Madison Dabagia, 17, finished her first round of Girl’s Indiana Junior PGA Championship at one-over-par, 72, and had a one-shot lead on Samantha Brown going into her final round.
In the final round of the tournament at Harbour Trees Golf Club, Dabagia got off to a hot start and was beginning to pull away from the rest of the competition.
“I played really well on the front nine,” Dabagia said. “I was two-under through my first three holes.”
After Dabagia’s birdies on the par-5, 2nd and par-4, 3rd, she started to make some bogeys, and the leaderboard began to get tight again after Chloe Johnson birdied holes 5 and 6 on the front nine. Dabagia bogeyed holes 8 and 9 to finish out her front nine.
“I started to go on a bit of a bogey trail toward the end of my front nine,” Dabagia said. “I just tried to calm myself down by telling myself that everything was OK and only focus on the shot in front of me, and I think I executed that really well.”
Dabagia was able to par holes 10 and 11, but then made three more bogeys on holes 12, 13, and 14. After Dabagia’s bogey on the par-4, 14th, Johnson and Dabagia were tied for the lead.
“I asked my mom where I was on the leaderboard on hole 14, and she told me that I was one shot ahead of Johnson, but I didn’t know for sure where I was on my last hole,” Dabagia said. “On 18, I had about an 8-foot putt for par, and I had a feeling it was an important putt.”
Dabagia drained the 8-foot putt on the par-3, 18th for par to shoot a three-over-par, 74 for the final round and force a playoff against Johnson. Dabagia and Johnson both finished at +4 for the tournament.
With momentum from her last 8-foot putt, Dabagia went back to the par-3, 18th with confidence for the playoff against Johnson. Johnson missed the green to the right, and Dabagia was able to hit her approach to about 15-feet and two-putt for par to defeat Johnson, who bogeyed the hole.
The win secured Dabagia a spot in the 2021 Girl’s Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 27-30. Chloe Johnson is a first-alternate, and Samantha Brown is a second-alternate.
“I haven’t won a tournament in a really long time, so I’m so excited to win this,” Dabagia said. “I feel like it shows me that I do have the potential to win tournaments and battle until the end.”