By Rob Potter
HAMPTONBURGH May 27, 2005 For the second straight year, the Section IX Girls Golf Tournament was held at Stony Ford Golf Course in Hamptonburgh.
And for the second consecutive year, the same young lady won the event.
Ashley Zambito, an eighth-grader at Newburgh Free Academy, shot an 87 on the 18-hole, par 73 Stony Ford course to win her second sectional title in a row. She shot a 43 on holes 10 through 18 and then recorded a 44 on the first through ninth holes.
All 27 girls who competed in the event began on the 10th hole in the morning and then finished on the ninth hole, which is the hole closest to the clubhouse, in the afternoon.
Goshens Kaitlyn Sabbagh finished just one stroke behind Zambito. Sabbagh recorded a 45 and then a 43 for a total score of 88.
Eleven girls from Sullivan County high schools played in the championship event. Leading the way for those local young ladies was Melanie Kleiner, who finished third. Kleiner, an eighth-grader at Sullivan West, shot a 43 in the morning and a 46 in the afternoon for a total of 89, which was just one stroke behind Sabbagh and two behind Zambito.
I missed a couple of shots on the back nine, Kleiner said. These greens were slower than the ones at the Villa [Roma], so that messed me up a bit.
(Kleiner and her SW teammates use the Villa Roma in Callicoon as their home course during the season.)
I could have played better, but it is nice to be among the top nine golfers again this year, Kleiner commented. Ashley Zambito is a very good golfer and I say congratulations, Ashley.
As was the case in 2004, the top nine golfers qualified for the New York State regional championship, which will be held on Monday, June 6 at Foxfire Golf Course in Baldwinsville. Because only about half of the 11 sections in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association hold a girls golf championship event, the competition at Foxfire GC will be a regional rather than state championship.
Joining Zambito, Sabbagh and Kleiner at Foxfire GC on June 6 will be Warwicks Kate Gallo (44-48-92), Warwicks Danielle Melina (50-46-96), Marlboros Sarah Squires (48-48-96), Monticellos Gabby Medina (47-50-97), Warwicks Veronica Hilton (51-49-100) and Newburghs Danielle Goldberg (53-48-101).
Goldberg and SWs Nellie Norden were tied with identical 101 scores at the end of the competition. They then battled in a playoff to determine who would be the last state regional qualifer and Goldberg prevailed on the fifth playoff hole.
Other Sullivan County golfers who participated in the event included: Brittney Morse of Monticello (51-51-102), Jessica Orlan of Fallsburg (50-55-105), Alexis Brinkerhoff of Monticello (52-55-107), Sabrina Reimer of SW (55-52-107), Meredith Levine of Monticello (56-54-110), Kate Fanning of SW (59-65-124), Nicole Failla of Roscoe (65-62-127) and Kendra Harris of Roscoe (90-77-167).