Destin’s Tenore wins Divot Derby, again

Tina Harbuck
Destin's Madison Tenore tees off on hole No. 1 at Tiger Point on the last day of competition in the Divot Derby. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

For the third year running, Destin’s Madison Tenore has won the Divot Derby Championship in Pensacola.

In the junior golf tournament, spread across three days of competition and three courses, Tenore rallied on the final day of play to bring home the trophy.

“Everything was going well and falling into place,” Tenore said on that last day.

Prior to that final round, Tenore, 17, trailed Sarah Edwards of Jay by one stroke at the Perdido Bay Golf Club on Day One. Tenore shot a 67, and Edwards 66.

On Day Two, the girls took their game to Marcus Pointe Golf Club. Edwards again took the upper hand finishing the day with a 71 and Tenore 74.

On Day Three at Tiger Point Country Club, Tenore continued to fall behind early. Edwards had birdied the first two holes and after the first nine, Tenore was down by five strokes.

But after the turn, Tenore’s game took a turn for the better.

“I tried not to think about it (the deficit) and tried to focus on one hole at a time,” she said.

On hole No. 10, Tenore shot a birdie and Edward’s bogey. On hole No. 11, both girls made par.

On the next hole, Tenore shot another par and Edward’s a bogey, putting Tenore within striking distance of taking the lead.

On the last four holes, Tenore was hitting her stride. On No. 15, Tenore sank a 32-foot shot for a birdie and then buried another long putt, 38-feet going down hill, for a birdie on No. 17.

“Me and my putter were having a connection,” Tenore said.

On the back nine alone, Tenore birdied three holes.

And when it was all said and done, Tenore finished up the day with a 67, and Edwards 72.

Tenore finished the Derby eight under.

This was her third consecutive year to win the tournament and “it feels great,” she said.

Up next for Tenore, who will be a junior at Niceville High this year, is the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in Miami at the Trump National Doral Resort this weekend. Play will begin Sunday for the four-day event.