Playing her first hole of the day, the second toughest hole on the course, Greenwich's Catherine McEvoy stumbled out of the gate with a double bogey. It was the last mistake she made.
McEvoy, a sophomore, ended up making six birdies, including five on the back nine, to finish with a terrific 2-under-par 72 to capture individual medalist honors and help propel the Cardinals to their first CIAC girls golf state championship Tuesday at Orange Hills Country Club in Orange.
Greenwich finished with a team total score of 335, the lowest score shot by a winning team, beating Berlin's 348 set in 2012. McEvoy set a state record for the lowest individual score, beating Westhill's Allison Oakes, who had the previous record of 77 set in 2008.
Fairfield Warde finished 10th as a team.
"I think I'm still kind of in shock. I'm so thrilled for them. They never cease to surprise me," said Greenwich head coach Marie Shimchick, whose team also won the FCIAC crown last week at Fairchild Wheeler. "To set records in both the individual and team scores is just phenomenal.
"It feels great to have a CIAC title. We have a couple of titles from when we were in the Connecticut Girls Golf League. The last one we had there was from 1988 so it's wonderful to have a CIAC title and bring a state title back to the FCIAC."
Greenwich won by a lofty nine shots over runner-up Berlin (346), which saw its string of three straight CIAC titles snapped. Staples, which was ranked first in the state by the CIAC for much of the season, finished third with a 355 team score.
"Frankly, the girls did a great job this year," said Berlin head coach Jim Barnes. "We lost our two senior co-captains (including last year's individual medalist Julia Kemmling) and I had two sophomores and a junior that had to fill in. We shot 346, that's a great score. But when you have a young lady that throws a 72 at you, that's a little tough to overcome. Greenwich has a great team, Marie's a great coach. We'll be back next year."
Among the region's teams that participated in the tournament, Danbury (378) finished tied for fifth, Darien (398) finished ninth, Warde (401) placed 10th, Ridgefield (409) tied for 12th, and Trumbull (440) finished 16th. Individually, after McEvoy's 72, Hand's Gabrielle Martin and E.O. Smith's Karina Larson shot 4-over 78s and Greenwich junior Alexandra Sazhin, Avon's Marissa Grillo and Ridgefield's Rachel Corry all shot 6-over 80s.
But it was McEvoy, with her best round of the season, who stole the show. Starting shotgun-style on the 446-yard, par-5 18th, McEvoy could only manage a 7 before starting to right the ship with a birdie at the 406-yard, par-5 fourth. That bird let her finish the front nine at 1-under, and then she really turned on her game, birdieing four of her next five holes (10, 11, 13 and 14) and adding a final bird at the par-5, 391-yard 17th.
"I hit the ball really well," McEvoy said. "I hit a lot of greens in regulation and I knew that coming in here, if I managed to not three-putt a lot, I'd be able to shoot a good number, and I think I only three-putted once. I definitely made a lot of putts, but it helped that I was able to get off the tee and be in good position. I was hitting my irons well into the greens."
Greenwich also got rounds of 90 from Kendyl Nethercott and 93 from Pamela Jennemyr to round out its top four scorers. Staples got rounds of 83 from Faith Garcia, 85 from Anelise Brown, 91 from Mary Bennewitz and 96 from Marie McHugh. Danbury was led by Katelyn Mooney (88), Liz Pena (96), Danielle Polinchock (96) and Faith Mancuso (98).
For Warde, it was Sarah Vimini (94), Kathleena Inchoco (100), Bailey Cooke (102) and Nadia Caputo (105).
CIAC girls golf championship at Orange Hills CC
Team scores: 1. Greenwich 335, 2. Berlin 346, 3. Staples 355, 4. Avon 368, 5. Danbury 378, 5. Farmington 378, 7. Simsbury 383, 8. Glastonbury 394, 9. Darien 398, 10. Fairfield Warde 401, 11. Hand 403, 12. Hall 409, 12. Ridgefield 409, 14. Manchester 413, 15. East Catholic 436, 16. Trumbull 440.
Individual results from regional teams
Greenwich: Catherine McEvoy (72, first), Alexandra Sazhin (80, tied fourth), Kendyl Nethercott (90, tied 17th), Pamela Jennemyr (93, tied 23rd), Mana Fujiwara (109, tied 65th); Staples: Faith Garcia (83, seventh), Anelise Browne (85, tied 11th), Mary Bennewitz (91, tied 21st), Marie McHugh (96, tied 33rd), Alexandra McMahon (99, tied 40th); Danbury: Katelyn Mooney (88, 16th), Liz Pena (96, tied 33rd), Danielle Polinchock (96, tied 33rd), Faith Mancuso (98, tied 36th), Andrea Stock (109, tied 65th); Darien: Juliana Lee (90, tied 17th), Amanda Sload (93, tied 23rd), Margot Sweeney (107, tied 57th), Megan Whittier (108, tied 60th), Bridget Wolters (115, 73rd); Warde: Sarah Vimini (94, tied 27th), Kathleena Inchoco (100, tied 43rd), Bailey Cooke (102, tied 49th), Nadia Caputo (105, tied 52nd), Kaleigh Townsend (114, tied 70th); Ridgefield: Rachel Corry (80, tied fourth), Casey Snow (107, tied 57th), Lauren Kudera (108, tied 60th), Lily Damron (114, tied 70th), Lily gold (116, 74th); Trumbull: Alexa Brown (94, tied 27th), Christina Lane (106, tied 55th), Hailey Pekera (118, tied 76th), Madison Thompson (112, tied 79th), Carly Netting (141, 84th).
Competiting as an individual: Joy Essaghof (Weston, 91, tied 21st).