Monday, January 30, 2023

Konopa finds swing in win over Hawken

Independence’s Emma Konopa found her swing in claiming medalist honors in Independence’s 164-176 win at Hawken on Tuesday.

Konopa recorded back-to-back uncharacteristic rounds for the Blue Devils but zoned in on Tuesday to shoot a match-low 39.

“I try to start every new match or tournament off with a new mindset better than the last,” Konopa said. “I felt very prepared today and excited to play.”

Konopa recorded three birdies in the round and she needed them after posting a nine on No. 3.

“I started off my round rough,” she said. “After that, I fought for every stroke striving to shoot a good score. I ended up having a few birdies that really saved my scores and I continued to play with confidence and it ended up working in my favor.”

Not only did Konopa earn medalist honors, but she also did it by beating defending Division II state champion Ella Wong of Hawken by one stroke. Wong and teammate Kate Petersen both finished with a 40.

Along with Molly McGreal, who shot a 41, Konopa has been among Independence’s top two golfers all season, at least until the last two tournaments.

She went into Tuesday’s key league match with a clear head and the ability to correct whatever it was that affected her game.

“The key to my success today was the idea of revenge,” she said. “After having a nine on the third hole, I knew I had to start winning those strokes back. In general, it is really hard to save your score after a blowup hole only playing nine (holes), but I made my focus to win those strokes back and have a great comeback.”

Konopa regrouped and finished the round strong.

“The hole after my nine, I birdied and then I birdied the hole after that so it really helped my confidence (shooting under par on) those holes,” she said. “I just let myself thrive off that confidence and continued to finish out strong. I was really proud myself and that nine definitely pushed me to play better.”

Kate Coljohn also shot a 41 for the Blue Devils and Hillary Esper closed out the scoring with a 43. Bel Trombetta and Macey McGhee recorded a 46 and a 49, respectively.

Helena Yanchar carded a 42 for the Hawks while Keira Chang closed out the scoring with a 54.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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