Golf: Thiravong achieves personal goal with single-round 69

Rochelle Township High School golfer Megan Thiravong shot a first-round score of 69 to open the 5th Annual Girls Midwest Golf College Showcase in Indianapolis this past weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Lady Hub standout takes second at 5th Annual Girls Midwest Golf College Showcase

INDIANAPOLIS — Since beginning her freshman season at Rochelle Township High School, rising senior Megan Thiravong has been shooting to achieve a single-round score of 69. That dream became a reality when Thiravong battled over 100 prep golfers during the 5th Annual Girls Midwest Golf College Showcase at Winding Ridge Golf Club this past weekend.

Thiravong outpaced the entire field over the qualifying round, carding 69 on the number before scoring 76 during the final round to place second overall in the 124-player tournament. While the tournament’s nonaggregate scoring prevented her from winning the title, Thiravong was the only player to shoot under par for any round at the par-72 course in Indiana.

“Shooting under par is a very rewarding feeling,” Thiravong said. “I greatly appreciate all of the support gifted to me from the community. I would like to emphasize the encouragement from my parents for always providing ample tools to achieve success on and off the course, my coaches [Glen] Mehrings and [David] Cartwright for always cheering me on, the RTHS athletic department and the beautiful city of Rochelle for working together towards making this community a fabulous place to live and raise the next generation like myself.”

Thiravong said her approach shots and her level-headed demeanor spearheaded her charge on the course, which featured numerous hazards including hills, prairie grass and water. While her practice routine has been largely unaffected, Thiravong said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic erased the majority of her summer events and competitions, leading her to use the range simulator in her family’s garage to continue sharpening her skills as the fall season nears.

“I appreciate all of the work that golf courses have put into establishing social distancing guidelines while allowing players to retain the joy of playing golf,” Thiravong said. “I expect to continue golfing well into the regular season with my favorite RTHS team members, and I think that we all will improve together as a unit. All of the boys have much potential that they have yet to showcase. I am positive we will have a great season this year.”

A three-time IHSA State Championship qualifier, Thiravong will return to the Hubs this fall looking to make even more history as the school’s first-ever four-time state qualifier. Thiravong will also be seeking to defend her Interstate 8 Conference Championship, and she’ll be Rochelle’s top returning varsity player from a group that hauled in six victories in 2019.

“My approach shots and short game need to be the focus of my practice for upcoming tournaments in order to improve my overall average,” Thiravong said. “I have changed the angle of attack with my irons in order to enhance the height of the ball while increasing the amount of spin generated upon contact with the green. In addition, I narrowed my putting stance while straightening my swing plane.”

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