Tohopekaliga sophomore Morgan Beaulieu fired a five-over par 77 to successfully defend her Orange Belt Conference individual girls’ golf championship on Monday afternoon at Royal St. Cloud Golf Links.
Beaulieu hit just nine of 18 greens in regulation, but managed to get up and down for par on six of those holes — including five times on the front side where she carded an even par 36. She took a three-shot lead to the back nine.
“You always feel good about a win and I was really pleased with how I drove the ball today,” Beaulieu, who won the tournament by 10 shots as a 2018 freshman, said. “But I just was not hitting my short irons with any consistency today. I was coming short on way too many approach shots and it’s something that I will need to improve on next week at districts.”
For the round, Beaulieu had 14 pars, four bogeys and one double bogey in shooting 36-41-77.
St. Cloud senior Kierstyn Kelly remained in contention for the individual title with a front side 39. But she triple-bogeyed number 10 and then carded three straight sixes on holes 13 through 15 to fall out of the chase.
Celebration freshman Erin Oyzulek would make a charge of the back nine, however.
She made three straight pars from holes 12 from 14, closing to within three shots of Beaulieu – who double-bogeyed number 10 and then sandwiched a par around a pair of bogeys on middle three holes.
But on the difficult 345-yard, par four, 15th hole, Oyzulek hit her second shot into a hazard, took a drop and made double bogey to fall five shots back.
Oyzulek finished second with an 82, while Kelly was third at 84. Rounding out the OBC All-Conference team were Lady Bulldog golfers Brandi Bibeau (4th-85), Jenna Barnett (6th-94), and Erin Maloney (7th - 97). Harmony’s Stephanie Gabel (5th-91) and Osceola’s Audra Thompson (7th-97) also earned all-conference honors by finishing in the top seven individuals.
Placing four players in the top seven, the Lady Bulldogs easily won the team championship for the third consecutive year.
St. Cloud’s team score of 360 was 37 shots better than second place Harmony and 79 shots better than third place Tohopekaliga (439). Liberty, Osceola, Gateway, Poinciana and Celebration did not field the four golfers necessary to post a team score.
“We’re happy to win OBC’s for a third consecutive season but I think every one of our players knows they left some strokes out on the course today,” St. Cloud Head Coach Jim Endicott said. “If we want to advance out of district competition as a team, we are definitely going to need to find a way to cut some of those shots.”
All girls’ teams from Osceola County will play in a district tournament next Monday. St. Cloud will host the Class 3-A, District 7 Tournament – a tough 12-team field that will include Vero Beach, Viera and Lake Nona will participate.
The top three teams, as well as the top three players not on one of those teams, advance to regional play.