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  • Val T.

Moore shoots 44, takes medalist in Lady Zs’ win over Pioneer, but there’s ‘room for improvement’

Schmaltz leads Lady Panthers with 56


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The first hole at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek can psyche players out.

It did not work on Rochester junior Payton Moore during a dual match against visiting Pioneer over the front nine at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Tuesday.

Payton Moore

Moore claimed medalist honors with a 44 to lead the Lady Zs to a 187-240 win. Olivia Bailey added a 45, Ava Thomas had a 46, Delaney Barkman had a 52, and Savanah Eccles had a 62 for Rochester.

The low Pioneer scorer was senior Emilie Schmaltz, who had a 56. Mia McKaig had a 60, Ashlynn Brooke had a 61, Kortnee Kline had a 63, and Meisha Price had a 64.

Moore’s round included a birdie on the par-4 third hole; every other varsity player on both teams had at least a bogey. (For the record, Rochester JV player Avery Brouyette parred the hole. She finished with a 59.)

Moore also parred Nos. 6 and 9.

She also escaped No. 1, a notoriously difficult par 4, with a bogey. Thomas was the only other player on either team to get a bogey. Every other player on both teams had at least a double bogey. Moore said she does not use her driver on No. 1 in order to keep the ball out of the creek.

“Pretend the water isn’t there,” Moore said of her strategy on No. 1. “Like tonight, I should have used a certain club, but I knew with that club, there was a more of a chance to go in the water, so I hit a club I was comfortable with, and it went over.”

Moore’s summer was full of tournaments. She said she can make putts “all day long” but said she wants to improve her “long game” off the tee. She wants to cut the hook out of her swing and get better distance control.

She shot a 92 at the season-opening Twin Lakes Invitational at Tippecanoe Country Club in Monticello on Saturday.

“I had two or three (tournaments) a week and then practice all the time,” Moore, a 2021 all-TRC player, said. “We broke 80s this summer, and we were in the mid-80s all summer. So that 92 was surprising. Yeah, we didn’t want that.”

As for the team, Rochester coach Chad Thomas said it was not an improvement from Saturday. The Lady Zs shot a 363 and finished third out of 17 teams at Twin Lakes.

“This was not a good round,” coach Thomas said. “We had 22 double-bogeys or worse as a team, and our short game was not very good today. … Some of those are mental errors, some of them are just … they’re rusty still. I don’t know, but we’ve got to fix that. That’s unacceptable.”

Pioneer has a full squad of five players for second-year coach Megan Peppers.

Brooke and Schmaltz are the team’s returnees and are both seniors. Kline and Price are also seniors. Price has some previous golfing experience.

McKaig, who is Brooke’s cousin, is a freshman.

“We’re really even teaching them how to swing, how to hit, how to putt, how to anything,” Peppers said. “With my two girls who are returning and a little bit with Meisha, it’s really working on tee-off shots and making sure that those are productive so they can get close to the green. … I’ve seen nerves come out. Playing at other courses has thrown them off a little bit. I’m seeing good things, but we haven’t been able to put it together quite for a meet yet.”

at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Tuesday (front nine, par 36)

ROCHESTER (187): Payton Moore 44, Olivia Bailey 45, Ava Thomas 46, Delaney Barkman 52, (Savanah Eccles 62)

PIONEER (240): Emilie Schmaltz 56, Mia McKaig 60, Ashlynn Brooke 61, Kortnee Kline 63, (Meisha Price 64)

ROCHESTER JV: Avery Brouyette 59


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