St. Clair girls golf has its first individual tournament champion.
Maria Bozada outshot the field Tuesday at the 4th Annual Washington Invitational at Wolf Hollow Golf Club to finish in 82 strokes, 11 over par.
Bozada, who played her first two varsity seasons with the spring boys teams, joined the Lady Bulldogs this fall for their inaugural season. She finished three strokes ahead of the nearest competitor, Wentzville Liberty’s Zoee Harrington.
“Maria played really well, especially after the first four holes,” St. Clair Head Coach Jeff Van Zee said. “She was four over on the first four holes and seven over the rest of the way. ... It wasa exciting to watch her play at her best. Even when she’s not at her best, she still has enough to pull it out.”
Area golfers Jordan Aholt of Washington, Emily Young of Union and Cailey Foss and Sara Kopman of St. Francis Borgia Regional also received individual medals with a finish in the top 10.
Aholt finished in a tie for third place with Francis Howell Central’s Rachel Bruno. Both shot a 90 at the event.
Timberland unseated Liberty as the team champion at the event. The Lady Wolves posted the top team score of 384. Liberty came in second with 394. Borgia placed third at 401 strokes.
“The girls played really well,” Borgia Assistant Coach Chip Thompson said. “We had a rough outing last time out against Notre Dame so it was nice to have a bounce-back day.”
Union and Washington rounded out the top five with 427 and 428 strokes respectively.
St. Clair finished 10th with 455 strokes.
Other teams to compete included Francis Howell Central (429), Lutheran South (431), Lutheran St. Charles (437), Troy (447), Ft. Zumwalt East (483) and Ste. Genevieve (487).
Foss and Kopman led Borgia in part of a three-way tie for 10th place in 97 strokes with Lutheran South’s Grace Cartee. The Lady Knights climbed the team standings with two other golfers in the top 20 — Halle Fischer (14th, 102) and Kennedy Lange (19th, 105).
Brittney Harriman rounded out the Borgia scorecard in 22nd place with a round of 107.
“Cailey and Sara paced us for the day, both playing their usual solid game,” Thompson said. “Cailey hit the ball very well and would have scored even better with a better putting day. Sara hit the ball well and really has improved her distance this year. I look for her to have a very successful year this year. Halle started off a little slow yesterday but she is really putting the work in and bounced back. It is fun to watch a few of these girls improve by simply working hard.”
Young finished in ninth for Union in 96 strokes. The Lady ’Cats also turned in a 107 from Olivia Struttmann (22nd), a 108 from McKenna Coombs (26th), a 116 from Sophia Miner (36th) and a 124 from Sydney Hittson (47th).
“It was warm out, and our first 18-hole tournament. Walking at Wolf Hollow isn’t an easy task so with all things aside I think we did OK for that tournament,” Union Head Coach Matt Goddard said. “I think Emily played decent but struggled on a few holes which set her back. McKenna wasn’t feeling well prior to the tournament which resulted in a higher score than normal for her. I am happy she stayed strong and finished the round. Olivia has been slowly reducing her score throughout the season which is really exciting. Sophie played about to her average. Sydney played her first ever 18 holes and shot a 124 which I was happy about. It was great to see some district opponents and understand where we stand with them.”
Washington followed Aholt’s performance with Kyla Engemann’s 106 (21st), a 116 from both Hailey Howerton and Mia Lanemann (36th) and a 117 from Clara Evans (41st).
“Overall, I felt like our team just survived the day on the course,” Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer said. “Jordan Aholt and Kyla Engemann were the bright spots for our team. Jordan probably could have shot a few strokes better, but overall I was very pleased with how she went through her round. Kyla played in her first ever 18-hole tournament and really played pretty well. I was happy with the way she battled the course and the conditions all day.”
Following Bozada for St. Clair were Kenzi Humphry (45th, 120), Anna Conner (48th, 125), Jordyn Hampson (50th, 128) and Ally Newton (53rd, 131).
Individual medalists not previously mentioned included Timberland’s Lucy Perzenski (tied for fifth, 93), Nyah Misenner (tied for fifth, 93), and Peyton Stoddard (eighth, 94) and Liberty’s Kelly Karre (tied for fifth, 93).
“It was a challenging day with the heat and very little breeze blowing through but the girls really did a great job of adjusting to the elements,” said Thompson. “Thank you to Washington High School and Wolf Hollow for putting on a great tournament. The course was in beautiful shape as always.”