What we missed in girls high school golf this season

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Marian Castner
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Olivia-Rose Arcuelo
Olivia-Rose Arculeo, pictured with boys golf coach Joe Murphy, after winning Flight B in the LPGA Girls Golf Tournament on April 29, 2019.

Written by Lou Monaco for NJ.com

Sectional state tournaments would have taken place this week, with the 20th anniversary of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions awaiting on May 19 at North Jersey Country Club in Wayne.

School matches, tournaments and individual accomplishments have all been taken away from the girls golf high school teams across the Garden State due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jersey schools are now officially closed for the school year, and the HS sports season is officially over.

Here are just five story lines we sure would have loved to have covered:

Eastern’s first-year golf program has to wait: After playing three years on Eastern’s boys golf team, senior Olivia-Rose Arculeo finally had her dream realized after the Voorhees’ Board of Education approved a girls golf program for this season.

Over 20 players signed up for the inaugural program, which was set to debut this spring.

Then came coronavirus and the dream came to a heart-wrenching halt.

Arculeo is still undecided on her college choice, but hopes that golf remains in her future - including returning next season as a mentor to help her teammates through their first season.

Would it have been Yoona Kim and the same three challengers? In 2019, the junior from Immaculate Heart Academy shot a 2-under 70 to win by one stroke over Montgomery sophomore Tiya Chowdary to capture the 19th NJSIAA Girls individual championship at Royce Brook Golf Club’s West Course in Hillsborough.

Two freshman - Grace Lu of Wardlaw-Hartridge and Megha Ganne of Holmdel - each shot 1-over-par 73 to both tie for third.

This year, we would have loved to have seen these four talented golfers return to try and capture the 20th T of C title.

Montgomery: After winning by 11 strokes over Immaculate Heart and by 12 over third-place Pingry to take home its first T of C team title last season at Royce Brook GC, Montgomery’s attempt to defend would have been fun to watch, with Chowdary leading the way.

Megha Ganne: The Holmdel sophomore was supposed to make her fifth trip to famed Augusta National Golf Club this spring.

Say what?

She had already made four trips there as a Drive, Chip and Putt national finalist and this year had received a prestigious invite to compete in the second annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur, April 1-4.

Last year, Ganne competed in the U.S. Women’s Open and advanced to match play in the U.S. Girls’ Junior before making a run to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur to cap off a stellar 2019.

With two years remaining at Holmdel, the sky is the limit for Ganne.

Seniors: To have one last shot at competing and with a last chance at a putt to win a potential state individual or team title, this would have been an honor to cover.

Just know all of your accomplishments throughout your four years at your high school institution will always be remembered and not forgotten.

Reprinted with permission from the author

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