After a strong campaign in 2017, the Guerin Catholic varsity girls golf team is poised to build upon its success. With new, exciting tournaments and tough conference competition on the calendar, the program is looking to make this a year to remember.
Coach Mark Mathews has some serious tools to work with this year. Senior Mckayla Tallman and Junior Angelica Pfefferkorn are already recognized as two of the top golfers in the state. They will be joined by two particularly talented freshmen in Christina Pfefferkorn and Sophie McGinnis.
Angelica Pfefferkorn has continued to build on her state finals appearance from a year ago. She won the Age Group Championship at the Purdue University – Ackerman-Allen Course with a 75. She also had five other top ten finishes at various events around the country.
Tallman spent the summer participating in a variety of tournaments through the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour and the Indiana Junior Golf Tour. Highlights from her summer included shooting a -1 (71) at White Deer Run in Illinois and a 75 at Rock Hollow Golf Club in Peru.
McGinnis also was busy making a name for herself. She finished tied for 45th in the Girls-Indiana PGA Jr. Championship and tied for 37th at the Indiana Girls State Junior Championship. She also ended the Masters Tour Series ranked 9th in points.
Christiana Pfefferkorn proved her abilities as well, tallying seven top-six finishes. She finished second in the Crestview-Prep, the Tipton GC-Prep, and tied for second in the Kokomo American Legion-Prep. She also finished third in the Age Group Championship at Indiana National Golf Club on the Black Course and fourth at the Dye Course-Prep.
Even with all of this talent, Mathews plans to defend his team’s back-to-back Circle City Conference Championships by remaining focused on the basics.
“Our regular season goals and expectations are simple: work hard on our individual shot weaknesses; practice with purpose each day; give 100% effort; support and encourage each other; be consistent; pay attention to the small details; hold each other accountable,” said Mathews. “If we accomplish these goals, we will have a successful season.”
A successful season will likely mean accomplishing several feats for the first time in program history. The team’s summer performances have opened up several new opportunities.
“We are going to compete in the Crooked Stick Girls HS Golf Invitational, the State Preview at Prairie View, and the Indiana Girls Golf Hall of Fame Invitational,” said Mathews. “All three of these tournaments are events that we have never been invited to play in before.”
The significant opportunity to play at a PGA Championship course is not lost on these young women.
“The tournament I am looking forward to most this season is the event at Crooked Stick,” said Tallman. “I am excited to play at such an amazing and beautiful course with my team.”
The Pfefferkorn sisters echoed these sentiments.
“I look forward to playing Crooked Stick, because I have always wanted to play there after watching the professionals play there during the BMW Championship,” Christina said.
“It’s such a historic course,” added Angelica.
Angelica is the conference’s reigning medalist, narrowly defeating the previous champion, Bishop Chatard’s Maggie Schaffer, last August. Both would later go on to qualify for the state finals.
When asked about goals for this season, a team state finals appearance is clearly a top priority.
“Our post-season goals are to play well in Sectionals and reach our Regional Championship,” said Mathews. “We would very much like to reach the State Championship as a team for the first time. That would be a great accomplishment for our program.”
Angelica has set her sites on returning to Prairie View, but not by herself. When asked for her goals, she said, “Make it the best and most memorable year yet, and of course qualifying as a team for state.”
Tallman shared their vision for an unprecedented finish.
“Personally, I’m excited to have a strong season with my team,” said Tallman. “It’s my senior year and I’m ready to spend my last season with a strong, fun team. I know it’s going to be a fun season, and I am confident that our team is going to make it to state!”
“I can’t wait to get our season started!”
PS – Mckayla Tallman – This summer was full of great tournaments that were well provided for and run by the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour and the Indiana Junior Golf Tour. I would especially like to thank the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour for running spectacular events at great courses and constantly providing on course water every few holes and making sure every player is welcome when they check in the first day.
Sophie McGinnis – I have many people in my life I am thankful for. I’m thankful for my parents’ support. I was nine years old when I knew I loved this game. Soon after, I started working with my swing coach, Mike Abbott. Thank you for helping me to develop my game. I now have the opportunity through Guerin Catholic to work with Coach Matthews. He’s been a coach for many years and between him, Mike, and my parents, I have the support I need to fulfill my next dream of playing college golf. Last but not least, I would also like to thank the Indiana PGA and Zach Hale, the Director of Junior Golf. It’s organizations like this that promote the game and help young golfers like me aspire to their dreams.