PALM COAST — It might be inaccurate to say that Matanzas golfer Alexandra Gazzoli was nervous whereas she waited for the ultimate outcomes to return in on the 2A state championship
She was calm. In any case, she had a superb day. She shot 3 beneath via the primary 11 holes and had the lead. She triple-bogeyed 12, erasing all her work via 11, and bogeyed 17. Even then, she felt she may nonetheless win.
Gazzoli simply needed to look ahead to American Heritage’s Katherine Schaefer to complete as a result of she, too, was having a superb day. Schaefer had racked up three birdies on the entrance 9 and even picked up another on 17. Then, on 18, Schaefer sealed the deal.
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“It was sort of suspenseful,” Gazzoli mentioned. “After I noticed that she parred the final ball, it was extra of a aid factor.”
Gazzoli gained her first state title and have become the primary golfer — woman or boy — to win a person championship in class historical past.
After the victory was confirmed, head coach Brandie Alred cracked open two seasonal cranberry Sprites — Gazzoli’s favourite drink — and toasted to her victory. The victory tasted even sweeter as a result of Gazzoli did not assume she would even get to play at states.
Gazzoli had a nasty day at regionals. She shot a 77 and completed twelfth, a disappointing effort for a golfer like Gazzoli, who was contemporary off a 2A District 4 particular person and group championship.
Gazzoli was disenchanted, however fortunately, ended up getting an at-large bid to play at states. Alred mentioned she seemingly received the nod due to her district victory and since she had completed within the prime three the final two years on the state match.
“I did not assume I used to be going to get into state,” Gazzoli mentioned. “All that issues is simply getting there within the first place. It is not likely about what you probably did earlier than. So I used to be able to go play.”
Gazzoli shot 3-under-par 71 her first day on the 2A state championship. She birdied 12 and 14 and eagled 13, displaying that she did not plan to waste her bid.
She carded three extra birdies her second day and bogeyed twice to complete 1 over, which was simply sufficient to edge Schaefer who had shot 2 beneath that day. Gazzoli defeated Schaefer by one stroke, 140 to 141, to earn her first state gold medal.
The victory was three years within the making. Gazzoli felt she may’ve ought to’ve gained states her freshman 12 months when she completed third, she mentioned. When she completed because the runner-up final 12 months, Alred mentioned she knew that this could be the 12 months she received it completed.
“Her expectation and my expectation was that she was going to win it,” Alred mentioned.
Actually, the victory was 15 years within the making. Gazzoli, who has been taking part in golf since she was two years previous, practices day-after-day and performs not less than 15 tournaments a 12 months. At this level, her confidence is excessive and any jitters are nonexistent.
“It is virtually like second nature at this level,” Gazzoli mentioned. “I do not actually get nervous in any respect. It is sort of one thing I simply do.”
Gazzoli will resolve quickly the place she’s going to play in school. Among the colleges embody the College of Georgia, Oklahoma State and Florida State.
However earlier than she graduates subsequent 12 months, she’d wish to win a group championship and one other particular person championship. Gazzoli mentioned she thinks the group could make it to states subsequent season.
Alred will lose senior Emma Markese however will nonetheless have Gazzoli, Zoe Alred, Ana Heartz and Arianna Rodrigues subsequent 12 months from a group that gained the district championship. The Girl Pirates’ robust 12 months and Gazzoli’s particular person state championship offers them the momentum they want for subsequent season.
“I am so excited for subsequent 12 months,” Zoe Alred mentioned. “It is positively going to inspire me and my group. I really feel prefer it’s actually going to push us and assist us change into nearer”
Gazzoli’s teammates look as much as her and attempt to be taught as a lot as they’ll. Gazzoli’s massive win for her, Zoe Alred mentioned, confirmed her that good work ethic and placing within the time may lead to nice achievements.
Like changing into the primary golfer in Matanzas historical past to win a state title.
“It is going to be a very long time earlier than we now have one other state champion, as a result of she is that good,” Brandie Alred mentioned.