A Massachusetts high school golfer, who won a tournament by four shots, won’t go home with the first-place trophy — because she’s a girl.
Emily Nash, a junior at Lunenburg High School, won the Central Mass. Division 3 boys’ golf tournament at Blissful Meadows on Tuesday with a 3-over-par. It was four shots better than runner-up Nico Ciolino of the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School.
She didn’t get the first-place trophy and won’t get an invitation to next week’s tournament in Wyantenuck CC in Great Barrington, however, because a girl competing in the tournament is against the rules, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported.
“It’s a real injustice that she wasn’t announced as the winner,” Robert Dufresne, a volunteer rules official with the Massachusetts Golf Association, who helped oversee the tournament, told the newspaper.
According to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, “girls playing on a fall boys’ team cannot be entered in the Boys Fall Individual Tournament. They can only play in the Boys Team Tournament. If qualified, they can play in the spring Girls Sectional and State Championships.”
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The Telegram & Gazette reported Nash’s score on Tuesday only counted toward the team’s total, which was not enough to qualify for the state tournament.
Nash and her coach were reportedly aware of the rules before Tuesday’s tournament began, and decided she should play anyway.
Ciolino, who was awarded the first-place trophy, offered his rival the trophy, but she declined to accept.
Kevin Riordan, director for the Central Mass. Division 3 boys’ golf tournament, called Ciolino’s gesture a “classy act” and said he plans to personally purchase a first-place trophy for Nash.