Emilia Migliaccio guts out Harder Hall win in playoff

SEBRING, Fla. – Emilia Migliaccio’s short but spectacular history on the Florida Orange Blossom Circuit ended with a specially carved figurine trophy. A local artist wanted to make sure the piece, which had been sitting on his shelf for several years, found a good home. The hardware at the Harder Hall Invitational has varied greatly over the years. Aree Song took home a couple of lamps when she won in 2002 and ’03. It’s all part of the historical event’s charm.

Migliaccio, a first-time Harder Hall participant, won the South Atlantic Amateur (known as the Sally) last year in her first try too. She won’t be in Ormond Beach, Fla., next week though to defend as she’s needed back on campus at Wake Forest. The 19-year-old sophomore heads back to class brimming with confidence after winning a three-hole playoff against Lei Ye, a Stanford commit.

“It feels so amazing, both of those tournaments are so special,” said Migliaccio, who this week received an invitation to compete in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. “I’m so fortunate that, blessing in disguise, I couldn’t play the Sally and could come down here.”

Ye, a high school senior who goes by Angelina, put on a clinic with the wedges Saturday, posting five birdies in a closing 4-under 68. She rushed out to the 18th green to see how good friend Migliaccio finished.

“I felt so good over my second shot on 18,” said Migliaccio, who drew a gap wedge to 3 feet from 117 yards.

The closing birdie gave Migliaccio a closing 71 and put the two knotted at 4-over 289. The playoff finish wasn’t exactly pretty – Ye pulled a 5-iron O.B. on the third extra hole from 165 yards. Migliaccio won with a bogey.

“Definitely very unfortunate that I had to end a playoff like that,” said Ye. “But I have been struggling with my longer irons for a little bit now. That’s definitely something that I’m going to go back and work on, just drill it out.”

Three years ago Ye moved from Shanghai to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The transition was made easier by the fact that she enrolled in an English-speaking school in China in the fifth grade.

Ye, who travels next to the Annika Invitational in St. Augustine, Fla., to defend her title, went in for a hug from Migliaccio during her post-round interview. The pair have been friends since they met three years ago at an AJGA invitational.

While the players had no idea how tight the race was in regulation play, Migliaccio’s mother, Ulrika, was well aware. Ulrika walked ahead, keeping tabs on how things stood. The Swedish native played on the national team with Annika Sorenstam and overlapped one year with the LPGA Hall of Famer at Arizona.

“We were very dominant,” said Ulrika, “we won all the tournaments except nationals.”

Vision54’s Pia Nilsson was the Swedish national coach when Ulrika was a young amateur. In 2017 and ’16, Emilia spent time with Vision54 instructors over her Christmas break. Ulrika, who oversees all of Emilia’s coaching, said the sessions helped and that her daughter now has everything she needs.

“We have all the tools,” she said. “We don’t need more tools.”

But the trophies, well, those can keep coming.

Source link

Related posts