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Four SD golfers headed to states

Emily Malinowski, Hayden Snelsire, Matt Kinsey and Brady Leonard to compete
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Oct 19, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Four Stephen Decatur golfers will participate in the 3A/4A state championship, Oct. 23-25, at University of Maryland – College Park. Pictured, from left, are junior Emily Malinowski, senior captain Matt Kinsey, junior Hayden Snelsire and sophomore Brady Leonard.

(Oct. 20, 2017) Four Stephen Decatur golfers will participate in the 3A/4A state championship, Oct. 23-25, at University of Maryland – College Park.

They advanced to the championship match because of their performance during last Tuesday’s District VIII tournament on the River Marsh Golf Course at the Hyatt Resort in Cambridge.

Decatur came in second place, shooting a 334. Junior Hayden Snelsire led the team with an 81. Senior captain Matt Kinsey carded an 83 and junior Emily Malinowski and sophomore Brady Leonard both tallied 85s.

The cutoff score for teams to advance to states was 338. Kinsey, Malinowski, Snelsire and Leonard will play together as a team at states.

The semifinal round for 3A/4A will take place on Monday, while the 2A/1A competitors will play on Tuesday. The top 40 percent of the field will advance to the final round on Wednesday.

“This foursome I’ve said all season definitely has the ability to put together four powerful rounds and advance as a team to the final championship round on Wednesday,” Decatur Coach Jim Krall said. “I’ve always said that a team needs to be peaking at the end of the season when it counts the most, so I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that the golf Gods are good to us and we show up Monday with one of our ‘A’ game powerful rounds…It’s a really special opportunity for them to be back at ‘the show’ and I hope that they play their very best and give 100 percent on every shot.”

Kinsey has the most experience on the course. This will be his third year competed in the state championship.

In 2016, Kinsey finished 16th in the state overall out of 161 golfers.

Kinsey said he is excited to return to the state meet and compete with his teammates.

“We want to go there and be very successful. We have a good bond going as a team right now,” Kinsey said. “We’re trying to make the second day as a team, but for me as an individual, I’m pumped to get back and go try and win.

“That would be really cool to go there and win the tournament, but the ideal goal for me is to finish in the top 10 and get first or second team All-State. That would be nice,” he added. “I just want to go out and finish the high school season on a good note.”

Kinsey said he is always a bit nervous before a tournament, but he has played the course a number of times and knows what to expect during state competition.

“I’m up for the challenge. I love playing that golf course,” he said.

This will be Malinowski’s second state appearance. She competed as an individual at states last year. She shot a 99 in the semifinal round, which was not low enough to advance to the finals.

Malinowski is looking forward to playing with her teammates this year.

“I’m excited. I’m nervous too, but I think it’s overall excitement. I think probably just because I’ve been used to the kind of excitement that’s there at states,” Malinowski said. “I’ll know what to expect. Last year kind of caught me by surprise and I choked a lot. I didn’t do good at all. This year I’ll know how to handle that better.”

Malinowski hopes she and her teammates advance to the second day, she said.

“I’d really like to break 85 for 18 holes. I shot that at districts this year so hopefully I can play better than that at states,” she said. “Overall I’m really excited and honored that I’m able to go.”

It is also Snelsire’s second year participating in the tournament. He did not advance to the championship round last year, but he is hoping to do so this season.

“I’m more excited than I am nervous,” he said. “I played last year at states. I know what I did and how to improve on that…I’ve played the course a few times, which makes it a little bit easier because I know what to expect. I just need to play my best.”

To be successful, Snelsire said “we just need to keep going, never give up on our rounds. It’s a long round and you’ve just got to keep grinding out your holes.”

This will be Leonard’s first time competing at states.

“I’m excited to go with the team and play and hopefully do well at the state tournament,” he said. “I hope to make it to the second day with a well-played round the first day.”

Krall said participating in a state event is a special opportunity.

“The opportunity to go to a state tournament is incredible. Not too many high school athletes ever make it to a state tournament,” he said. “Just getting to the state tournament is a huge accomplishment and something they’ll look back on in the future and say ‘I played in a Maryland state tournament.’”

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