Dantonio dominates BDGA women’s final - The Buffalo News

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Dantonio dominates BDGA women’s final

LOCKPORT – Like any teenager, Chelsea Dantonio was looking forward to sleeping in this morning.

Based on her recent schedule, it’s hard to blame the 16-year-old from Lancaster.

Dantonio capped a jam-packed two weeks with a victory Friday in the Buffalo District Golf Association’s 2014 Women’s Individual Championship. Her two-day total of 154 gave her a six-stroke victory over Donna Parker at challenging Lockport Town and Country Club.

“I think the course played very difficult,” Dantonio said of the 5,616-yard, par-74 layout. “I’ve never played the course before the tournament. It was in great condition. The greens were definitely faster today.”

Dantonio shot a 1-over 75 Friday, bouncing back from a 3-over start on the front nine by running off birdies at Nos. 10, 12 and 13.

“That helped me out a lot,” she said. “I really wasn’t hitting my irons all that well, so I went to a three-quarter swing just to make sure they went straight, because on this course you have to be accurate. There is trouble everywhere.”

Dantonio drained a 20-foot birdie putt to start the back nine, then hit a 9-iron to within 5 feet on the par-4 12th hole for another kick-in birdie. She reached the green in two on the short par-5 13th hole, and lipped out a 7-foot eagle putt, leaving her with another birdie. From there, she was able to cruise into the clubhouse on a day in which no other player made a serious run.

First-round leader Sydney Shaw faded with a 91 to finish tied for fifth at 168, while the third player in the final threesome, Emily Connors, shot an 89 to finish in fourth place.

Dantonio had been in contention for this trophy before – finishing tied for fourth in 2011, tied for sixth in 2012 and runner-up to Kit Creighton a year ago.

“I love this tournament. It’s the best women from Buffalo, so it’s great to be playing with them,” she said. “It’s an honor and an accomplishment.”

In the past two weeks alone, Dantonio has won the Section VI girls golf championship for the fourth straight time, participated in the second Women’s Porter Cup (placing tied for 43rd) and finished second at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship.

“I just wanted to do better than I did the first year, and I did,” she said of her Porter Cup finish. “I think it was a good learning experience, because that’s what I’m going to be playing at at the college level. I took a lot out of it. There are great players in that one – the best players from all over the country. I held my own, I thought.”

On Monday, Dantonio was named The News’ Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls golf. She played her first round Thursday after finishing her final exam in English.

“I think it went pretty well,” she said with a smile.

Dantonio has verbally committed to Division I Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C.

“I wanted to go down south, definitely,” she said. “We have a place in Myrtle Beach, so it’s like three hours away from there. It’s somewhere where I’ll feel at home. I can play all year round, it’s Division I, Big South Conference. All of those are big pluses.”

Dantonio will next participate in a United States Golf Association qualifier Wednesday at Eagle Vale Golf Club in Fairport for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship that will be played next month in Arizona.

She’s also slated to compete in the North & South Women’s Amateur Championship in mid-July at Pinehurst No. 8 in North Carolina.

It’s good to be young and full of energy.

email jskurski@buffnews.com

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