It wasn’t a shock to see Wilson golfers leading the Moore League girls’ golf individual tournament this week, but it certainly ended in surprising fashion as freshman Alyson Sor came back to win the title on the 18th hole of the final round at Skylinks Golf Course on Thursday.
Defending champion and Wilson sophomore Emi Sverduk made history by winning this title as a freshman last year, and held a one-stroke lead over her teammate Sor headed into the final hole of the three-day tournament. When Sverduk went pin-high right of the green, Sor went directly at the pin and easily made par. Then she had to wait for her teammate to win or force a playoff.
Sverduk left her chip short and sent her par putt long, leaving her a three-foot putt to force a playoff, but she pulled it and the double bogey gave Sor the win. However, Sor watched her teammate miss the putt without reacting to her own one-stroke victory.
“I didn’t want to show off emotion to make her feel even worse about it,” Sor said. “I was shocked because I thought she was going to make it and I felt very sad for her.”
Sor and Sverduk both shot a 76 in the final round after Sor entered the last day with a one-stroke lead.
“For Emi to miss that putt was shocking,” Wilson coach Kurt Holmes said. “She was shocked because we’ve seen her make a lot of clutch putts this year. That’s what hurt her so much.”
Holmes said he wasn’t surprised to see Sor bypass a celebration to console her teammates on the green when Sverduk began to cry.
“Their friendship is so strong,” Holmes said. “One had to win so it was going to be rough on one of them, and their coach who loves both of them. They’re a delight to watch and it’s going to be fun watching them for the next two years.”
Sor said her friendship with Sverduk blossomed quickly on the practice range in the offseason.
“We’re really close and we both wanted each other to win so either way it was going to be fine,” Sverduk said. “It reminded me of how I felt last year. I remember how nervous I was and how hard it was so I’m proud of her.”
Sor shot a pair of one-under par rounds of 35 in the first two nine-hole rounds at El Dorado Golf Course and Recreation Park Golf Course this week. Sverduk held a one-shot lead after a 34 in the first round, but fell behind with a 37 in the second round.
Sverduk took a one-stroke lead headed into the back nine on Thursday, but she lost a ball on the 11th hole and fell behind. A bounce-back birdie on the 12th hole, and a stroke save on the 15th hole, gave her the lead back until the 18th hole.
“I knew we were going to be close but I was just very nervous (all week) and 10 times more nervous today,” Sor said. “I was just trying to play the best round I could play, and more conservative in these conditions.”
Sor said she was specifically more conservative on her approach shots because of the hot, dry, windy conditions at Skylinks. That strategy helped her save par on multiple holes down the stretch.
Sor is the eighth consecutive Bruin to win the individual league championship.
“I couldn’t be prouder of two girls who competed like best of friends,” Holmes said. “They’ve been great teammates to each other.”
Sor and Sverduk will be joined by Wilson’s Emma Royle, Millikan’s Olivia Hibson, Long Beach Poly’s Hannah Van Wagner and Millikan’s Madison Heintzelman at the CIF Southern Section individual tournament next week.