As disappointed as she was, Megan Propeck was able to look at the big picture.
The Notre Dame de Sion junior came into this week’s Missouri Class 2 state tournament as the two-time defending state champion but left without another title. Her first-day lead evaporated and she finished second after Tuesday’s final round at Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club.
“It’s a minor setback,” Propeck said. “My next event is the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions (in late November in Florida), so this one will fuel for me for that one.”
Propeck fired a 2-over-par 74 on Tuesday, but Lafayette (Wildwood) junior Brooke Biermann shot a 3-under 69 to make up a three-shot deficit coming into the final round and win her first state title in a reversal of where the two finished last year at state.
“I’m disappointed obviously, but if anyone else were to win it other than me or one of my teammates, Brooke is a great player,” Propeck said. “She played a great round today and I struggled out there.”
Propeck said her struggles could be attributed to putting.
“I wasn’t able to hit my shots on to the green tight like I normally do, so I didn’t give myself as many opportunities for birdie as I should have had,” she said.
Her coach agreed.
“She just struggled putting today. I think that’s what it was,” Notre Dame de Sion coach Dana Hoeper said. “And then it kind of gets in your head and you try to press. She gave it a good battle.”
Propeck was 2-under through the first five holes Tuesday, but holes 6-8 proved to be a turning point. On Monday, she carded a 12 on those three holes, but she ended up bogeying all three Tuesday and had a 17 to show for it.
“I three-putted two holes in a row, which wasn’t good,” she said. “I was frustrated, but I knew I had plenty of holes left to try to make it up. I feel like I just got too far back to make it up.”
Four other area golfers finished in the top 15 individually to earn all-state honors, including three of Propeck’s teammates in juniors Lia Johnson (tie for sixth) and Caroline Giocondo (10th) and senior Barbara King (tie for 15th).
“That’s very special,” Hoeper said. “Last year, we only had three medalists, so to have four is great.”
The other was Liberty North sophomore Averi Mickelson, who moved up from 30th last year to a tie for sixth with Johnson.
“It’s really exciting to know that my hard work has been paying off. I’ve been working at it all season,” Mickelson said. “Even though my score was a little bit higher today, I feel like I played better just because the winds were so much harder today.”
In the race for the team title, Notre Dame de Sion gave three-time defending champion St. Joseph’s Academy a run for its money, but ultimately lost to the Angels by 15 strokes (607-622).
“I’m proud of them. They hung in there and they never quit,” Hoeper said. “It’s been a battle all year between us. I think they have only been beaten one time in three years and we did it in Jeff City (a few weeks ago).”
Liberty compiled a team score of 733 to finish seventh in its return to state as a team after a three-year absence.
“As a coaching staff, we couldn’t be more proud of them,” Blue Jays coach Jason Carr said. “It’s a bittersweet day because the three seniors (Abby Howard, Jenna Phelan and Hope Peck) have been in our program for a long time and they committed to the expectations we set forth.”
In the Class 1 tournament, Springfield Catholic placed golfers first overall (Kayla Rose Pfitzner, 73-73—146), second (Reagan Zibilski, 79-72—151) and fourth (Kyleigh Pfitzner, 78-83—161) to win the team title.
Father Tolten was second and John Burroughs third. Pembroke Hill was the highest KC-area finisher as a team, placing sixth. Allison Moody was the highest individual finisher for Pembroke Hill, with a two-day total of 207.