By Greg Morse (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The 2018 MSHSAA Class 2 Golf Sectionals in Joplin provided for a day of excitement with close team matchups and impressive individual performances.
With all of the golfers attempting to qualify for state, the tournament ended with a three-way tie for first place. Wriley Hiebert, Susannah Blackwell, both from Glendale, and Jenna Teeter of Carl Junction all tied with a seven-over 78.
The moment was especially big for Hiebert, who after qualifying for state two-years ago, narrowly missed out last year by one-stroke. She found redemption today as she not only tied for first place, but also helped lead her team to first place and thereby qualifying for the state tournament next weekend.
“I was really bummed about last year, missing [state] by one (stroke), but this year I was really excited,” said Hiebert, “After the first couple of holes I knew I was shooting well. I was just trying to do my best.”
Her teammate, Susannah Blackwell, also felt good about her own performance and that of her team.
“After the front nine I was really confident with my putting, and I knew going in my shots were great and I was hitting it well. Now, we’re going to state as a team, and that is awesome, that’s great, and we’re just going to hopefully do what we did today.”
Glendale finished with 345 after Jaaea Asa carded a 93, Halle Jungmann scored a 96, and Olivia Baron scored 104.
The third winner in the first-place tie went to Carl Junction Bulldog Jenna Teeter. Teeter led the individuals with her 78, with Kourtney Tucker of Central coming in fourth with 86.
“I started putting pretty good, but I really need to work on my chips,” said Teeter, “I was trying to aim for the middle of the green, get me anywhere for a putt.”
Teeter also knew that playing on such a windy day was going to have an impact.
“The wind kind of killed the distance on some of my shots, I either went short or I’d go long.”
The second team to qualify for the state championship was Ozark. The team was led by Elizabeth Freeman, who finished with a team low 88. Madelyn Jenkins scored a 90, Georgia Fraser scored a 94, Olivia Hanks scored a 99, and Madelyn Greenlee scored a 106 but also made an impressive hole in one on the 15th hole. The team had a total score of 371.
“We came out yesterday and the weather was bad, but I knew we had a great week of practice and we were playing well together, and I knew we had a chance to advance as a team, and we did,” said Ozark coach Daniel Mullis, “We’ve got five girls that are real consistent, Freeman can go low, into the 70s. Our short game has come around the past couple tournaments. I expect us to go out and compete.”
After Ozark, the other three teams to finish were Rolla with a 373, Carthage with a 374, and Warrensburg with 406. The Missouri State Championship takes place next week in Kansas City.