A 16-year-old high school student who had the best score at a boys' golf tournament in Massachusetts has been denied the trophy because she's a girl.
Lunenburg High School student Emily Nash's score of 75 at the Central Massachusetts Division 3 boys' golf tournament was better than the runner-up.
But Nash wasn't awarded first place and won't advance to next week's state tournament because of a rule set by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The rule states that girls playing on a fall boys' team can't be entered in the Boys' Fall Individual Tournament.
That means Nash can't compete as an individual, and her score on Tuesday only counted toward her team's total.
"I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t have a title — it just is what it is," Nash said.
The trophy ended up going to the runner-up.
"He offered it to me, which was super nice and classy of him," Nash said.
The tournament director told The Telegram & Gazette he made Nash aware of the rule before the tournament began.
Nash and her father, Robert, said they understand the rules but they're not sure why this one exists.
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"If she can play with the boys — same distance same rules — I don’t understand why they can't give her credit for winning the tournament," Robert Nash said.
Emily said she is taking it all in stride.
"You don’t always have to win the actual title to get recognition for it," she said. "All my teammates were real supportive."