Nervousness and experience might determine the success of three Columbia golfers at this year’s girls’ state tournament.
Although Rock Bridge and Hickman did not advance out of the Class 2 District 4 tournament on Oct. 6 at A.L. Gustin Golf Course, three individuals are representing the schools at the state championship.
Bruins sophomore Lindsay Martin and senior Megan Bornhauser join Kewpies junior Payge Pleimann today at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield for the two-day competition. The Bruins finished third in the district tournament, while the defending champion Kewpies earned fourth.
Pleimann, who is making her third straight state appearance, said she is disappointed she will be the lone Kewpies golfer.
“It’s weird because I’m all alone,” Pleimann said. “It won’t be the same. I’m a little worried because I won’t have anybody there to confide in.”
Bornhauser and Martin will play in their first state meet, and it is the first time Rock Bridge has had more than one representative at the tournament every year since 1993.
“We really wanted to go as a team,” Bornhauser said. “But I’m glad that someone else is coming with me.”
Bornhauser said she is concerned about the high level of competition at the state tournament.
“I’m afraid that I’ll get stuck with a bunch of really good girls and slow them down,” Bornhauser said. “But I will do my best.”
Bornhauser said she believes getting off the tee will be crucial to her play.
“My driver needs to be on,” Bornhauser said. “If I have a good drive, I have confidence for the rest of the hole.”
Pleimann, who tied for 45th at the 2002 state tournament and tied for 55th in 2001, said her experience will be an advantage.
“I’m not really nervous because I’ve been to two state tournaments,” Pleimann said. “I’ve been down to this same course before, and I’m used to the big crowds and the announcer saying my name and all the stuff I’ve done.”
For the past two weeks, Pleimann has practiced at local courses such as A.L. Gustin and L.A. Nickell with coach Doug Steinhoff and some Rock Bridge players, hoping to improve her short game as well as prepare herself mentally.
“The mind game is important,” Pleimann said. “I need to maintain focus throughout the round. Chipping has been a problem, but I’ve worked with coach Steinhoff and it’s getting better.”