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Prepare for your blood to boil…

A 16-year-old who won a regional schools’ golf event in the United States this week was denied the trophy and the chance to play in the state high school golf championships – because she is a girl.

Emily Nash shot a three-over-par 75 at the Central Massachusetts Division 3 boys’ golf tournament on Tuesday. That was four strokes better than the runner-up, Nico Ciolino.

However, despite playing off the same tees and under the same conditions as the boys, and although she was eligible to compete in the event and contribute towards her team’s overall score, Nash was denied the trophy on account of being female.

According to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules, “Girls playing on a fall boys’ team cannot be entered in the Boys Fall Individual Tournament. They can only play in the Boys Team Tournament. If qualified, they can play in the spring Girls Sectional and State Championships.”

As a result, Nash had to stand by as the trophy was presented to Ciolini. To his credit, he was apparently so embarrassed by the outcome that he tried to give the silverware to Nash but she refused.

“I was definitely disappointed, but I understand that there are rules in place,” Nash told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “I don’t think people expected for this to happen, so they didn’t really know how to react to it.”

Dave Kocur, the pro shop manager at host venue Blissful Meadows, described the decision as ‘complete garbage’, whilst Robert Dufresne, a volunteer rules official with the Massachusetts Golf Association, called it ‘a real injustice’.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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