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Boca Raton’s Elle Nachmann, 18, has had a memorable summer on the links.
“It was so much fun being out there on the golf course again, playing in tournaments, traveling and competing against some of the best players in the world,” she said.
In April, she just missed qualifying for the U.S. Open by one stroke after not having competed for a year and a half in a women’s event because of school and the pandemic. In 2020, the only tournament she played in was the Florida State Mixed Four-Ball Championship with her brother, Alec, and they won that with a 22 under par score.
After finishing her exams from her freshman year of college at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, she finished runner-up in the Women’s Amateur Championship, falling to Kendall Griffin in late June.
She went on to win the Florida State Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship with a three-day total of 214 and then finished as a medalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Qualifier played at Streamsong Resort Black Course in Fort Meade, Florida by shooting 4 under par in mid-July.
Perhaps her most notable tournament came in early August in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York where after qualifying, she drew Rose Zhang (Irvine, California), the No. 1 amateur in the world and defending champion.
“I was very excited to have the opportunity to play against the best women’s amateur in the world and had the time of my life playing out there on a very difficult and challenging course against an amazing player,” Nachmann said. “I was down by two going into hole number 13. I fought back and got the match back to even. On the 16th hole, I made a 6-foot par putt to go up by one with two holes to play. I ended up winning on the 18th hole with a 9-foot birdie putt.
“It was an incredible experience,” she said.
Nachmann eventually lost in the round of 32 to the No. 3 seed Brooke Matthews (Rogers, Arkansas) on the 18th hole when she made a birdie putt and Nachmann’s birdie putt just lipped out.
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“It was one of the most memorable golf experiences I’ve ever had,” Nachmann said.
She followed that up by teaming with Gainesville’s Amelia Williams to win the Florida Women’s State Four-Ball Championship by finishing off the second round with birdies on the last eight holes to set an all-time scoring record shooting of 16 under (65, 63) on Aug. 16 at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens.
It was the first FSGA title for Williams and the fifth for Nachmann, who is currently leading the FSGA Women’s Player of the Year standings with 19.100 points.
Nachmann said she attributes her success this summer to several factors — hard work, enjoying playing the game, and competing, and during the pandemic, she spent a lot of time on the course with her uncle, Vincent Spadea, a former professional tennis player.
“He helped me tremendously both biomechanically and psychologically,” Nachmann said. “He makes everything so fun and he knows what it is like to compete at the highest level in professional sports.
“My brother Alec traveled with me during my tournaments, which I feel helped me significantly because we are really good friends and he’s an amazing golfer himself.”