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Penn places first at local golf tourney

Marah Penn (right) hoists her trophy for placing third at the Erie County Amateur Championship. She shot a two-day total of 2-under par 142.
Mistakes were not apart of Marah Penn’s game plan. She was able to limit them en route to a dominating and decisive eight-shot victory at last weekends Erie County Amateur Championship.

Penn battled gusting winds and firm greens at Grover Cleveland Golf Course in Amherst to capture the third Erie County Amateur Championship with a two-day total of 2-under par 142.

With her father Howard caddying, Penn had a game plan and he helped her execute it. He told her to be confident and to not let one hole make or break the round.

“Because of the wind today, we went for pars,” Penn said. “We didn’t really try and pull anything. We just really tried to stick with our game plan the whole day and that was just to make pars… I kept my head up and it was just a really fun day.”

The soon-to-be senior at Nardin Academy entered the final round tied atop the leaderboard with Sarah Godfrey-Singleton after each posted 2-under rounds of 70 on Saturday.

Despite strong winds that forced Penn to sometimes go two or three clubs up or down, she was able to get into red figures during her final round after draining a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 fifth hole. That increased her advantage to two shots, and after nine holes, that lead doubled to four.

After beginning the back nine with a bogey, Penn rebounded with six consecutive, mistake-free pars, which forced the field to come catch her. No one was successful in catching the Hamburg native as she finished with a birdie on the 18th hole to capture her first Erie County Amateur Women’s Title.

“I really didn’t know how much I was up by,” Penn said. “I really don’t think about my score. I knew I was playing pretty well. I really stayed confident throughout the entire round.”

With little time to enjoy and savor the victory, Penn hit the road not even 24 hours off of the win to play in an International Junior Golf Tour event on July 8 and 9 at Olde Stonewall Golf Course in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.

Success to begin the summer doesn’t surprise Penn, or anyone else within the women’s golfing circuit in Buffalo. Most recently, she placed second in the Catholic High School State Championship, firing a 79 at the Links at Ivy Ridge.

She also placed fifth at the Women’s State Championships in 2013 shooting rounds of 77, 76, and 77, while also posting another top-10 finish at the State Girl’s Championship with a two-day total of 156 at Skaneateles Country Club. She will be in the field once again during this year’s Girl’s Championship on August 5 and 6 at Ridgemont Country Club in Greece, New York.

College interest is also at it’s peek for Penn. She is currently speaking with multiple coaches regarding her future at the next level. Preferably she says she would like to go somewhere with good academics and warm weather.

Michelle Hanes of Elma finished second behind Penn after a 72 on the final day. Godfrey-Singleton finished third after entering the day tied with Penn.

Mount Mercy’s Sarah Riso finished fourth, posting a two-day total of 159, including a final-round 79. Riso, who resides in Hamburg will be a senior at Mount Mercy this fall.

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