Lunenburg High School female golfer Emily Nash posted the best score in the Central Massachusetts Division 3 boys' golf tournament Tuesday but wasn't awarded the championship trophy and isn't eligible to play in the state tournament due to Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported the rule states girls can't have their individual scores counted toward entrance in the boys' statewide event, so Nash's winning score of 75 only benefited her school's team total.
Nash, who was made aware of the rule before the event, told Jordan Frias and Sean Brennan of the Boston Herald she understands the situation but is nevertheless disappointed in the outcome.
"It still kind of stinks," she said. "I'm disappointed I didn't get the trophy. But that's OK. Even if I didn't get the trophy, everyone knew my score. In golf, it's all about the rules."
The 16-year-old junior added she's received plenty of support as the story has gained attention and hopes it can help lead to change in the future.
"I feel like this has the potential to change something," Nash said. "Maybe if the higher-ups start noticing it, too."
She added: "It's nice, especially from the golf world, to see so many people supporting me. In a perfect world, I'd like this rule to change. They should look into it and make adjustments."
MIAA associate executive director Richard Pearson told the Boston Herald the rule is "explicit, and it is pretty clear." The report noted the Massachusetts high school golf season for girls is in the spring.