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Madison Musick DDWGA Women's Am ChampionBy Bucky Albers
Five or six years ago, when she was preparing to enter Fairborn High School, Madison Musick made a decision that has paid handsome dividends.

When her step-father, Steve Hannaford, was named the FHS golf coach, she decided, with an eye to her future, to put basketball and volleyball aside and take up golf. Hannaford is an accomplished player who would be able to give her some excellent instruction.
The plan has worked to perfection. Musick improved enough over four years to get an invitation to join the golf team at Ashland University. She not only made the team as a freshman but was selected among the five who participated in every match.
 “It was so much fun,” she said. “We went to Palm Springs, Calif., (for a tournament) during spring break.”

On Friday, June 13, she got an opportunity to show off her talent to the folks at Greene, who had already seen her win the women’s club championship last year.  Paired against 24-year-old former champion Molly Ginger of Centerville, she learned early that she would have a tough match if she hadn’t figured it out when the two were paired in the stroke play rounds on Monday and Tuesday.  

Ginger had fired a 71 on Monday to lead the pack only to soar to an uncharacteristic 86 on Tuesday when her lower back began barking when she tried to rotate for the drives.
Musick finished second in the 36 holes of stroke play to Jessie Jordan of Urbana, who chose not to participate in the three days of match play. That gave Musick a first-round bye on Wednesday while Ginger, having had a treatment on her back, had to play.
Ginger and Musick each won two matches in Thursday’s double round, so they had to play 36 holes two days in a row. Ginger was 3-up after 12 holes and 1-up after 18. After 26 holes, Ginger was 3-up, and Musick had never led. But on the 27th hole (Greene’s No. 9) Musick sank a 30-foot birdie putt.
 “That was absolutely huge for my round,” she said.
Ginger, who hasn’t played any competitive golf since last year’s DDWGA event, immediately showed signs of tiring. She didn’t win another hole and Musick won five of the last seven.
“I was playing well, and the wheels came off on the back,” Ginger said. “She made a lot of putts.”
Musick, who seems to have sharpened her game considerably in the last year, credits her scoring to changes she made in her short game. Instead of lifting the ball toward the cup with a 56-degree wedge, she is playing more bump-and-run.
 “The ball wasn’t getting to the hole,” she said, explaining that she now chips with a gap wedge, a pitching wedge or a 9-iron on shots of 60 feet or less. “It’s definitely much easier to get the ball to the hole if you put it on the ground.”
Musick said she will play in only two more events this summer – the Greene club championship and the Tri-City Matches in Cincinnati.
Near the end of August she’ll go back to Ashland where she is majoring in exercise science and minoring in nutrition. “I want to stay with the nutrition side and maybe get with a sports team,” she said.
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