COLUMBIA — On the day they won the state championship by nine strokes, the Rock Bridge girls golfers thought they could have done even better.
The Bruins shot a team score of 352 on Tuesday at Sedalia Country Club, defeating seven other Missouri high schools to win Rock Bridge’s first girls golf state championship.
Senior Morgan Reimler, who has medaled in tournaments consistently this season, turned in another stellar performance with a finals score of 81 to tie for third place. She received an All-State medal for the achievement, which is awarded to each of the top-15 state finalists.
Reimler was not satisfied with a ninth-place finish in the Bruins’ sectional tournament and still thinks she could have played better.
“It wasn’t a bad score for what we were playing in today, but personally, I thought I could've done better," Reimler said by phone. "But I was so excited once I figured out that we won that it didn’t even matter. I was too excited."
Originally, the state tournament was supposed to last two rounds, starting Monday and concluding on Tuesday, but the first round was canceled because of rain. Although the rain held off on Tuesday, junior Kaitlyn Marsh described the conditions as less than favorable and said scores may have been affected.
"Just because it was so cold and windy, I think it was hard for all the girls coming out there," said Marsh, who had a score of 86. "But it ended up getting me 14th place, All-State, which is completely peachy with me."
Rock Bridge advanced to the state finals in convincing fashion, winning the Class 2 District 6 tournament by 23 strokes, then winning their sectional by 16. The Bruins’ team score of 333 at sectionals was a team record.
So when Rock Bridge combined for a 352 at state finals, they were a little underwhelmed at first. Before tallying up their scores and realizing the outcome, the Rock Bridge players were actually disheartened.
"None of us shot our best score today, so we were kind of disappointed whenever we came off the 18th green," Reimler said. "But I think once we got with our teammates and we figured out that our scores were actually better than everyone else's — that was reassuring."
Now that the final scores have been added, however, the Bruins are breathing easily with the knowledge that they won the state championship even without playing their best golf.
"Everyone was just jumping around and screaming," Marsh said. "I was like hugging random people. It was just great. I didn't even care."
Hickman had advanced two girls golfers to individual state competition. Patricia DeCastro shot an 83 to finish eighth and Laura Rowe shot an 98. Both are juniors and will return to play for the Kewpies next season.
Tuesday's state title is actually the second straight golf title for Rock Bridge. The Bruins boys team won the Class 4 state championship last May.