Written by Jeremy Beale

MAPGA Cherry Blossom Classic: Pizzano soars to victory, McIlvain and Suh Compete in Final Round Playoff for Girls Overall

The 3rd Annual MAPGA Cherry Blossom Classic, June 16-17, at the University of Maryland Golf Course in College Park, Maryland was surely an exciting event as the field was overflowing with superb competition on what proved to be a challenging course.

Carlo Pizzano of College Park, Maryland (Boys 16-18) finished as Boys Overall Champion with a tournament total score of 144 (74-70). Carding a final round 1-under-par, Pizzano was the only competitor to shoot a round under par during the tournament. In his final round, he finished with six birdies on the day.

Going into the final day Pizzano described a brief conversation he had with his coach after the first day of competition. They determined carding a 69 would win the tournament and that was his goal. He fell one stroke short of his goal but felt good about his round overall. Pizzano attributed putting to his success.

2018 Cherry Blossom Classic: Carlo Pizzano soars through second day, finishing as Boys Overall Champion

Carlo Pizzano of College Park, Maryland (Boys 16-18) finished as Boys Overall Champion with a tournament total score of 144 (74-70). Carding a final round 1-under-par, Pizzano was the only competitor to shoot a round under par during the tournament. In his final round, he finished with six birdies on the day.

Posted by MAPGA Junior Golf on Monday, June 18, 2018

“My coach always said putts don’t just go in by themselves—you have to will it,” Pizzano said after describing his success stringing together three straight birdies between Hole No. 9 and No. 11.

This was the mentality Pizzano took with him onto the course and the mentality that helped him surpass day one leader and runner-up James Shin of Brambleton, Virginia. Shin shot a final round, 4-over-par to put him at a tournament total of 148.

One of the most exciting highlights of the day was when 15-year-old Faith McIlvain of Ellicott City Maryland and day one leader Danielle Suh (Girls 16-18) of Herndon, Virginia went into a playoff for Girls Overall Champion. The playoff went on for two holes before McIlvain captured the victory by making par on Hole No. 9, while Suh’s approach missed just left of the hole. Overall both girls performed outstandingly in their individual age divisions, McIlvain finishing at tournament total of 150 (77-73) and Suh finishing 150 (72-78). Each beat their respective age divisions by at least five strokes.

2018 Cherry Blossom Classic: Faith McIlvain wins playoff to be named Girls Overall Champion

One of the most exciting highlights of the day was when 15-year-old Faith McIlvain of Ellicott City Maryland and day one leader Danielle Suh (Girls 16-18) of Herndon, Virginia went into a playoff for Girls Overall Champion. The playoff went on for two holes before McIlvain captured the victory by making par on Hole No. 9, while Suh’s approach missed just left of the hole. She was very thankful to have so much support from her friends, family and fellow teammates. The final day marked her first career playoff.

Posted by MAPGA Junior Golf on Monday, June 18, 2018

Staying motivated was essential to McIlvain’s success. She was very thankful to have so much support from her friends, family and fellow teammates. The final day marked her first career playoff and she said, “I couldn’t have been more nervous.” She battled her nerves by deciding early on to focus on her game, taking each shot one at a time.

In the Boys 14-15 Division, Nicholas Barros of Bethesda, Maryland, finished first shooting a tournament total of 151 (76-75). There was a tie for second place with Christopher Lee (Ijamsville, Maryland) and day one boy’s overall leader Zachary Maloy (Potomac, Maryland) who finished with a tournament total of 154.

In the Boys 13 and Under Division 12-year-old, Matt Moloney pulled off an upset in what could have been a three-way playoff for first place. Moloney finished even par during his final round, finishing the tournament at 148 (77-71). He beat his fellow competitors Peter Barros (Bethesda, Maryland) and Benjamin, Newfield (Arlington, Virginia) by one stroke. Coming into the day he was tied for fourth. He answered the deficit by birdieing his first three holes of the day.

2018 Cherry Blossom Classic: Matt Moloney stays "even-headed", capturing the 13 and Under Division

In the Boys 13 and Under Division 12-year-old, Matt Moloney pulled off an upset in what could have been a three-way playoff for first place. Moloney finished even par during his final round, finishing the tournament at 148 (77-71). He beat his fellow competitors Peter Barros (Bethesda, Maryland) and Benjamin, Newfield (Arlington, Virginia) by one stroke. Coming into the day he was tied for fourth. He answered the deficit by birdieing his first three holes of the day.

Posted by MAPGA Junior Golf on Monday, June 18, 2018

“I actually told myself coming in that if I shot 71, I would win the tournament,” Moloney said. “And that’s what I did.”

Sydney Hackett of Ashburn, Virginia maintained her lead from the first day, winning the Girls 13 and Under Division by shooting a tournament total of 149 (73-76). Hackett’s main goal was to focus on her game—as it wasn’t about winning or losing, but bettering herself. She said, she hit some good drives during her final day but struggled with her lag putting. Nevertheless, she felt this was a great start to the summer season and she looks forward to future competitions.

A huge thanks goes out to the University of Maryland Golf Course for hosting the event and helping the MAPGA put together a great and challenging event.

View full results: https://mapgajr.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mapgajr18/event/mapgajr185/contest/1/leaderboard.htm