Pirates’ Kirby achieves goal of qualifying for state golf tournament

Hannibal Pirates

WARRENTON, Mo. — Add another first to the list of accomplishments for the Hannibal girls golf program.

The first player in program history is headed to the state tournament.

Pirates junior Grace Kirby shot an 86 Friday at the Warrenton Golf Course to finish ninth in the Class 3 District 3 Tournament and qualify for the state tourney, which will be played Oct. 17-18 at Columbia Country Club.

“She was really, really pumped,” Hannibal coach Matt Pugh said. “It’s something that was a goal of hers coming into this season, but she kept it pretty quiet and was real humble about it. She didn’t talk a lot about it, but she constantly worked at it.”

Kirby missed qualifying for the state field as a sophomore by two strokes.

“We have a really good group of girls and all the girls really wanted it for her,” Pugh said. “It was really cool to see.”

Hannibal finished sixth in the 12-team district with a 408, a sizable improvement as a group. The Pirates finished 63 strokes better than their district score from a year ago.

“That gives us reason to believe what we’re doing is working and we’re headed in the right direction,” Pugh said.

The progress is showing every day.

“It’s always nice to take a group of individuals and get them to understand the importance that every shot counts and every stroke is going to be a part of more than just what’s on your card,” Pugh said. “Then to see the continued growth is great.

“We have a lot of cool firsts that are going on. It’s all earned, which is really special.”

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