Here’s the understatement of Osceola County high school golf season:
Tohopekaliga High freshman Morgan Beaulieu took the county by storm.
The wispy 14-year-old became a favorite to pick up postseason trophies with her early-season play, and kept the momentum going through the Orange Belt Conference and District 3A-9 tournaments.
Beaulieu shot 76 at the OBCs and 77 at districts at Royal St. Cloud Golf Links to win those tournaments.
Only a 77 at the Region 3 tournament, four shots off of qualifying for the Class 3A state tournament, left Beaulieu, the Osceola News-Gazette Girls Golfer of the Year, more to accomplish in the rest of her high school career, which still has three seasons.
“I play a lot of competitive golf, so I wasn’t really nervous in those tournaments, aside from maybe a little on the first tee,” she said. “I would think back to a U.S. Kids Golf tournament I played, where it was between me and another girl to qualify for a bigger tournament, and I beat her.”
Beaulieu’s rookie season was groundbreaking for a couple of reasons. Aside from being a conference and district champion as a freshman, she the Tiger’s only female player and was also the No. 1 player on the boys team, playing from their tees.
“I liked playing against the guys — I don’t know how some of them liked playing against me — but I would like to have a girls team at Toho have camaraderie with and share success with,” she said.
Bob Muzeka, who has coached Osceola County youth players for the better part of two decades now, joined the THS staff and is Beaulieu’s coach. He’s excited to see her further improve.
“This year was to get her feet wet playing high school golf. One of the things I saw this year is that she gained confidence in her game and started using her skill to her advantage,” he said. “The next thing we’ll work on is using her swing to dictate where she wants the ball to go, curve it left and right and such.
Beaulieu said she’s been playing golf for nine years, and was a product of Osceola County’s growing golf program in elementary and middle schools — she played for Narcoossee Middle prior to becoming a Tiger. Muzeka’s been a part of that program for years.
“If the players I see now, who are like Morgan when she was that age, keep playing into high school, I like to think that players like her will become normal, rather than the exception,” he said.
All-County Girls Golf
Player of the Year: Morgan Beaulieu (THS, Fr.)
All-county team: St. Cloud: Taylar Ling, Allison Hilton, Brandi Bibeau. Harmony: McKenzie Wolf, Morgan Wolf, Alyson Nash. Osceola: Monica Olivera.