By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Girls prep golfers from southwest Missouri had practice rounds on Sunday in preparation for today’s sectional competition.
The Class 2 contingent at the Sedalia Country Club included the Carthage team, three Joplin sophomores and a Carl Junction representative.
The Mount Vernon team, a district champion, and girls from Seneca and Nevada had their round at Frank E. Peters Municipal in Nevada.
The top two teams in the sectional and the next 12 players not on those teams advance to state tournaments.
The Joplin players for coach Shannon Neill are Alyx Colson, Lynsey Fichtner and district medalist Samantha Stout. The Carl Junction player is Maddie Ferson.
The Carthage team, runner-up in a district tourney and coached by Lowell Catron, is composed of senior Courtney Catron and sophomores Kelsey Frost, Abbey Catron, Lindsay Borland and Emily Pence.
Ashley Childers earned medalist honors for Mount Vernon by 11 strokes in the District 6 Tournament at Marshfield Country Club. Teammates are Hayley Bowles, Hailee Dudley, Lexi Farmer and Megan Pope.
Class 1 individual qualifiers from the area are Hannah Householder of Nevada and the Seneca trio of Tiana Brownen, Katie Griffin and Elyssa Esposito.
Joplin athletics director Jeff Starkweather is pinch-hitting for Neill. The former Shannon Rhinehart and husband Shawn are expecting their first child and coach was “benched” by her doctor.
“It’s hard for me not to go,” Neill said. “But I’m close to my due date. I met the players before they left this morning. I’m there in spirits.”
And, Neill indicated with a laugh, her message was the usual: “Focus on one shot at a time.”
Sedalia Country Club was established in 1906.
Said Fichtner: “It’s a nice course. It was easier than I thought. It will be a lot harder tomorrow.
“Obviously, my goal is to reach the state tournament,” Fichtner said. It would be awesome for all of us to make it. I’d love to go with them.
“I don’t have a favorite course (for summer practice),” Fichtner said. “I go to several tournaments.”
Colson and Stout frequently play together at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.
Said Colson: “Today wasn’t the best for me. I liked the course, though, and I enjoyed playing it. It would be incredible if we all made it to state. It’s an honor to play with those two.”
Stout said a “rough sectional” prevented her from reaching state as a freshman.
“It makes me more determined this season,” Stout said.
“We’ll be playing it (Sedalia Country Club) for the first time,” Stout said. “The course has large greens and narrow fairways.
“They’re changing the pin positions to make it more difficult,” Stout said. “They’re hiding them behind bunkers, for example.”
Par at Sedalia Country Club is 35-36—71.