ENFIELD — It was a three-day tournament, but the 2023 New Hampshire Women’s Golf Amateur Championship was basically over after Monday’s opening round at Montcalm Golf Club.
Carys Fennessy, 16, who is entering her junior year at Dover High School later this month, separated herself from the 26-person field with a 4-under-par 68 and 8-stroke lead after Monday’s first round.
The Cocheco Country Club member finished with a three-day 1-under-par total of 215, beating another teenager, second-place finisher and defending champion Julianna Megan of Hoodkroft Country Club by 15 strokes. Megan was 17 years old when she won last year’s title.
Fennessy took home $350 to win the title that is often won by adults. The top five received cash prizes. Megan won $250. Breakfast Hill’s Amy Dickison placed third, 16 shots off the pace and collected $200. It was Fennessy’s fourth time playing in this tournament. She placed 11th in 2018, fifth in 2019, and third in 2021.
“(Winning this tournament) has been something I’ve been working on for awhile,” said Fennessy, who will next play in the New England Junior Amateur Championship starting Monday at Mount Washington Resort Golf Course at Bretton Woods. “It’s one of the few state tournaments I haven’t had a chance to come out on top in so, it was pretty cool, I had a fun time.”
Fennessy made a comeback in golf last fall after being hit in the head with a golf ball in June 2022 while attending the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, as a spectator. She suffered a concussion and doctors found her brain was bleeding as a result.
Fennessy, who started Wednesday’s final round with a 13-shot lead, carded a 2-over-par 74 final round score. She fired a 1-over-par 73 in Tuesday’s second round.
“I had a little bit of a cushion,” Fennessy said about her thoughts going into Wednesday. “I knew if I made a mistake I had a few shots that could give me insurance. I felt pretty comfortable and just played my game out there.”
On Wednesday, Fennessey bogeyed the par-5 third hole, and parred the other eight holes on the front nine. She bogeyed the 10th and 18th holes, both par-4s, on the back.
“I hit my drives really, really well today,” Fennessy said. “I had some length advantage over some of the other competitors. I think of myself as a pretty good putter so that kept me making some birdies here and there. Overall, I definitely have a pretty packed, competitive schedule and I have the experience to be in an event like this.”
On Monday, Fennessy had four birdies on the front nine, and three more on the back in her 4-under-par first-round score.
“(Monday) gave me some confidence,” Fennessy said. “I was nervous going into that first day. It really was anyone’s game and I didn’t know what to expect. I kind of figured out the course and having that 8-shot lead gave me the ability to go for some par-5s, and go at pins where I knew I had cushion.”
Fennessy has won the NHIAA girls individual golf championships in both of freshman and sophomore years at Dover. She shot an even-par in last fall’s girls final at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord. As a freshman, she shot a 3-under par 68 and won the girls state championship by five strokes.
“I think this (win) checks the box,” Fennessy said. “It’s something I wanted to win for awhile. My goal, ultimately, is national tournaments. Those have a bigger importance in my mind, but I am happy to win this at the state level.”
Fennessy hopes to keep her hot play going next week at the New England junior championship; a tournament she has played in four times and placed fifth last year.
“I’d like to win,” she said. “Now that it’s in New Hampshire, my home state, I’d like to represent well.”
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Dover’s Carys Fennessy wins NH Women’s Golf Amateur at 16