August 24, 2020 – Noelle Maertz of Ridgewood and Ami Gianchandani of Watchung Valley teamed to fire a three-under par 68 (-3) to win the 8th New Jersey State Golf Association Women’s Four-Ball Championship at the par 71, 5,621 yard Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown. The duo won in dominating fashion, besting the tandem of Lise Coe and Dona Wallerius who finished as runners-up at six-over-par.

Scoring

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Maertz, age 26, Gianchandani, age 20, have often competed against each other but were excited to make their cooperative debut. “We have known each other for many years and have been great competitors and this was a great opportunity to play together,” said Ami.

The pair’s strategy was to use length as an advantage. Gianchandani noted, “Noelle’s length and accuracy off the tee allowed for precise shots to setup birdie chances. The par five’s played pretty easy with her length.”

“I normally let Ami tee off first and use her accuracy as a way to compliment my length.” said Maertz.

Maertz and Gianchandani conquered the famed “Gauntlet” at one-under-par. The three consecutive par threes of 9, 10, and 11 were bested by precise tee shots to the center of each green.

Both are former NJSGA champions; Gianchandani won the 2017 Women’s Four-Ball Championship at New Jersey National with Christine Shao, while Noelle won the 2019 Mid-Amateur. Looking forward, Gianchandani, a rising Junior at Yale University, plans to take a “gap year” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Noelle continues her work at Ridgewood Country Club.

In the simultaneous net championship, Michele Richard of Ballyowen and Annika Johnson of The Knoll combined to card a five-under-par 66 to claim that title.

Johnson, 19, a rising sophomore and member of the Fairfield University golf team, said the pair focused primarily on enjoying the day. “We didn’t track our scores or pay attention to where we stood. We were just playing for fun, trying to have a blast.”

Johnson’s highlight was a par on each of the three “Gauntlet’ par-threes. Her focus on the other holes was accuracy off the tee. “The key was not going long on approach shots today. There is not much forgiveness if you go past the hole.”

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