Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Defending State Champion Angels Hitting on All Cylinders in District Romp

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Defending State Champion Angels Hitting on All Cylinders in District Romp

Article excerpt

EUREKA * St. Joseph's senior Grace Renfer set two lofty goals for the girls golf season.

First, the long hitter wanted to play well enough to earn an NCAA Division I scholarship.

Secondly, she desired to win a major tournament outright.

Done and almost done.

Renfer fired a 1-over-par 73 on Monday to tie for medalist honors in the Class 2 District 2 Tournament at Crescent Farms Golf Club.

Her eye-popping score, the second-best of her career, helped the Angels run away with the team crown at the 57-player, 10-team event.

MICDS senior Shannon Gould also shot a 1-over 73 to share the top spot with Renfer.

St. Joseph's, the defending Class 2 state champion, posted a team score of 305 well ahead of second-place MICDS (335).

Most importantly, Renfer established herself as a legitimate contender for the state title.

"If I get my short putts under control, I think I can do sub-par in the next couple tournaments," Renfer said.

The Renfer train is on a roll at the perfect time.

She fired a career-best 1-under 71 in tying freshman teammate Nicole Rallo for medalist honors in the River Cup Challenge at The Landings two weeks ago.

Renfer followed that up with another strong effort on Monday.

"She's learning how to grind, how to make something out of every hole," St. Joseph's veteran coach Carol Fromuth said. "She's not letting a bad hole bother her, like she used to."

Renfer took down her first goal in mid-July when she gave a verbal commitment to attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Now, she hopes to come away with an outright sectional or state crown.

"I've always been a pretty good player in practice, but it doesn't always come through in tournaments," Renfer said. "I just keep convincing myself that when I'm in a tournament, it's no different than when I'm out there (practicing) with my family."

Renfer has not only strengthened her mental approach, but she has added muscle to her body as well. She hired a personal trainer and now spends a lot of time lifting weights and working out. The move has added plenty of distance to her game. She now hits 220 yards off the tee on a consistent basis compared to 195 in the past.

"I feel stronger and it helps me to be more consistent too," Renfer said. …

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