By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Springfield Catholic girls golf continued its dominating start to the 2019 season with a second sweep of team and individual titles in three days.
Led by Reagan Zibilski’s 67, Kayla Pfitzner’s 69 and her sister Kyleigh’s 75, the Lady Irish posted a tournament low score of 293 to claim this year’s Seymour Invitational title. That team score set a new MSHSAA record for a team score on a Par 70 course. It is the second MSHSAA team record in as many meets for the Lady Irish. That finish was 30 strokes ahead of the second place Glendale who carded a 323.
Zibilski, who finished as the tournament’s top medalist, fired a 35 of the front nine and a 32 on the back nine for a 67 to finish out her day at three under par while Kayla Pfitzner recorded a consistent 34 and 35 for a 69 to finish one under par.
The victory made it two in a row for Catholic who opened up the new season on Tuesday by grabbing the title in their own Springfield Catholic Invitational after recording a 294 in the 18 hole event.
Zibilski, who participated in this year’s Women’s U.S. Open as an amateur, torched the course in that tournament carding a blistering 60, which was a new MSHSAA record for a Par 71 course.
“Our girls didn’t feel like they played their best today but overall they did play very solid,” said Catholic head coach Frank Gallant. “Reagan, Kayla and Kyleigh all posted good rounds today and as the season moves along we should only get better.”
“Coming off a good round on Tuesday I wanted to put up another today but I just wasn’t as dialed in as I was in our opener,” said Zibilski. “Overall I was a little bit up and down but I did manage to find ways to get the ball in the hole.”
“But I feel like our team played very well today and I’m so proud of everybody,” Zibilski said. “We’re all very close and we’ve already improved a great deal this year.”
Glendale’s Lady Falcons are also off to a good start this year. The Falcons have now registered two second-place finishes in 2019. On Wednesday Glendale posted a runner up finish in Camdenton at the Laker Invitational.
“We’ve been playing well so far this year,” said Falcon head coach Ron Yocum.”We lost to Rock Bridge who beat us at state last year. They finished third and we finished fourth. We have the same kids this year and they all work hard every day to keep getting better so we can get back to state this year.”
Catholic enjoyed a great season in 2018 which included an individual state title for senior Kayla Pfitzner and a runner-up spot for Zibilski, but the Irish came up a bit short in their bid to capture a team title finishing second to John Burroughs by two strokes. .
According to Gallant, last year’s near miss has played a key role in motivating his Irish girls for another run at a state title in 2019.
“We kind of let state get away from us last year,” said coach Gallant. “But the near miss has motivated our girls big time. They want to win it all this year.”
“We’re all working hard and pushing each other to get better each week,” said Kayla Pfitzner. “We feel like this year is our year. As for me I’m especially excited as a senior because state will take place at Fremont Hills. It’s going to be like a home meet for us so we want to make sure we’re all ready for it.”
Zibilski is also fired up about the prospects of going back to state.
“We were all devastated by the loss last year,” Zibilski said. “So it’s back to work for us now to make sure we get it done this year.”
Catholic: 1. Reagan Zibilski 35-32-67; 2. Kayla Pfitzner 34-35-69; 3. Kyleigh Pfitzner 38-37-75; 4. Lyla Louderbaugh 39-43-82; 5. Celia Stiltner 47-44-91.
Glendale: 1. Wriley Hiebert 34-34-68; 2. Susannah Blackwell 42-41-83; 3. Halle Jungmann 43-43-86; 4. Jadae Asa 42-45-87; 5. Madison James 44-42-86.
Seymour Tournament Team Results
1. Catholic – 293
2. Glendale – 323
3. Ozark – 342
4. Kickapoo – 384
5. Greenwood – 391
6. Lebanon – 398
7. Bolivar – 411
8. Branson – 412
9. Galena – 440
10. Marshfield – 444
11. Strafford – 466
12. Nixa – 469
13. Republic – 490
1. Reagan Zibilski – 67 – Catholic
2. Wriley Hiebert – 68 – Glendale
3. Kayla Pfitzner – 69 – Catholic
4. Kyleigh Pfitzner – 75 – Catholic
5. Kourtney Tucker – 80 – Central
6. Elizabeth Freeman – 81 – Ozark
7. Lyla Louderbaugh – 82 – Catholic
T-8. Ashtynn Russell – 83 – Bolivar
T-8. Susannah Blackwell – 83 – Glendale
T-8. Maddie Jenkins – 83 – Ozark
T-8. Georgia Frazer – 83 – Ozark
12. Shelby Haskins – 84 – Purdy