Golf: Pioneers overcome bad weather, tough course and a DQ to earn trip to state finals


The weather is a factor that effects players in different ways. A challenging golf course also can cause a player’s swing to shutter at different times or certainly influence not only confidence but decisions made on the links.

But those are factors every player and team deals with when they tee it up this time of the year in Michigan. And add to the mix Travis Pointe Country Club, a course where even the best female players in the world can struggle, and the local high school teams went into Thursday’s regional facing plenty of adversity.

The Pioneer girls’ golf team did a good job dealing with the weather and the golf course and also overcame something they hadn’t prepared for when one of their top players inadvertently hit from the wrong tee and was disqualified. Seems a bit harsh, but those are the rules and the Pioneers had to accept their fate.

Junior Olivia Lyle was the team’s alternate so her score would be included in the group’s four scores that count for the grand total. Lyle fired a 112 on the Travis Pointe course to give the Pioneers a total score of 385 – three strokes better than Skyline and good enough for third place and a trip to this week’s state finals.

The top three teams and three individuals move on from each Regional.

The 2018 Pioneers

Northville, with three players among the top five, took first with a score of 326. Plymouth was second with 347 followed by the Pioneers. Skyline finished fourth with 388 – just three strokes from earning a state tee time – in the 12-team field. Salem was fifth (398), Bedford sixth (416) and Saline seventh (425).

Amaya Melendez not only led the Pioneers but led the tournament’s individual scorecard. Only a sophomore, Melendez fired a Regional-low score of 78. Northville’s Mariella Simoncini fired a 79 for second and teammate Sufna Gill fired an 80 to place third.

Rounding out the Pioneers’ scorecard were sophomore Jillian Giardano (96), junior Sooah Jung (99) and Lyle (112).

Skyline junior Nikki Lama fired an 89 and teammate Adie Maki shot a 90 as both Eagles landed in the individual qualifiers for the state finals. Maki really had to earn her tee time at the states. The freshman and Bedford’s Emma Mulder tied for third, which put them in a sudden death playoff and sent the golfers back to the first tee.

Others playing well for Skyline were junior Cammi Tirico (102), freshman Addy Meadows (107) and sophomore Alison Marshall (107).

Huron had only two players on the scorecard. Junior Karli Messer fired a 96 while senior Joann Cho carded a 112.

There will be 18 teams and 18 individuals at the state tournament this Friday and Saturday at Bedford Valley GC.


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