Ozark girls win Willard Golf Invitational

By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

The Ozark Lady Tigers carded a 349 at the Willard Invitational on Thursday, which was good enough to win the team title.

Grabbing the runner up spot were the Branson Lady Pirates who came in at 421, eight strokes ahead of the third place Bolivar Liberators, who posted a 429.

The Tigers, led by Elizabeth Freeman’s 83, posted four scores in the 80’s en route to claiming this year’s championship. Joining Freeman on the Lady Tiger scorecard were Maddie Jenkins 44-44-88, Georgia Fraser 47-42-89, Maddie Greenlee 45-44-89 and Olivia Hanks 47-46-93.

Ozark head coach Daniel Mullis was more than pleased with the effort shown by his Lady Tigers.

“This was only our second meet of the year. I think that this just might be the first time we’ve ever posted four scores in the 80’s before,” said Mullis. “We did leave a few strokes out on the course today though but our girls are steadily improving.”

Mullis was especially proud of Freeman who has been working very hard at improving her game.

“Her short game has really come around. It’s come so far that now she can still get up and down from troubled areas,” the Lady Tiger coach said. “She’s looking at opportunities for birdies now but I keep reminding her that 18 pars is a pretty good score to.”

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE TOURNAMENT

Freeman registered a 41 on the front nine and a 42 on the backside in putting together her 83, 13 strokes over par on the par 70 Green Hills Golf Course in Willard.

“I’ve been struggling some lately but my game was good today,” said Freeman. “I feel like we all picked up our level of play today though and we all feel good about getting the win here in Willard.”

The top medalist was Central High’s Kourtney Tucker. Tucker fired a 38 over her first nine holes of play and a 40 on the second to record her 78.

The Central High linkster, who has been wrestling a battling injury in 2019 which led to a rough start on the new season for her in Marshfield last week, says that her 78 was a boost of confidence for what’s yet to come.

“I started out really good today with a birdie. For me it was really an awesome feeling and it kind of set me up for the rest of the day,” said Tucker. “I played pretty consistently throughout my round setting up opportunities for some easy pars so it really helped out my score a bunch.”

Willard head golf coach, and this year’s tournament director Matt Stone, says he feels that the tournament was a big success.

“Things seemed to go real well today and there were quite a few good scores carded out on the course today, especially for Ozark,” said Stone.

And how about his Willard High girls?

“We struggled a bit today and didn’t play as well as we did in Marshfield last week. But our kids had a bit more pressure on them today playing at home,” Stone said. “But Megan Mahan played well turning in a 98 and medaling so we’re all real proud of her.”

Second and third place scoring:

Branson: Anna Presley 46-51-97, Katelyn Patrick 52-53-105, Lexie Misemer 53-51-104, Isabell Farris 61-56-117 and Taylor Cobb 55-60-115.

Bolivar: Ashtynn Russell 43-43-86, Annie VanHornheek 60-61-121, London Seiner 54-58-112 and Elle Robinson 57-53-110.

                     Top ‘6 Teams’
No.      Team                           Score
1          Ozark                           349
2          Branson                      421
3          Bolivar                        429
4          Willard                         444
5          Nixa                             476
6          Parkview                     487     

                     Medalists- 2019
No.      Name                          Score               School
1          Kortney Tucker           78                    Central
2          Elizabeth Freeman     83                    Ozark
3          Ashtynn Russell          86                    Bolivar
4          Maddie Jenkins          88                    Ozark
5T        Gerogia Fraser            89                    Ozark
Maddie Greenlee       89                    Ozark
7          Olivia Hanks               93                    Ozark
8          Anna Presley              97                    Branson
9          Megan Mahan           98                    Willard
10        Lexie Misemer           104                   Branson