our No. 3, 4 and 5 players winning. It’s been a team effort, so it’s been great.”
Sammons, who tied for third (40), played in her final match for GA. She will continue her golf career at Washington University in St. Louis in the fall.
“It’s kind of bittersweet, it’s been a fun run up until now,” Sammons said. “It’s been fun working with all these girls and all the players I played with today. I am so proud of Maryanne, she works hard, so it’s nice to see her have these great results.”
Graduation day is Thursday for Sammons and her Greenwich Academy classmates.
“I am so excited and ready to graduate and move on,” Sammons said. “I will definitely be thinking of this team when I play next year.”
Carly Haines and Lianna Amoruso of Sacred Heart each carded a 43, as did Clare Foley of Greens Farms Academy on Monday.
“The season has been great,” said Haines, a junior who played at the No. 1 spot for the Tigers. “We had young team this year, but with all the inexperience, we really showed the FAA and New England teams what Sacred Heart is made of. I’m very excited for next season, I think it will be great.”
Amoruso won the 2018 Caroline Dym FAA Tournament by shooting a 3-over-par 38.
“I feel like I could have done better, I had three pars today, but I definitely had a lot of birdies chances that I missed,” Amoruso said. “Overall, I am happy with how I fought back and I’m happy with my performance.”
Josephine Genereux, who played for Sacred Heart last year, paced Greenwich Academy with a 41.
“I had zero pars over the first three holes, then I birdied 4 and 5, which was good, because I got some sort of momentum going,” Genereux said. “Our team was great, we got a lot out of each match that we played.”