Photo: Montgomery's victorious team (l-r): Lauren Chung, Alina Shah, Madeline Jin, Joyce Cao & Tiya Chowdary

Sophomore Tiya Chowdary fired a one-under-par 71, and senior Madeline Jin added a 75 to lead Montgomery High School to its first New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls’ Tournament of Champions victory.

The event, co-sponsored by the NJSGA, took place at the par-72, 5,366-yard Royce Brook (West) Golf Club in Hillsborough. Montgomery outscored runner-up Immaculate Heart Academy of Washington Township, 319-330. A year ago, Pingry won the team title with Montgomery placing fourth. Montgomery was third in 2017 and runner-up in 2014, and also finished in the top five for nine of the past 10 years.

Individual champion Yoona Kim of Immaculate Heart shot a two-under-par 70, winning by one shot over Chowdary and by two shots over Grace Lu of Wardlaw-Hartridge and Megha Ganne of Holmdel. Ganne recently qualified for the U.S. Women's Open.

Also scoring for Montgomery were senior Joy Cao with an 84 and sophomore Lauren Chung with an 89.

“It was a total team effort. This was the goal all year. What separated us this year was our fourth and fifth players and their dedication and hard work,” said coach Jennifer Jones.

Last year, Jin, who won the 2016 NJSGA Junior Girls Championship, took the year off from high school golf to concentrate on academics and personal training.

“We’re very proud of winning our first state championship. We’ve had some outstanding individual players. Alice Chen won the championship in 2013 and 2014. Allison Herring was tied for second in 2015,” Jones added.

“I’m really proud of my team. We worked so hard and it paid off,” said Chowdary. “We all concentrated on our games. We knew the wind would be difficult and we played smart.”

Kim, a junior at IHA who lives in Fair Lawn, was the first individual champion for her school. She was third in the 2016 NJSGA Junior Girls at Colts Neck Golf Club that was won by Jin. She has played in the past three U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships, although she is still seeking her first match play appearance.

“There were a lot of difficult hole locations, and the wind was a factor. I tried to be steady and true to my game. I wanted to take advantage of the short holes coming in,” Kim said.

She chipped to four feet and made the birdie putt on the par-4 No. 16 and blasted out of a bunker to one foot on No. 18 for another birdie.

“This is really big for me. I always had good seasons but I was never able to pull it off. This shows my hard work has paid off,” Kim said.

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