Home tournament keeps Missouri golf coach busy

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | 7:11 p.m. CDT; updated 8:53 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 6, 2009

COLUMBIA — After 36 holes of golf Monday at the Johnie Imes Invitational, some golfers taped ice over their aches and pains. Others waited for plates of chicken, trying to ease their hunger after playing two rounds in a day. The rest sat waiting to return home. But Missouri women’s golf coach Stephanie Priesmeyer still had work to do.

The Missouri women’s golf team hosted the tournament Monday and Tuesday. For the Tigers, that meant a break from traveling and getting to sleep in their own beds. For coach Stephanie Priesmeyer, it meant added responsibilities that come with running a tournament.

Tuesday's results

The Missouri women’s golf team finished third in the Johnie Imes Invitational, the only home tournament of the season. Wisconsin claimed the title with an overall score of 908. The Tigers tallied a 913 to earn their third straight top-five finish this fall.

Senior Michelle Morgan led Missouri by finishing in a tie for second place with a 233. Senior Julia Potter failed to defend her title, which she had claimed the previous two years. She finished No. 18 with a 230.

The Tigers head to Nevada for the Las Vegas Collegiate on Oct. 26.

When Missouri put the Johnie Imes Invitational on the schedule, Priesmeyer became the de facto tournament director. From the moment The Club at Old Hawthorn agreed to the event, Priesmeyer had work to do.

Before the other 17 schools arrived, Priesmeyer secured rules officials, made sure there were enough volunteers to help come tournament time, ordered T-shirts and coordinated food and beverages for meals. All while coaching a Tigers team trying to build a strong ranking this fall to get back into regional play after missing out last spring.

Priesmeyer finished her last minute preparations Sunday night. Her team knew what its coach had to do in order for them to have the opportunity to play in Columbia.

“She probably didn’t sleep very well (Sunday night) trying to get ready for everything,” Missouri senior golfer Michelle Morgan said. “I know that she’s been stressing out this past week getting everything done, but I think she’s done an awesome job putting it together.”

Monday morning didn’t begin perfectly. Priesmeyer set her alarm for 5 a.m., only to have it wake her an hour late. But from that point, until she returned home at 9 p.m., she was awake and working.

Once at the course, she helped decide hole locations and stationed volunteers. She made sure golf carts were in the right places for golfers, coaches and fans. She handled scorecards. She coached.

“I have volunteers coming up to me and other coaches and officials,” Priesmeyer said. “My team is kind of on their own for a while as I get the logistics accomplished.”

Yet, as the requests kept coming, as the coaches, reporters and food service workers asked their questions, Priesmeyer maintained a smiling sense of urgency. She moved from different points of the golf course with a to-do list longer than most people have in a week, but handled everything thrown at her.

With so many details and tasks that go into hosting a tournament, it raises the question of why host?

“It’s great,” Priesmeyer said. “We’ve got a fantastic facility and a great golf course we want to showcase.”

Plus, while the players are on the course, she still focuses on golf.

“Once we tee it up, it’s a lot more fun,” she said.


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