Golf: Thiravong breaks par against DeKalb

Rochelle senior Megan Thiravong gets a big hug from her mother, Watsana, and some applause from her sister, Ailani, after shooting a 1-under-par 35 during the golf team’s home match against DeKalb on Thursday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Lady Hub senior shoots 1-under 35

ROCHELLE — Megan Thiravong walked onto the ninth tee box during Rochelle Township High School’s home golf match against DeKalb needing a birdie on her final hole to break par on the round, something the Lady Hub senior hadn’t done in her four years with the team.

Calm and collected, Thiravong fired her tee shot on the 170-yard par-3 ninth hole to within 5 feet of the pin. After marking her ball and watching the other three players in her group make their putts, it was her turn to address the ball and attempt to sink one last putt.

With her family watching from a distance, Thiravong putted the ball directly into the cup, sealing a 1-under-par 35 and her best score of the 2020 season. While the Barbs walked away from Rochelle’s Fairways Golf Course with a 167-176 win over the Hubs (6-3, 2-2 Interstate 8), it was Thiravong’s second straight meet breaking the 30s, a positive sign of things to come.

“She took some more risks earlier in the season, but I think she’s really starting to settle in and be herself,” head coach Glen Mehrings said. “I’ve been coaching here for the last 20-plus years, and I always see the great players hit their stride around mid-September because they’ve made their adjustments and they’ve started to relax more. She doesn’t make too many physical mistakes, and she’s been in a really good place mentally over the last few meets.”

Thiravong outpaced all of the varsity players Thursday. Senior Reese Kirk carded 42 for the Hubs, while sophomores Damen Harrington and Griffin Ohlinger followed with 49 and 50, respectively. The Barbs rallied behind two top players who each carded scored in the 30s including Brett Paeglor, who led DeKalb’s varsity team with an even-par 36. Rochelle will host LaSalle-Peru for Senior Night on Monday at 4 p.m.

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