The St. James golf team was able to survive the rain long enough to compete in their first tournament of the season at Union on Monday, March 26. The Tigers had to fight through an hour long weather delay, but eventually managed to finish the tournament in eighth place as a team.
Garrick Lonning turned in St. James' top score on Monday, shooting a +29 101 in the cold and soggy conditions. His round was highlighted by a birdie on the par-three 16th hole and a total of five pars on the day. Payton Engelbrecht was just two stokes behind with a 103. She had one par on the day and turned in a great front nine where she shot a team-low 48.
"It was a tough day with the conditions we played in, cold and wet. When we hit the hour delay, some lost their momentum, while others found their momentum! Payton was one that started off the play, playing pretty good, but after the delay, she lost her momentum," said head coach Kevin Conway. "Garrick didn't have the day he wanted, but it was an okay day for him. He birdied a hole, which kept him going through the wet conditions!"
Hannah Shasserre was in third on the team with a 112 on the day and her day was highlighted by a par on the 18th hole. Coach Conway said that Shasserre was one of the players that was able to find her shot and play better after the delay than she did before it. Isaac Helterbrand shot a 119 and Max Nappier shot a 128.
Coach Conway hopes that having a chance to play in better conditions will help his team improve their scores, but knows they have plenty of things to work on.
"I'm anxious to see how well we play under better conditions, but ultimately we need to play better in in all kinds of conditions, that's part of golf," said Conway. "We still need to get better at our short game from 100 yards to the green. We are using too many strokes from that distance. If we improve in that area, our scores will be better."
Overall, St. James finished in eighth out of 10 teams with a score of 435. Borgia won the event with a team score of 315, while Francis Howell came in second with 355. The Tigers finished in front of Waynesville and Owensville, which is a point of emphasis for coach Conway.
"The last few years, we haven't been very good as a team because we weren't able to win as a team. We had some individuals do good, but not as a team," said the St. James head coach. "This year we had a goal to beat teams, which we did in this tournament by beating Owensville and Waynesville and we were close to beating some other teams."
St. James was slated to host Owensville on Wednesday, but it was cancelled due to weather. A makeup date had not been determined by press time. Next up for the golf team is a trip to Hermann on Wednesday, April 4.