Members at Whispering Oaks Golf Course will be able to point to the talent of Marshfield sophomore Marlee Edgeman before her varsity opponents this fall.
The Lady Jay posted a 142 at the course’s club championship on Aug. 14 and 15 to win the Ladies Division of the tournament, and then some, unofficially.
“She not only won the women’s division, but had the best score overall as well,” Lady Jays golf head coach Cheratin Hunter said. “That’s pretty neat for a sophomore.”
Edgeman shot a 72 one day, 70 another to lead all members, saying she hadn’t played in the tournament in several years, but it’s a sign of how much her game has improved since, let alone in the past year.
“She’d had a heckuva summer,” Hunter said. “I know she’s put in a lot of work.”
“I’ve been all over the place,” Edgeman said. “I’ve stayed here in Missouri, played in Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida. It was really busy.”
Part of it included July's 91st Missouri Women's Amateur at Mules National Golf Course in Warrensburg, a tournament many of the Big 8 Conference's best from Springfield Catholic and Logan-Rogersville have played in recent years as well.
"That was competitive," Edgeman said. "The first day I didn't do so good –– I shot an 87 –– the second day I had a 74, and the third day I shot an 80. It was my first women's amateur and I was nervous."
The rest of the summer included taking part in tournaments throughout the country, many times against girls several years older. A lot of the focus from Edgeman has been concentrated on her score, rather than her place, though she doesn't hide that ambition to place highly. Those who last saw her play last fall and this summer will especially notice her improvements off the tee. "I've been hitting the ball a lot further," she said. "I was carrying my drives about 160, 170 yards last year. Now it's 180, 200. It's my technique, and I've gotten a little bit stronger."
Hunter sees the improvements already after several weeks of varsity practice.
“I think for sure she’s definitely matured in her game,” Hunter said. “The biggest thing that gets in her way is herself sometimes, but I really feel like she’s relaxed and confident going into this season. I think with the experience last year of going to state, and playing the competition she’s played all summer, it has only bettered her for the school season. I think she’s ready to put her summer into this season and see where she goes from there.”