Emily Nash, a high school junior who plays golf at Lunenburg High School in Massachusetts, shot the winning round of golf during a Division 3 tournament on Tuesday, a strong three-over par 75. Congratulations to her, right? But this wouldn’t be newsworthy if there wasn’t a twist: the closest male competitor, whom Nash outplayed by four strokes, took home the tournament trophy.
How is this possible in the year 2017, you might ask? Here’s how: According to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules, “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.” Meaning girls can play as part of a team but not as an individual in fall golf.
Despite the fact she was denied the trophy, Nash was gracious, telling her local newspaper that she was pleased with her performance and not at all upset with MIAA.
“I was definitely disappointed, but I understand that there are rules in place,” she said.
“I don’t think people expected for this to happen, so they didn’t really know how to react to it. None of us are mad at the MIAA or anything like that, but I was definitely a little bit disappointed.”
The Internet, predictably, wasn’t as cool with the slight as Nash:
So this is dumb as hell – a girl beat all the boys in a golf tourney but wasn’t awarded the first place trophy. https://t.co/koAhthUuVg
— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) October 25, 2017
— South Coast Superman (@Stutri) October 27, 2017
Change this antiquated rule. Emily Nash should be able to compete in the state finals. Equality. https://t.co/HWB2znYxyg
— Jane O’Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) October 27, 2017
Lexi Thompson, LPGA star, even chimed in with her congratulations for Nash:
— Lexi Thompson (@Lexi) October 27, 2017
While Nash’s score was counted in her team’s overall finish, the squad failed to qualify for next week’s state tournament at Wyantenuck Country Club in Great Barrington, Mass.