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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

MIAA rules scorned after girl not eligible for tournament win

Emily Nash, who was denied trophy in boys' tournament she won, receives invitation to Annika Invitational


By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 | 1:40 p.m. 
Remember that story last week about 16-year-old Massachusetts high school golfer Emily Nash, who won a boys' district tournament with a 3-over 75, but was denied the trophy -- even though she played the same tees as the boys -- because she's a girl?

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association defended its rule in a press release last week, reiterating that Nash's scores -- during the fall boys' season -- could only count toward a team total and not individually. Her individual scores can only count in the spring during the girls' season.
Since Nash's Lunenburg High School doesn't have a full girls' team, she plays as an individual in the spring and with the boys' team in the fall.

So, yeah... You can play in the tournament, but you're not allowed to win it.

Well, her story has gotten the attention of many in the golf world who felt the MIAA did Nash wrong, including that of Hall of Famer and 72-time LPGA winner Annika Sorenstam.

Sorenstam, a 10-time major winner, extended an invitation to Nash to play in the AJGA's Annika Invitational, which features the top junior female golfers from around the world. The tournament will be played Jan. 12-15, 2018 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida.

The event is hosted by the ANNIKA Foundation which provides opportunities in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels, the AJGA site says, while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. Through the activities surrounding the event, the ANNIKA Foundation promotes Annika’s “More Than Golf” philosophy during the event.

The news was shared on Twitter late Monday afternoon:

While Nash didn't get the trophy everyone knows she rightfully earned, it looks like a lot of good has come out of situation.

Now hopefully the MIAA can take this as a teaching moment and get its rulebook updated to get with the times.

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.

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