Considering she was a relative unknown when she won the City League as a sophomore, Bishop Carroll senior golfer Madison Murphy has come a long way in the past two years.
Now with three City League titles to her name as a senior, Murphy added another prestigious medal to her collection Monday at Auburn Hills Golf Course.
Shooting a 6-over par 78, Murphy won the Class 5A regional by six strokes and also led the Eagles to the team title in a qualifier for next week's state tournament.
"This tops everything, because I've never won a regional before," Murphy said. "It's my senior year, I've won league three years in a row and now to win regionals is pretty cool."
Murphy has gradually improved every aspect of her game since coming to Carroll four years ago. What used to be a sometimes erratic swing has turned into a repetitive motion that has kept her, mostly, from posting high numbers.
"We haven't done anything with her swing all year, because it's always been on plane and that's what makes her such a good ball-striker," Carroll coach Mark Berger said. "Watching her mature and grow has been a lot of fun."
Murphy made back-to-back birdies on seven and eight for a front nine 39 on her home course. Her only blemish came on nine, which she double-bogeyed. That was her only double on the round.
"Since we play this course all the time, I know what to avoid and I pretty much played it like that the entire day," Murphy said. "By knowing this course I tried to hit it close every time."
Perhaps Murphy's best shot of the day came on the long, par-5 finishing hole. She split the fairway with her drive, and then laid up down the fairway for her third shot.
Hitting a low pitch, the ball landed on the front of the green and nearly rolled in the hole for an eagle. She tapped in the two-footer for birdie.
"I think I was 60 some yards out and I hit my sand wedge," Murphy said. "I thought it was going in and I think it was just a few inches away."
Carroll is on a tear going into the state tournament; over the last month, the Eagles have won four tournaments, including the City League Tournament last week, which earned them a share of the league title.
"The last four weeks have been a lot of fun," Berger said. "Being able to watch some of these girls go through some ups and downs, then persevere has been great."