COLUMBIA — Meghan Mueller was hanging outside the Columbia Country Club, noticeably upbeat, talking and laughing with her teammates on the Rock Bridge golf team.
The senior was waiting for a match with Moberly High School and Helias Catholic to conclude. If you watched her, you could never have guessed that she had just finished a round that she later called “horrible.”
Even though it was a disappointing day on the course, days like this are what make playing golf interesting for Mueller.
“It’s just the challenge of it,” she said. “Two days ago when we played against Hickman, it was one of my best scores this season, and I come out here today, and I played horrible. I know what I did wrong, so it makes me realize what I need to practice.”
In this case, Mueller had problems with her short game, which was a main reason for her disappointing nine-hole score of 45.
The challenges of golf have motivated Mueller for as long as she can remember. Like a mechanic who has become familiar with a car, Mueller pushes herself to know the inner workings of golf.
“When I was about 4 years old, my parents had one of my grandpa’s clubs cut down for me,” she said. “They kind of just gave it to me and said, ‘Let’s see what she can do.’”
Since then she hasn’t put the clubs down. Mueller's passion for the game is something Rock Bridge golf coach Melissa Melahn has seen every day for the past four years.
“Since day one, Meghan has played golf to play golf, every day,” Melahn said. “In the summer and on weekends, she’s in tournaments. That’s just what she does. The commitment level from her far surpasses anybody that I’ve had before her.”
Mueller started playing competitively when she was 7 years old, and now she is looking toward a future as a collegiate golfer, which Melahn said is a rare thing for a Rock Bridge golfer.
Division 1 school Austin Peay State University offered Mueller a scholarship, but she is also considering Bradley University, among other schools. Before venturing to the next stage of her career, Mueller is looking to achieve her main individual goal for the high school golf season: finishing in the top five at the MSHSAA Championships, which are scheduled for Oct. 18-19 at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield. Mueller finished ninth at the competition last year.
“I know most of the girls who play around the state, and I definitely know who most of my competition is,” she said. “I’m definitely hoping for a top five and if I win that would be amazing.”