Hickman, Rock Bridge golfers continue positive rivalry

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 | 11:24 p.m. CDT; updated 11:32 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — The results of Wednesday's match at The Club at Old Hawthorne were somewhat fitting considering the familiarity between the Hickman and Rock Bridge girls golf teams.

The Kewpies and the Bruins tied at 178 in a three-way competition with Jefferson City. Bruins senior Morgan Reimler won the match with a 9-hole score of 41, while Kewpies junior Patricia De Castro finished second with a 42.

According to Bruins coach Melissa Melahn, girls from both teams compete in leagues over the summer, such as the Missouri Golf Association Hieronymus Junior Series. She says some of the girls also shoot rounds at Perche Creek Golf Club and A.L. Gustin Golf Course, and they encourage each another to compete because they want to get better.

“Whether it’s an opponent (during the fall) or not,” Melahn said, “It’s kind of nice to have someone to go out and work on your game with.”

This comfort showed on the finishing hole on Wednesday, where girls from both teams cheered for their opponents as well as teammates. Melahn says she hopes that familiarity fuels s positive competitiveness between the girls on each team.

“I don’t think you see that in many football games,” Melahn said about the golfers' behavior.

Hickman coach Hannah Wren shares Melahn’s opinion of the camaraderie between the two teams. She says there is a good balance between competition and sportsmanship with the rivals and the girls’ comfort with each other is evident.

“A lot of juniors have been on the same team, so they’ve competed with them (the Rock Bridge players) for three years,” Wren said.

The closeness between the Bruins and the Kewpies was so apparent on Wednesday, it even showed on the scoreboard.

In fact, the match might’ve been decided on the final hole, where Reimler’s birdie on No. 9 provided the one-stroke advantage over De Castro in the lead pairing.

“I had just a few shots that changed the round, but I got it back on the last hole,” said Reimler, who has birdied her final hole in each of her past three competitions.

The Bruins and the Kewpies meet again Monday at the Smith-Cotton Tournament at the Sedalia Country Club.

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