KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – If the rest of the field at the Tennessee Girls’ Junior Amateur was waiting on Kendall Maynard to make a mistake, it wasn’t going to happen this week.
The Clarksville native and Belmont University commitment played the last 40 holes of the tournament without a single bogey. That consistency was key as she claimed the 2020 championship at Three Ridges Golf Course with a three-day total of 5-under, 211.
“I’m just really happy right now to see all my hard work pay off,” Maynard said. “My goal was to hit fairways and greens and make as many pars as I could.”
The championship continues what has been a stellar season already for the Class of 2021 product – one that saw her win a Sneds Tour Two-Day Masters title at Tennessee Grasslands with a 7-under, 137 score.
Just last year in the Tennessee Girls’ Junior, she shot a 17-over, 233 total at Cleveland Country Club.
“I would definitely say I’ve made a lot of improvement with my short game, and that has helped my scoring,” Maynard noted. “My wedges and putting have got a lot better.”
Maynard entered Thursday’s final round with a one-stroke lead over Kynadie Adams of Gallatin, and that’s how they finished.
Maynard was one ahead on No. 18 when her approach shot found a green-side bunker. With Adams just off the fringe, she needed to get up-and-down from the sand to avoid a likely playoff.
She did exactly that as she stuck her bunker shot to just a couple of feet and then cleaned up the par for the victory.
Maynard finished with a showing of 74-68-69. Adams ended up at 4-under, 212 (75-68-69).
Maynard walked off the 18th green to a large group of competitors waiting around to congratulate her, and then was greeted by hugs from her family after she left the scoring area.
“There were so many great girls playing this week and they played fantastic,” Maynard said. “It means a lot to be able to play just as well as them. Kynadie played phenomenal and I’m just happy to get the win.”
Maynard was one-up on Adams heading to the par three, 8th when she almost aced it before tapping in for birdie. The hole proved to be a two-shot swing as Adams bogeyed from the sand and Maynard left with a three-stroke advantage.
Another bogey by Adams on nine left the margin at four, but the tournament was anything but over.
Adams went on a tear that included three birdies over the next four holes to pul within two after 13. That stretch got started when she chipped in from off the green on No. 10.
Adams added another birdie on 17 to make things interesting going into the final hole.
“I didn’t really know how we stood,” Maynard admitted. “I was just trying to play my game, play the course.”
Sophie Linder of Carthage finished third in the tournament with three consecutive rounds of even-par 72.
Day one leader Lynn Lim of Gallatin was fourth (71-74-72–217), followed by Kingsport’s Isabella van der Biest at 78-71-71–220).
Rounding out the top ten were: Claire Henson of Jackson (75-76-72–223), Anna Heck of Memphis (77-72-78–227), McKinley Cunningham of Clarksville (76-71-80–227), Sadie Pan of Clarksville (79-75-74–228), and Madeline Simcox of Bristol (78-77-75–230)