Records Shattered on Historic Day at Swope Park
Kansas City, Mo. - It’s not often boxing clichés can be used to accurately describe a high school golf, but for the 2018 MSHSAA Class 2 girls tournament, it fits perfectly.
A pair of sophomores in Megan Propeck (Notre Dame de Sion) and Brooke Biermann (Lafayette (Wildwood)) went toe-to-toe at Swope Park golf course in a match that still had people buzzing 24 hours later. It was a historic final that saw each of them shoot the two lowest 36 hole rounds in MSHSAA history.
The pair started the day all square and alone atop the leaderboard with a first-day score of 71 (-1).
In the end, Propeck came out on top and secured her second straight MSHAA individual title in as many chances with a final round 68 (-4). Paired with her opening round it gave her a two-day total of 139 which broke the existing state record by six strokes. She also now owns the 18-hole scoring record for a state championship with her second-day performance.
“I didn’t know about the record at all going into it. My dad told me when I came off the scorer's table,” said Propeck. “I was so excited, and I did not know I had beat it by six. It will take some time to let it all sink in.”
Biermann took the lead early on when she was able to record a par on hole two while Propeck had one of her two bogeys on the day.
Then the haymakers started flying.
Both players birdied the next two holes with a combination of exceptional approach shots and solid putting.
When they arrived at the par 3 sixth Biermann sent Propeck to the canvas. An errant tee shot had Propeck’s ball behind the green and a difficult tough downhill chip shot ensued. The ending result was an uphill 12-footer that was missed just to the right of the hole. Biermann was able to get up and down to secure par and left the green with a two-shot advantage.
“I felt really good pretty much the entire day. She (Megan) was playing good and I was playing good,” Biermann said reflecting on her round. “I’ve known Megan since we were 12 when we played US Kids golf. I don’t think I would’ve shot what I did today without someone pushing me like she did.”
The next three holes saw Propeck tie the match with Biermann as she bogeyed two of the holes to round out the front nine.
With the afternoon temperatures starting to rise so did the level of play. Bierman drew blood first by hitting her approach shot from 115 yards, on the par 4, 10th to within a foot. She subsequently made her birdie putt and held a one-shot advantage with Propeck parring the hole.
“She made some putts out there that were great,” Propeck said. “For example on 11, she made a really good par putt from about 15 feet. I had a downhill slider from about the same distance. Normally I probably wouldn’t have made it to be honest with you. When she made hers I really focused and concentrated and ended up making it.”
Propeck then came to her sweet spot on the course. The par 5 12th.
Her tee ball of nearly 300 yards left a short approach into the green which resulted in a pending 20-foot putt for eagle. The putt hit the back of the cup and fell in and things were back to all square on the score card in their pursuit of a state title.
The turning point in the match came on the par 4 15th.
Propeck was the first to hit their second shots and fired a wedge at the pin. While the ball was in flight you could hear her say “get on it” and that it did. The ball came within a few inches of hitting the flagstick and settled seven feet from the cup.
Biermann’s drive found the right rough and she had a difficult chip over a bunker to a pin that didn’t give her much green to work with. She needed four additional shots on the hole and with Propeck making her birdie putt the two-shot swing was all the Sion phenom needed.
“I hit a really good shot in there,” Propeck said with a grin on her face. “I made the putt and she made bogey and that’s when it changed. We were just battling back and forth and I hadn’t had a lead on her all through the day. I was trying to stay with her and try and stay tied or try and at least get one up in the last hole.”
Sion head coach Dana Hoeper sensed what most in the gallery did after Propeck made her putt.
“Mental competitiveness is where she is so good,” Hoeper said. “Sensing when an opponent might be losing some ground and she dug in and got the birdie. That kind of stuff is going to propel her to be an even better player down the road.”
Propeck tacked on another birdie on 17 to end her record-breaking day.
“I feel like with the weather and all of the different factors I played well under some tough conditions,” Propeck said. “I wasn’t really bothered by the cold, wind or the rain. I put in a lot of practice in the last week and throughout the season.”
Biermann was the only other player in the field to stay under par as she posted a two-day total of 143 (-1) to earn second place honors.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more gracious runner-up than Brooke Biermann after the completion of her round.
“I think I played two good rounds of golf. I’m happy with how I played,” Biermann said as her 36-hole score is now second all-time in MSHSAA history. “There is no need to be disappointed. She played amazing and I thought I played well too. That’s how golf works, you don’t win all the time.”
As Propeck topples records it’s hard not to think about what lies ahead during her prep career as she has a chance to become the only four-time champion in Missouri history and most prolific high school player in the history of the Show-Me-State.
“It will take some time to let it all sink in. Honestly, I don’t think about it that much or at least I try not to,” Propeck said when asked about her accomplishments. “To win it four times would be incredible, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m so thankful to have won two. I know it’s only going to get tougher from here. I just have to keep putting the work in.”
Notre Dame de Sion Falls Short of Team Title
For the second straight year the Sion golf team placed second as a team at the MSHSAA Championships. Last year saw them fall short by 10 strokes and this year it was by only four.
Head Coach Dana Hoeper sees a lot of potential in her four returners.
"I couldn't of asked anything more of any of them. They played their best and we had that talk this morning that at the end of the day they will either be in either first or second and that's not a bad place to be," Hoeper said. "We ended up beating them today for the first time this season and hopefully that motivates all of the girls to go out and play competitive golf this summer.
|1||St. Joseph's Academy High School||313-314=627|
|2||Notre Dame de Sion High School||319-312=631|
|3||Rock Bridge High School||336-335=671|
|4||Glendale High School||365-363=728|
|5||Fox High School||367-366=733|
|5||St. Teresa's Academy High School||366-384=750|
|7||Francis Howell High School||386-365=751|
|8||Ozark High School||399-393=792|
Megan Propek - 71/68 = 139
Caroline Giocondo - 79/83 = 162
Barbara King - 85/77 = 162
Lia Johnson - 84/84 = 168
Hellen Willis - 86/86 = 172
MSHSAA 2018 Top 20 Finishers
|Name||School||Rd 1||Rd 2||Total|
|1||Megan Propeck||Notre Dame de Sion||71||68||139|
|2||Brooke Allison Biermann||Lafayette (Wildwood)||71||72||143|
|4||Grace Aromando||St. Joseph's Academy||75||78||153|
|4||Olivia Sowers||Rock Bridge||76||77||153|
|6||Nicole Rallo||St. Joseph's Academy||76||80||156|
|7||Zoee Elizabeth Harrington||Liberty (Wentzville)||77||81||158|
|8||Mckenna Rice||Lee's Summit West||80||79||159|
|9||Lauren Gallagher||St. Joseph's Academy||79||81||160|
|11||Mia Rallo||St. Joseph's Academy||84||77||161|
|12||Caroline Giocondo||Notre Dame de Sion||79||83||162|
|12||Barbara King||Notre Dame de Sion||85||77||162|
|12||Drew Nienhaus||St. Joseph's Academy||83||79||162|
|12||Jenna Teeter||Carl Junction||82||80||162|
|16||Madison Moller||Rock Bridge||82||82||164|
|16||Lauren G Muller||Blue Springs||80||84||164|
|19||Lindsey E. Byer||Ladue Horton Watkins||84||82||166|
Top 35 Kansas City Area Participants
Top area Kansas City finishers
(8) McKenna Rice, Lee's Summit West - 80/79 = 159
(16) Lauren Nuller, Blue Springs - 80/84 = 164
(26) Sierra Heuston, Blue Springs - 86/85 = 171
(30) Averi Mickelson, Liberty North - 83/90 = 173
(34) Kasydie Shipp, Platte County - 92/84 = 176