Six years ago, Malini Rudra was a seventh-grader on Syosset’s varsity team, who looked up to her successful upperclassmen teammates. On Tuesday, she became a two-time county champion on the receiving end of the admiration.
The Syosset senior shot a 154 over two days at Eisenhower Park to win her second consecutive Nassau girls golf championship. Rudra shot a 1-over 73 on Monday on Eisenhower White and a 9-over 81 against the winds on Tuesday on Eisenhower Red.
“It was a very bittersweet moment, knowing I’ve been playing counties for six years,” Rudra said of the tournament’s conclusion. “It really meant a lot to me, both winning in back-to-back years and seeing all my teammates waiting for me and ready to give me a hug. That was really special.
“I’ve had girls reach out to me and ask me for advice, and it’s been amazing to now be in that position.”
“She’s been a tremendous role model,” coach Steve Naranjo said of Rudra, who is also a two-time county runner- up with four top-10 finishes at the state tournament. “The girls are going to miss her and I am definitely going to miss her.”
Manhasset’s Lauren Chen took second with a 158 and made a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole Tuesday. It was the first ace in the history of the tournament, Naranjo said.
“I actually came off a rough hole and just wanted to get on the green and par out the last few holes,” Chen said. “It ended up a little better than that. At first, I was in disbelief, but Lauren [Guo of Jericho] and Malini came and gave me a hug and that made the experience even more special, since I’ve played with them for so long.”
Guo (168) came in third and Locust Valley’s Megan Meehan was a stroke behind in fourth.
Great Neck District won the county team title, led by Keena Yin (172) and Andrea Zhou (174), who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the individual competition. Great Neck had a team score of 942 to edge Jericho (955), Massapequa (988) and Syosset (1011).
Jericho’s Katherine Yi (178) and Massapequa teammates Katie Peterson (181) and Kate Pagano (183) rounded out the top nine, which qualified for the state tournament that begins May 31 in Brockport.