Rock Bridge’s No. 1 golfer Lindsay Martin didn’t come back from Labor Day weekend rested and ready for the rest of the season.
She came back injured, restricted to tracking her teammates from a golf cart during Tuesday’s loss to Kirksville at Lake of the Woods Golf Course.
Martin strained her back playing tennis this weekend and the rest of the Rock Bridge squad couldn’t shake off the Labor Day weekend rust as Kirksville beat the Bruins by four strokes, 178-182. Whitney Antione and Courtney Lovegreen of Kirksville led all golfers, each shooting 7-over 42.
“Coming back off a long weekend, getting into the groove of school again, then coming back out onto the course is a little difficult,” Rock Bridge coach Andrew Tiedemann said.
The Bruins shot a 170 on Thursday at Lake of the Woods, one of the best scores the team’s recorded in recent years. Juniors Leslie Fischer and Michelle Chong each shot 41 to tie for first-place medalist honors.
Fischer and Chong couldn’t quite equal those scores on Tuesday, carding rounds of 46 and 44. The match didn’t worry Tiedemann because he knows his team can equal Thursday’s performance again.
“It’s encouraging to see such low scores and we’ll continue to shoot those scores,” he said. “But today we were off.”
Tiedemann said that many of the girls traveled this weekend, and only a few of them picked up a golf club.
Rock Bridge was without Martin, but Tiedemann said that it was difficult to speculate how much of a factor her absence played.
Martin said she thought she would be able to play earlier in the day, but her back began to hurt as the day progressed.
“I talked to Leslie (Fischer), and she said I should definitely sit out so it doesn’t get worse,” Martin said.
Fischer had an injury last season, but played through it, forcing her to stop playing for several months after the season’s end.
Martin said her back has improved since she strained it.
“I couldn’t even bend down the day I hurt it, but I can now,” she said.
Tiedemann isn’t overly concerned about Martin’s injury.
“This is the only match we have this week, which is good,” he said.
The Bruins play Monday in the Smith-Cotton Classic in Sedalia.
“Hopefully she’ll be rested in that time. We’ll keep her practices light and let her heal,” Tiedemann said.
In the meantime, Tiedemann has been happy with the play of Chong. The junior, usually the Bruins‘ No. 3 golfer, has picked up her game, shooting the team low the last two matches.
“She played solid,” Tiedemann said. “We’re looking for that kind of consistency.”
Chong was happy with her round as well despite struggling through the second-half.
The highlight came on the par-3 second hole where she rolled in a 10-footer for birdie. Chong pared the next hole, and then struggled after pushing several tee shots right. She kept it together though, producing a round only three strokes higher than her Thursday round.