Forsgate's Lu wins 66th Junior Girls'; is stroke play medalist in 95th Women's Amateur
July 28, 2020 - Katherine Lu of Forsgate shot a one-under-par 71 for a two round total of 144 to win the 66th New Jersey State Golf Association Junior Girls’ Championship today at the par-72, 5,338 yard Morris County Golf Club in Morristown. Lu’s 144 total was also good enough to claim medalist honors in the simultaneous 95th Women’s Amateur 36-hole stroke play qualifying round, and the top seed for match play which begins on Wednesday morning.
Lu, the only player to card a round under par during Tuesday's stroke play, edged Katie Li of Fiddler’s Elbow (73-72-145) by a single shot in both events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three championships were being conducted concurrently at the par-72, 5,338-yard Morris County Golf Club in Morristown. The third competition, the 7th Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, was won by Samantha Perrotta of Old York who claimed her second Women’s Mid-Amateur title in three years, shooting 76-75-151, seven strokes better than defending champion Noelle Maertz of Ridgewood, who shot 74-84-158.
While the Junior Girls’ and Mid-Amateur championships were determined at 36-hole stroke play, the Women’s Amateur continues. The low 16 scores from stroke play have advanced to match-play on Wednesday and Thursday, when the semifinals and final take place. Juniors (ages 18 and under) and Mid-Amateurs (age 25 and older) were eligible for match play if their scores are within the low 16, and if they opted before the beginning of the championship to play in the Women’s Amateur proper.
Lu, 17, is a rising senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School and has committed to join the Michigan State women’s golf team in 2022. She tied for sixth in last year’s Junior Girls’ Championship just after being named Second Team, All-State by The Star-Ledger.
On Tuesday, she recorded six birdies against one bogey to go five-under par through 12 holes. Things turned – temporarily - with bogies on the par-3 13th and par-4 14th, followed by a double bogey on the par-4 16th hole which nearly cost her the Junior Championship and the top match play seed. However, Lu rallied for pars on the two finishing holes, the par-3 17th and par-4 18th, while a bogey by Kate Li on her 17th hole propelled Lu to the title.
“The first time I looked at the leaderboard was after the 14th hole, just to see where I stood and whether I had to be more aggressive in my play,” Lu said. “I saw I was in the lead – but I definitely got nervous and had a forgettable hole.
“After the double bogey, I just told myself to calm down and play like I had on the other holes when I was doing well. I finished up solid, especially after 16,” she said.
On the 360-yard 16th hole, Lu chunked a wedge shot from 95 yards into the false front of the green, and watched it roll back into the fairway. She then chipped on and three putted.
“It feels amazing to be both Junior champion and medalist at the same time. It’s always nice to win something like this,” said Lu, who won a Hurricane Junior Tour event at Ballyowen in May.
“It’s about believing in myself. I trust myself. Playing like I did today shows what I am doing is right. I’ve been focusing on distance and reading my lines and getting the right speed on the greens,” Lu stated.
Perrotta, who returns for the match-play portion of the Women’s Amateur as the 10th seed, recorded four birdies in each round. The longest putt she made on Tuesday was a 20-footer to save par at the par-4 fifth hole.
“It's nice to play well on a really hard golf course and be rewarded with a championship,” said Perrotta, who won the Mid-Amateur in 2018. “I played the par fives well. I hit it far enough to take advantage of them.
“I played horrible at the beginning of this year, but I’m much better now,” said Perrotta, who won the Philadelphia Women’s Amateur in a four-hole playoff on July 16. She also won the NJSGA Women’s Public Links Championship in 2013.
Follow the match play action, beginning on Wednesday, with live scoring at NJSGA.org and across the NJSGA’s social media channels – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.