COLUMBIA — Morgan Reimler decided this summer that being average just wasn't good enough anymore.
After trading time on the Rock Bridge varsity and junior varsity girls golf teams in 2009, Reimler dedicated herself to improving by playing as much as she could in the summer.
Class 2, District 6 tournament
Thursday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course
Teams competing: Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Helias Catholic, Hickman, Jefferson City, Lee's Summit, Lee's Summit North, Lee's Summit West, Rock Bridge, Smith-Cotton, Warrensburg
Advancement: The top two teams and the top 15 individuals qualify for sectional competition.
Reimler ended her 2009 season with a pair of 105s at the state championship in Springfield, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary for her sophomore season.
Then came summer. She was out on the course nearly every day, working on her short game and learning to trust herself more.
Instead of going to the course and just trying to coach herself, Reimler played with her uncle and father, both avid golfers. Their caliber of play made her focus on trying to keep up with them, which brought her level of play up.
“There was some days where I was like, ‘why am I still playing? I’m not getting better,’” Reimler said. “But then, towards the end of the summer, I wasn’t thinking about it too much, and I was doing a lot better.”
And when she says a lot better, she means it. Reimler can consistently shoot a 9-hole score of 40 or less compared to several scores between 45 and 47 last year.
It wasn’t always a fun process for Reimler, but her results so far in 2010 have shown that all her hard work has been worth it.
“I was really nervous and not confident in my game last year,” Reimler said. “I wasn’t consistent, and it was hard to know what I was going to do. I’m at a point now where I know the score I want to shoot, and I can now just focus on the mental side.”
The new mental focus is what has made the biggest impact on her game, Reimler said. Instead of just walking up to the ball and hoping for the best, Reimler now has a plan for every shot she takes.
She even has a phrase that she repeats in her head if things are going bad.
“I just tell myself, ‘what is supposed to happen will happen,’ and that helps me relax,” Reimler said.
Reimler’s improvement is doing a lot for the team, too. The Bruins recently broke a school record for lowest team score with a 159 at a match against Mexico at A.L. Gustin Golf Course. Reimler shot a 38 that day.
Rock Bridge coach Melissa Melahn was hoping someone would step up for the team this summer, especially since the Bruins lost their No. 2golfer Kayla Burri to graduation.
“Morgan was the No. 4 at the end of last year, but she has been the No. 2 from day one this year,” Melahn said. “I’m glad she took it upon herself to put in the work to get better.”
As for the Thursday's Class 2, District 6 tournament at A.L. Gustin, Reimler said she doesn’t have a specific goal other than performing up to her improved ability.
"We are all excited,” Reimler said. “We are pretty confident that if we do our best on the course, we can do what we want to. The physical part of the game is fine, so we just need to focus on the mental part.”