Manawatu golfer Lily Griffin hopes to begin a United States College scholarship next year.
If the 17-year-old Palmerston North Girls' High School student continues to play like she did on her way to winning the open title at the Maraenui club's 103-player Sacred Hill Women's Open at the weekend she should tick that goal off.
The top seed and 2.6 handicapper who has represented Manawatu-Whanganui at the last three Toro inter-provincials beat second seed, Hawke's Bay representative and Napier 4.4 handicapper Haena Seol, 6 and 5 in the final.
"I was really joyful when it was all over. This is the first time I have won this tournament in two attempts," Griffin said referring to the fact she was beaten 5 and 4 by eventual winner Sara Deam in last year's semifinals.
"I had a one under par 73 in my last round which was pretty good too," Griffin said.
She had no problems with Sunday's windy conditions which included what the Maraenui club's women's club captain Adele Leppien described as a "mini hurricane" at one stage.
"Those conditions are quite similar to the Manawatu winds I play in at home," Griffin said.
In her semifinal Griffin scored a 4 and 2 victory against the fifth seed and host club's women's champion Clare Choi, who plays off a 5.2 handicap.
Earlier Griffin displayed her fighting qualities when she recovered from being three down after eight holes to beat seventh seed and host club 6.3 handicapper Aseri Meikle at the 20th.
"That was quite a stressful match and I was happy to get back into it," Griffin said.
Griffin will return to the Bay this weekend to play in the Hastings Open at the Bridge Pa course.
"I played in the Hastings tournament last year and I'm keen to improve on those scores. Good scores count when you are applying for those scholarships in the States," she added.