Emilia Migliaccio of Athens Drive has never played a round of high school golf, but the freshman already is among the favorites to win a N.C. High School Athletic Association girls golf championship.
Migliaccio’s amateur record has preceded her, and her credentials are impressive.
She won the Trusted Choice Big I State Championship at Pine Needles in July with rounds of 72-68. She won the UNC Finley PKB in March with a 74-70. She was runner-up in the N.C. Junior and was a semifinalist in the Carolina Junior.
She also qualified for the Callaway Junior World Championship for the second year in a row and is a member of the North Carolina-South Carolina all-star team selected to play the Virginia-Maryland all-stars.
Migliaccio has a career-best nine-hole score of 30, which was shot at Chapel Hill’s Finley Golf Course, and an 18-hole best of 68 at the Big I qualifier.
She doesn’t remember a lot about the Finley round. “Just that it was a 30,” she said. “I was making all of the putts.”
Migliaccio is ranked No. 3 among the state’s junior girls golfers and seemingly is getting better.
“I have different things than I’ve had before,” Migliaccio said.
Her short game has improved over the past few months; she is stronger and hits the ball farther.
She looks at the high school season as a new joy.
“I’ve wanted to play high school golf for a long time,” said the 14-year-old. “The girls I have taught say that it is so much fun. Everyone I have met is really, really sweet.”
Migliaccio set up a charity, Birdies for Skin Cancer, when she was 11 years old. She asked family and friends to pledge $1 for every birdie she made during the year. Her goal was $1,000.
The fund took in more than $3,500.
Her goal for this year is more than $10,000.
She also has the goal of playing well for Athens, which Tony Alcon coached to state titles in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and a runner-up finish in 2010. Alcon retired, and 2012 state champ Sarah Bae graduated.
Bae, like Migliaccio, entered high school with an outstanding amateur background and finished second, sixth, third and first in the NCHSAA individual championships while leading the team to three state titles.
Migliaccio may have the same sort of potential. She knows there are high expectations and enjoys them.
“It is nice to see people at the tournaments,” she said. “It is really encouraging.”