Lia Huang of Great Neck tees off on hole one...

Lia Huang of Great Neck tees off on hole one of the Long Island girls golf team championship against Smithtown West at Smithtown Landing on May 31. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Newsday’s Girls Golfer of the Year: Lia Huang, Great Neck District, 8th grade

Lia Huang wasn’t even a middle school graduate yet. But she still ruled the green grounds when it mattered the most. 

The 14-year-old Great Neck North Middle School student won the Nassau girls golf championship by three strokes that day in May at Bethpage State Park. 

Then she continued her strong finish, leaving an impression on the formidable course at McGregor Links Country Club in Wilton. Huang tied for fifth in the NYSPHSAA/Federation championship tournament.

She’s young and she’s good.

Huang, who also plays in junior tournaments, shot a 12-over 156 for her two rounds at McGregor after a posting a 3-over 145 in the county tournament. That came with rounds of 73 on Bethpage Yellow and 72 on Bethpage Green.

“She’s a solid golfer, super mature for her age mentally, battle-tested at a very young age in competitive golf,” Great Neck coach Matthew Corrigan said the day she claimed the county championship. “… I’m just lucky to have her on my squad.”

Pictured, from left: Renna Chang of Jericho, Madison Chen of...

Pictured, from left: Renna Chang of Jericho, Madison Chen of Manhasset, Ava Estrella of Friends Academy.

Renna Chang, Jericho, Fr.

Chang went 8-3 in dual matches during the regular season, then placed second in the Nassau tournament with a 6-over 148 after winning it as an eighth-grader. She followed her runner-up effort by shooting a 12-over 156 and tying for fifth in the state tournament.

Madison Chen, Manhasset, 8th

Chen fired a 1-under 70 at Bethpage Green to finish fourth with a 10-over 152 in the Nassau tournament. She came in ninth in the state tournament at 15-over 159. She also won 11 times in 12 dual matches in the regular season.

Ava Estrella, Friends Academy, 8th

Estrella is just 12 years old. But she showed off powerful drives as well as good iron play and putting. She went 9-3 in the regular season, finished fifth in the Nassau tournament with a 17-over 159 and tied for 16th in the state tournament, carding a 19-over 163. 

Pictured, from left: Ella Girard of Ward Melville, Melanie Hagen...

Pictured, from left: Ella Girard of Ward Melville, Melanie Hagen of Shoreham-Wading River.

Ella Girard, Ward Melville, 8th

Girard, who placed third in the Suffolk tournament as a seventh-grader, won the county title by 15 shots after carding a 9-over 153 at Smithtown Landing. She tied for 35th in the state tournament at 174. Her regular-season record was 9-3.

Melanie Hagen, Shoreham-Wading River, Jr.

Hagen played her best golf of the spring in the state tournament, shooting a 17-over 161 to tie for 11th. She went 9-2-1 during the regular season and was sixth in the Suffolk tournament at 175. 

Pictured, from left: Catherine Slade of Kellenberg, Caylin Wong of...

Pictured, from left: Catherine Slade of Kellenberg, Caylin Wong of Great Neck District.

Catherine Slade, Kellenberg, So.

Slade won the CHSAA state championship at Lancaster Country Club before becoming the CHSAA’s highest finisher in the NYSPHSAA/Federation tournament, placing 27th at 169. She also went 6-3-1 in the regular season, then was the NSCHSAA tournament runner-up at Eisenhower White.

Caylin Wong, Great Neck District, 8th

Wong shot an even-par 71 at Bethpage Green to finish at 7-over 149 in the Nassau tournament, good for third. She tied for seventh in the state tournament at 13-over 157. She also went 8-0 in the regular season.

Newsday Coach of the Year: Matthew Corrigan, Great Neck District

Corrigan, in his 15th season, guided Great Neck District to a 13-0 record, the Nassau Conference I title and then to county and Long Island team championships. 

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