Golf has a way of challenging a person's mental toughness in ways other sports don't. It's a game of overcoming obstacles.
The unexpected obstacle at Geneva Golf and Country Club on Tuesday came in the form of unanticipated cold and rain. It was because of that rain that the meet was shortened from its original 18-hole contest to a shorter nine-hole affair.
But that didn't stop the Muscatine girls golf team from taking home the victory against Burlington and Davenport North.
And Muscatine's win came by a comfortable margin, 207 to North's 241 and Burlington's 255.
"Any time you have weather like this you have to step up your game a little bit," Muskies' head coach Tom Randleman said. "You have to try things differently. You just have to deal with all the elements as far as the weather and things like that. It was a good test for them."
Senior Sarah McKillip led the Muskies by shooting a meet-best 45.
“I’m excited for Sarah, she did a wonderful job today. Hopefully that’s building her confidence for Monday," Randleman said, referring the upcoming district meet for Muscatine.
McKillip's day on the course included a pretty obvious high point.
"The highlight from today (was when) I chipped it right into the hole on nine, which is kind of a tricky hole," McKillip said. "I’m really proud of it. I danced around like an idiot on the green.
"I feel like today was good preparation for (the district meet)."
Muscatine's best scorer on Tuesday credited the practice sessions throughout the last week as being a big part of her stellar performance at the triangular meet.
“I worked a lot with coach (Randleman)," McKillip said. "We worked on more aiming and I feel like I really improved today with my drives and short game."
Junior Ellie Howard was Muscatine's next-best golfer with a 51, though Randleman thought her score would have been better if it wasn't for a specific set of difficulties.
"I watched Ellie and she had one bad hole," Randleman said. "Take away one bad hole … and she’s right there too. I feel good about the way we’ve been playing the last couple meets we’ve had. We’ve shot in the low-200s and (hopefully) we can get it down a little bit more.”
As for the rest of the Muskies, freshman Kate Manjoine finished with a 55, Alexis Moeller a 58, Kenni Hawkins shot a 56 and Makenzi Day walked into the club house at the end of the meet with a 67.
Before the Muskies really gets serious about the district meet, though, they'll get a chance to have a little fun as their next meet is against Davenport West in a best-shot format on Thursday.
But as for the district meet that's now the main object on the team's radar, the wet win on Tuesday marks a significant step in the right direction.
“I just want to be positive and let whatever happens, happen," McKillip said. "I’m really excited for districts and excited to see how our team does compared to the other teams."
"We haven’t had too many victories this year," Randleman said. "We’ve been up there, but we haven’t actually won a meet so this was a good stepping stone going into Monday."