Article and Photos by Coach Wiegman
On Wednesday, Whitewater senior Billie Jo Parker entered the Rock Valley Conference (RVC) Invitational comfortably seated in the top ten after last Thursday’s regular season mini-meet. Parker only needed to maintain her conference season average of 43 to secure all-conference honors. Playing in beautiful sunshine at Riverside Golf Course in Janesville, Parker fired a career-low 18-hole round of 77 to finish third place overall and secure those all-conference honors. Parker found herself with a few pre-match nerves heading into her tee time at her final conference meet, stating, “I was quite tense but slowly got into the round.”
Starting on the back nine, Parker shot a 38 with birdies on the 14th and 18th holes, making her 18th hole birdie with a chip shot. According to Parker, “Shooting a 38 for the first 9 got me really pumped for the back 9, especially being able to end the front 9 with a birdie chip. Breaking my personal best by scoring under 40 gave me a huge confidence boost for the rest of the day.”
On the final nine holes, Parker continued a hot streak shooting even par through hole six. On hole seven, she found herself in trouble with an errant drive into the left rough and finished with a triple bogey. After the triple bogey, Parker explained how she chose to lean on her four-year varsity experience. “I always tell myself when I have a bad hole that it’s in the past and the next hole is a fresh start. Being in that mindset help me push through to the very end.”
Using that experience, Parker finished with a bogey and par on the following holes, ending with a front nine score of 39. After, she reflected on her golf journey saying, “Being able to end my senior year of golf by placing third is absolutely amazing. I felt that I have worked hard not only the four years of my high school golf career but all the years before (beginning at age six). And I’m glad to say that all that work has paid off.”
The Whippets finished with a team score of 410, good for 6th place overall. Senior Jacob Zuehlke finished with a final round score of 108, continuing his steady improvement throughout the season. Fellow senior Tommy Cushman finished with a score of 112, and Bowen Babcock and Jon Brunner rounded out the scoring for the Whippets with scores of 113 and 126. Next up, the Whippets will compete in the WIAA Division 2 Racine St. Catherine’s Regional held at Ives Groves Golf Course on Wednesday, May 23.