Taking on a high-quality field and playing on one of the more challenging golf courses in the metro-east at The Woodlands, perennial Class AA state power Edwardsville wasn't at its best Saturday at the Alton Redbirds Golf Classic.
But the Tigers were good enough.
Senior Samantha Doak shot an 84 while three teammates recorded rounds of 90 or better as Edwardsville posted a 10-stroke win over Southwestern Conference nemesis O'Fallon in the nine-team meet.
A four-year varsity starter, Doak fought off a few bad holes and ended her round strong as she earned the runner-up spot, a single stroke in back of champion Brooke Boatman of O'Fallon, who shot 83.
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The win not only helped Edwardsville regain the title in one of the more prestigous events of the season, but its total of 346 was its lowest of the season by five strokes.
“Samantha played well. This (Woodlands) is a tough course and if you aren't careful there can be trouble on each hole. She (Doak) sometimes gets down on herself when she has a bad hole or hits a bad shot. And I have to kind of remind her to focus on the next hole,” Edwardsville coach Tresa LaBoube said. “An 84 on this course with the way the wind was blowing ... I'll take that. Four scores 90 or better, I'll take that too.”
Edwardsviile also received an 85 from Kayla Weinacht and rounds of 89 from Addasyn Zeller and Eryn Coppersmith.
Coppersmith is the Tigers No. 6 player and in the eyes of Weinacht, her round symbolized what this season’s Tigers are all about.
On a team without a superstar, Edwardsville wins with its depth.
“We didn't play great today. What we had were six good scores,” Weinacht said. “What really helps this team is if that when one or two of us have an off-day, we've got two other players who can step up and shoot a round which will count. That takes a lot of the pressure off.”
O'Fallon, which placed second to defending Class A state champion Althoff at its own (O'Fallon) Panthers Classic on Friday, finished second to Edwardsville on Saturday.
A sophomore, Boatman's winning score of 83 led the way for O'Fallon. The Panthers also got rounds of 86 from Emily Marrs and Alyssa McMinn.
McMinn had the shot of the day when her second shot on the par-4 17th hole at the Woodlands sailed into the cup for an eagle 2
“No bounce. It just went right into the cup on the fly,” O'Fallon coach Chris Eddy said. “It was a great shot by Alyssa.”
Belleville East, received rounds of 90 from Daphne Lane and Elle Munie, rounded out the top three teams. The Lancers finished with a team score of 371 which was 12 strokes better than a much-improved Granite City squad, which finished at 383.
The Warriors, who shot a nine-hole school record of 172 earlier this season, were led by Mallory O'Gara with an 89 and Megan Keel with a 94.
But this day belonged to Edwardsville.
“I'm pleased. We had six good scores today,” LaBoube said. “Right now, I just want to see us to continue to work hard and continue to improve. If we do that, we will be just fine.”