BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
O’FALLON – O’Fallon Panther Girls Golf was expecting big things for their 2016 season. Following a twelfth place finish at the State Tournament last fall, Head Coach Chris Eddy foresaw a lot of growth from his young but seasoned group.
His four returning stars, all juniors, came up big this past week in the season’s opening competitions.
On Thursday at the Goalby-Haas Invitational held at St. Clair Country Club, O’Fallon commanded the field, finishing a dominating 35 strokes ahead of second place Belleville East. Columbia High School took third.
O’Fallon, widely believed to be among the top teams in the Metro East, was led by Alyssa McMinn’s 35, which was one under the Par 36 for the Invitational. Emily Marrs would shoot a 42, good for second, while fellow juniors Natalie Meinkoth and Brooke Boatman tied for fourth with a 45.
Success on the links was not limited to the girls side, however. The Panther Boys lead the way at their competition at St. Clair Country Club, with area star Logan Harris shooting a 38, a full two strokes ahead of Gateway Junior PGA Player of the Year Dylan Davidson of Althoff Catholic.
The Panthers rode the performance of their superstar all the way to their first win of the 2016 season, despite it coming in one of the region’s toughest courses. St. Clair is notorious for its tricky greens and tough pin placements, but both O’Fallon teams handled the conditions admirably.
On Saturday, the Panther Girls continued their early season run through their schedule at the 13 team Mascoutah Invitational, held at The Hills of McKendree. O’Fallon was once again led by McMinn, who shot a team best 79 on the course, just edging out teammate Brooke Boatman by one stroke. Natalie Meinkoth would shoot an 82, followed by Emily Marrs’ 83 to pace the Panthers to a seven stroke win over Nashville High.
O’Fallon Girls took on Belleville East at Tamarack on Tuesday, in a rematch of the 1-2 finish at the Goalby-Haas invitational. Watch next week’s issue of the O’Fallon Weekly for more details.