Malini Rudra has made a habit of starting strong at the state tournament and finishing even stronger. That pattern continued this weekend.
Rudra shot a 153 over two days on Bethpage Yellow to take seventh at the state girls golf tournament and earn a fourth consecutive top-10 finish. The Syosset junior shot 4-over-par 76 on Sunday after shooting 77 on Saturday, marking the fourth time her Day 2 score was better than her opening round.
Rudra, Smithtown West teammates Emily Montagnino (eighth place, 155) and Paige Diecidue (tie for 10th, 157), and Jericho’s Emilie Guo (15th, 160) were the top finishers from Long Island. Melanie Green (Rochester) shot 6-under 138 to win the tournament.
“The first day I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, so today, I was just looking to play my best,” Rudra said. “I’m happy I have the mindset to finish strong.”
She tied for the sixth-best Day 2 score, but played even better than that for the bulk of the afternoon. She was either even or within a stroke of par over her first 17 holes before a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 18th. She birdied the par-3 third hole and par-5 13th.
“My chipping really helped,” she said. “I made five up-and-downs which really helped. Putting wasn’t the best this weekend, but I made a lot more putts today than yesterday.”
Rudra, who also won the Nassau county title earlier this season, finished sixth in the state as an eighth-grader, eighth as a freshman and seventh last season.
She also said Sunday’s round had more of a relaxed feeling, since she got to play in a group with her friend Caroline Hodge of Westchester, who tied for 10th. “We played a lot of tournaments together over the summer. We were talking and it was very relaxed, rather than feeling a ton of pressure every shot. That also helped me play better today.”
Montagnino and Diecidue both shot 78 Sunday to tie for the day’s ninth-best round. For Montagnino, the effort earned her a second top-10 finish (she also took eighth last season).
Southampton teammates Kaitlyn Browne (163, 16th place) and Caraline Oakley (166, 20th), and Manhasset’s Lauren Chen (164, 18th) were the other local players to finish in the top 20.