Nashville's Rennegarbe steps up game for run at state

News-DemocratAugust 19, 2013 

— Nashville senior Shawn Rennegarbe capped a summer of playing golf courses around the nation by competing at the U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Championship Aug. 5-11 at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.

Shooting rounds of 75 and 76, Rennegarbe missed qualifying for the match play portion of the competition by just a single shot.

Although disappointed at missing by the narrow margin, she has an even more intense desire to improve.

"I hit the ball OK, I just didn't putt very well,'' Rennegarbe said last week. "It was a great experience. I wasn't happy that I missed qualifying for match play by a shot, but I didn't have to change my game any because I hit the ball as far as they (the other players) do.

"It's just good to see who is out there and it's always fun to go to national tournaments.''

Rennegarbe played in several U.S. Golf Association and American Junior Golf Association events this summer. She won an AJGA event in Columbus, Ind., and had several other solid finishes.

"What did I do for fun? Golf is fun,'' Rennegarbe said, laughing. "It was a good summer. I got to do a lot of fun things. I played in just about everything and just got a lot of very good experience.

"My overall game is getting better. But there is always stuff to work on. Whenever you play against better competition, you can always watch them and learn from them.

Rennegarbe qualified for the U.S. Amateur during a local qualifier in Ann Arbor, Mich. With her dad Greg Rennegarbe serving as her caddy, Rennegarbe shot a 77, then survived a seven-player sudden playoff for the final berth into the U.S. Amateur Championship.

"It was nerve wracking, but it was fun. My dad was there and that made it better,'' Rennegarbe said.

Rennegarbe played in the U.S. Junior Amateur Tournament a year ago, and qualified for match play.

Her summer of national tournaments now behind her, Rennegarbe is excited about her senior season at Nashville where the Hornettes figure to be in the running for the Class A state title for the fourth straight season.

Rennegarbe, who has placed ninth, fourth and second in the individual competition, looks to lead Nashville to a fourth straight top-four finish. Nashville was second in 2011 and third in 2010. The Hornettes placed fourth a year ago.

Rennegarbe also looks at the high school season as a chance to work on other aspects of her game -- especially course management. One of the long hitters on the national circuit in the summer, Rennegarbe has to tone down her game just a bit for the courses she plays in high school.

"I really enjoy the high school season. It's a lot of fun. It's a lot more laid back. It's not the same courses I see in competition,'' Rennegarbe said. "But its fun to do out and represent your school and help your team because in the summer you don't get to play with a team.

"I'm pleased with where my game is right now. There is always room to improve in all areas and so it's just a matter of working hard and eventually it will all come together.''

Following the golf season, Rennegarbe will play basketball for a Nashville team that will attempt to defend the Class 2A state title it won last winter. A three-year starter for coach Wayne Harre's squad, Rennegarbe should be one of the top guards in the St. Louis area.

A student of PGA teaching professional Don Hawkins at Stonewolf Golf Course, Rennegarbe will continue to work on her golf game when time and weather permits in the winter and early spring.

But once the weather turns warm next year, Rennegarbe will be on courses throughout the nation in preparation for her freshman season at Arkansas.

"I can't wait. I wish I could go now. I mean I know where I'm going and now I just have to wait for it,'' Rennegarbe said. "I know I still have things to work on to play at that level. But the coaches know what I need to do and they can tell me and I can work on it.

"But, I still have another year and by that time, I'll be ready.''

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