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Aug. 2, 2012

West Orange, N.J. – Incoming Virginia freshman Alexandra Hershberger (Twin Brooks, N.J.) never veered from her game plan and it resulted in the championship of the New Jersey State Golf Association’s 87th Women’s Amateur on Thursday at the Crestmont Country Club in West Orange.

Hershberger defeated medalist Cindy Ha 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final.

“My mindset was to play safe and secure,” said Hershberger, who last year was the event’s runner-up. “I was very confident in my irons to the green. The reason I got ahead was because I was hitting it on the green and two-putting.

“Last year, I was getting too excited when I got ahead. This year, I was much more focused.”

Hershberger, the 2010 NJSGA Junior champion, took a four-hole lead after the first 18 holes of the 36-hole match-play final. After that, the players took a 45-minute lunch break.

“It’s hard to pause when you’re so into it. But as soon as I hit that first tee shot on the 19th hole and it went down the middle, I knew the pause wouldn’t matter,” she said.

Hershberger was never really threatened in the afternoon session as Ha could only get as close as a 3-hole deficit. Hershberger wrapped up the triumph with a 12-foot par putt for a halve on the par-4 15th hole.

“This was one of the big events I really wanted. It was important to me,” said Hershberger, a member of Ridge’s scholastic state championship team the past two years.”It means the world to me having my mom and dad here to share it with me. It will be one of my best childhood memories.”

Hershberger was just 1-up after the first nine holes before recording victories on each of the first four holes of the back nine to go 5-up. That string included three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 12th hole.

Hershberger closed out the first 18 holes with a victory at the par-5 18th with a par to go 4-up. Hershberger was named this past fall to the Junior All-American Golf Team sponsored by Hewlett Packard Co. and the American Junior Golf Association.

Note: Photo & story courtesy New Jersey State Golf Association

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