CRESCENT • The Summit girls golf team may lack the star power it had last season, but the Falcons are still the Suburban South Conference Tournament champions.
With defending Class 2 champion Lindsey Eisenreich off at Missouri State, the Falcons used a balanced team effort to score a 355 at the league meet Thursday at Aberdeen Golf Course.
“We were riding the coattails of Lindsey a little bit last year,” Falcons coach Corey Choate said. “You’ve just got to be more balanced. You can’t just count on that one kid shooting an awesome score and everyone else just showing up. To have three girls get medals and two girls shoot 77s, that’s it right there.”
Parkway West also shot a 355 to tie for first, but the tiebreaker of best fifth-player score went to Summit.
“We knew it would come down to just a couple strokes and, unfortunately, it went their way,” Longhorns coach Nancy Sachtleben said. “It was just a few strokes here and there. They weren’t off very much from their goal, so you can’t fault them.”
Summit is without its former superstar, but Parkway West has one in the making in junior Emily Goldenstein and she dominated the field again with a four-under-par 68 (three strokes better than Eisenreich’s score to win last season’s rain-soaked Sub South tourney) to capture the individual title by nine strokes.
Goldenstein hit 13 of the 14 fairways she played (on par-four and five holes only) on Thursday and 16 of 18 greens.
“It felt good, but I didn’t really realize it until after the round that I was hitting so many greens and fairways,” she said. “And then my putting went from awful to amazing to awful to amazing.”
Goldenstein’s 68 represented a 15-stroke improvement from her score at last season’s conference tournament.
“She works harder than any girl we have on our team and it obviously shows,” Sachtleben said. “We’re very proud of her and pleased with her, to say the least.”
Summit’s team success was boosted by the junior duo of Rachael Pearson and Stephanie Hulett, who each shot a 77 to tie for second (Pearson won the scorecard tiebreaker).
“For me, this was my personal best so far,” said Hulett, who shot an 81 to finish second to Eisenreich in last year’s league meet. “But, no matter what you shoot, you can always improve. I just need to make a few more putts.”
While Hulett was a member of last season’s Summit squad, Pearson is a newcomer after she transferred from John Paul II, a preparatory school in West County that doesn’t have a golf team. She thought her driver was a little off on Thursday, so she turned to her father.
“Right afterward, I said “Dad, get me a bucket of balls,” Pearson said with a laugh. “So, basically I just tried working on getting through it.”
Another key for the Falcons was the performance turned in by junior Abbey Cleveland, who shot a 49-47—96 to capture 10th place.
“She was ecstatic. That’s the best she’s played,” Choate said. “It’s a good teaching point for the kids that every stroke counts.”
In addition to Goldenstein, Pearson, Hulett and Cleveland, the rest of the 15 individual medalists were: Stephanie Mazzoni of Parkway North (45-37—82); Elizabeth Leath of Parkway Central (38-48—86); Elise McDonough of Kirkwood (44-44—88); Rebecca Su of Parkway West (44-45—89); Erin Armstrong of Parkway North (46-48—94); Madisyn Falls of Webster Groves (48-48—96); Anna Bauer of Kirkwood (51-47—98); Polly Barclay of Parkway West (50-48—98); Sarah Moon of Seckman (52-47—99); Carolyn Stewart of Parkway West (49-51—100); and Gretchen Gregory of Parkway North (49-51—100).