ReaLee Smith wins individual championship
The Centralia Lady Panther Golf Team has made its mark and driven its way into post-season play.
Monday, October 12 at Columbia’s LA Nickell Golf Course, not only did the team earn silver-medal honors by placing second, but junior golfer ReaLee Smith joined a short list of Lady Panther golfers by winning the individual district championship.
Starting during a very windy Mid-Missouri morning, Smith shot an 82 on on the 18-hole, par-70, course, 41 on the front nine and 41 on the back nine.
Centralia’s Kennedy Dickerson, also qualified for state, with a 107, 55 on the front nine and 52 on the back. That earned her part of a four-way tie for 16th place and state-qualifier honors.
Smith climbed back from a triple-bogey on the first hole, said one observer, to win the championship. “Somehow she forgot about the first hole and mental toughness kicked in.”
Panther Head Coach John Finlay agreed. “ReaLee is starting to be pretty good at this. I’m as proud at that composure after hole #1 as I am in her winning today.”
Regarding Dickerson, he said: “Kennedy… While everyone was affected by the wind today, Kennedy’s drives are often pretty high. I think this put her in trouble a bit. However, arguably her biggest asset is her chipping and putting. And this helped her a bunch today. She’s worked very hard this past year to make improvements in her short game and it paid dividends today.”
Next stop for Smith and Dickerson is the Class 1 state championship tournament at Smithville’s Paradise Pointe Golf Course, October 19 -20.
It was a team effort.
Three other golfers represented Centralia. Together they shot a 413, three strokes behind this year’s champions Duchesne and six strokes ahead of third-place Palmyra.
The were: Bailey Pace shot a 54 on the front and 56 on the back for a 110 Tess Stephens shot a 53 on the front and 61 on the back, carding a 114. Savannah Littrell, who shot a 61 on both the front and back to card a 122.