GRANITE CITY – Sara Gwillim picked up Tuesday where she left off last year in the Madison County girls’ golf tournament.
The Civic Memorial senior shot a 3-over par score to finish second overall and medalist among small-school participants in the rain-shortened county championship at The Legacy Course. Gwillim also was last year’s small-school first-place finisher.
Tuesday’s competition was reduced to nine holes because of rain. Edwardsville’s Kayla Weinacht emerged as the overall winner with a 1-over par total. The Tigers took the large-school team title with a 14-over par score. Marquette posted a 51-over par to win the small-school team championship. Par is 36.
“We didn’t have (regular) scores because the golfers played different holes,” MadCo tourney director Stu Weider said. “Some golfers played more than nine holes, but we counted the nine holes from where they started playing.”
Gwillim’s score came from the first nine holes on the course. She hoped to challenge the Tigers’ Weinacht on the final holes, but wet weather squashed that opportunity.
“I thought I was playing OK and I was just two strokes behind Kayla,” said Gwillim, who played 12 holes in all. “I three-putted one hole and had three bogeys, but the rest were pars. This course reminds of a combination of Belk Park and Cloverleaf. It’s pretty straight and flat.”
She’s hoping for major things this season in leading a retooled CM bunch.
“What I want to do is teach a lot of the younger girls how to manage the golf course,” Gwillim said. “My goal is to finally make it to state and then I want to go on and play college golf and major in sports business management.”
Jane Middleton, the CM coach, is leaning on Gwillim to guide the Eagles.
“Sara has been driving it far and putting it well,” Middleton said. “We’re a young team and a building team, so we are counting on Sara for leadership.”
Sophomore Ellie Kane logged an 11-over par to pace Marquette. Laura Walsh (plus-13), Brittany Barta (plus-13) and Carlee Cronin (plus-14) also figured in the Explorers’ championship.
“I’m looking for big things from this team because we have a solid starting six players,” Marquette coach Deb Walsh said. “Our goal is to get to state.”
Roxana shot a plus-55 to finish second to Marquette in the small-school action. CM was third with a plus-66.
“I’m looking for our seniors — Andrea Mellenthin and San Edwards — to lead us,” Roxana coach Krissy Little said. “And I expect good things from this team.”
Mellenthin fired an 8-over par, best for the Shells. Bailey Sharpmack was next with a plus-10.
Granite City, which had a plus-41, Collinsville with a plus-50, and Triad, registering a plus-55, rounded out the large-school team scoring. Alton and Highland didn’t participate. The Redbirds had a school scheduling conflict and the Bulldogs “chose not to play,” Weider said.
Coach Karen Greenwald said the Warriors’ second-place finish was an encouraging sign.
“We have a little bit of experience and youth,” she added, pointing to three seniors, one junior and one sophomore. “We are looking for consistency and improvement.”
Senior Samantha Moerlien shot 8-over par to lead the Warriors. Sophomore Megan Keel and senior Mallory O’Gara both had 10-over par scores.
Edwardsville’s Addasyn Zeller and Samantha Doak both notched scores of 4-over par to back Weinacht’s winning total. Collinsville’s Sidney Bost also had a 4-over par.
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