When Rock Bridge senior Emily Schuenemeyer won a playoff hole Monday afternoon, she did more than medal in the last golf tournament of her high school career. She had honored the memory of a friend.
On the anniversary of the death of Rock Bridge student Kristen Hofen, Schuenemeyer finished ninth to take home a medal in the NCMC Tournament.
Kirksville won the six-team tournament at A.L. Gustin Golf Course with a 461, Rock Bridge was second with 466, and Helias was third with a 468.
Hofen was a junior at Rock Bridge when she died Oct. 13, 2002, from injuries she received in an auto accident.
“That was one of my main focuses of the day, was to come out and do well in her honor,” Schuenemeyer said.
Schuenemeyer shot a 93 to tie Helias’ Jennifer Schulte and set up the playoff.
Her tee shot down the left side of the fairway on the first hole left her in good position, and her second shot put her on the green. She finished with a birdie to beat Schulte, who shot a par 5.
“I should have eagled it, I rimmed out on a chip,” she said. “When I walked up to putt, my hands were shaking. I was just like, ‘just don’t pull it, just don’t pull it.’ And so, I didn’t pull it and it went straight in.”
Schuenemeyer’s effort was one of a handful of solid performances by Rock Bridge golfers. Senior Megan Bornhauser was fourth, shooting an 86. Three sophomores also played well. Leslie Fischer shot a 94, Michelle Chong a 95 and Lindsay Martin a 99.
Bruins coach Andrew Tiedemann said the play of his sophomores has him excited about the future.
“Having three strong sophomores consistently (shooting) mid-90s, or at least under 100 is very, very encouraging to me,” he said. “I’m pleased to see that.”
Two Bruins — Bornhauser and Martin — head to the Missouri state tournament next week at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.
“I wanted to play well, but mostly just make this a practice (for next week),” Martin said. “I’m gonna go to the driving range a lot, because I lost a lot of strokes on my putts and my approach shots. So I’m going to work on that.”
Kirksville senior Ann Marie Mangini won with a 76. Her teammate, junior Whitney Antoine, was second with an 85.
“These ladies had the potential to take first,” Tigers coach Tom Nothdurft said. “Throughout the middle part of the season, we had not been playing that well, so really this is what we needed to end on just before states.”
While Schuenemeyer won’t go to the state tournament, she said her performance Monday is something she can continue to be proud of long after her golf career.
“Having done that, it’s great,” she said. “It makes me feel good. It changes a lot of things about today, like being able to, you know, set out to accomplish something, and being able to accomplish it.”