Girls’ golf places fifth at state championship


Sophomore Caroline Schade bends to tee her ball at the Oct. 10 Class 2 Girls’ Golf state championship.

Ryan Choe

[dropcap style=”flat” size=”4″]F[/dropcap]rom Monday Oct. 9 to Tuesday Oct. 10, the girls’ golf team powered itself to a fifth place finish at the Class 2 Girls Golf State Championship in Sedalia, Missouri. The team played at Sedalia Country Club and battled through challenging conditions to place in the top five for the third year in a row.
The team shot a total combined score of 700, with junior Olivia Sowers finishing in the top 20 individual scores at state. Despite shooting an impressive 78 and 81 on the first and second days, Sowers was not very proud of her overall performance during the tournament. Along with trying to shoot low scores, the girls faced poor weather conditions on Tuesday.
“The first day was clear, warm and sunny while the second day was rainy, windy, and cold,” Sowers said. “During the second day I was a little thrown off by the [different] weather, and didn’t play very well. I was pretty frustrated with myself after I finished my round.”
Despite Sowers’ frustration with her performance, Coach Melissa Coil was proud of her overall effort, stating that Sowers grew immensely as both a golfer and a person in her three years on the RBHS golf team.
“She is a determined, hard worker who also cares as much about her teammates success and representing them well, as she cares about her own successes,” Coil said. “She is an exceptional leader, both in how hard she works to achieve her goals and the way she represents our program. There are big things left for her in her senior season, and I’m looking forward to seeing that.”
In addition to citing Sowers’ efforts, Coil was also happy with the overall effort, supportiveness and grit the girls showed throughout the season. She believes the team had an incredible bond during the season and that their desire to support and spend time with one another outside of golf developed this close bond.
“While we may not have scored the way we would have hoped, they fought for every stroke in the final day, and never [gave] into the weather or the pressure that [the] state tournament brought,” Coil said. “In the end, this is just a game. What we have learned about ourselves as golfers, teammates and people from each other throughout the year is just as important as any hardware [we] could have brought home.”
When looking toward the future, Coil explained how the young depth on the team will help Rock Bridge continue to succeed in the following years.
“Each of the girls that was at the state tournament gets to return next year and not all the programs that placed first through fourth can say that,” Coil said. “This is obviously huge for us, as we now have five individuals who have experienced the level of competition that state brings and have a desire to get back to that spot again next year.”
As the only freshman out of the five varsity golf players, Madison Moller found the transition from middle school to varsity high school golf both exciting and nerve racking.
“State was a whole new experience for me, so I was pretty nervous going into the first tee,” Moller said. “The scores I posted were definitely not a personal best, but considering the conditions and competition, I am pleased with the results and had a great overall time.”
Moller said the bond that the team developed over the season was the best aspect of being on the girls golf team her freshman year. Despite all of the competitiveness and role of being on varsity during the season was thrilling, Moller passionately enjoyed how the team pushed each other to get better.
During the next year, Moller plans to improve her attitude and mental game in order to do well on the golf course. She said her mental game started to get worse as the season progressed, and that it never hurts to work on chipping and putting.
“After this season, I am so excited for girls golf 2018-2019 season because [of] the talent we have now,” Moller said. “[We] will all be coming back and we all are going to work hard over the winter and summer to be the best individual and team we can be.”
After turning in her scorecard, Sowers reflected back on her performance and found that she had improved from the results from the previous year. Sowers was happy to discover that she had progressed from the year and looks forward to the new season next year.
“I think next year we could win state [because] everyone will improve over the next year, and we already have really good young players,” Sowers said. “I think the incoming freshmen next year will also bring in more talent, and it is a realistic goal for us to try to win state next year.”
How do you think the season went for the golf team this year? Tell us in the comments below.