CULLMAN – Senior Bradi Ruehl had her best performance on the golf course of the 2016 season Monday. Ruehl shot a 7-over par 79 to lead the Cullman Lady Bearcats to the top in the Cullman pre-sectional invitational at Terri Pines Country Club.
Ruehl stood in a class by herself with the 79. But her performance inspired Bailee Ponder and Brinkley Thornton to record a 91 and a 97 that enabled Cullman to win the title with a team score of 267.
The Lady Bearcats finished 21 shots ahead of Spain Park and 23 in front of Mountain Brook, two 7A programs from the Birmingham area. Spain Park had a 288 with Mountain Brook two shots behind the Panthers with a 290.
In the individual segment of the tournament, Ruehl was seven shots better than the 2016 Cullman County tournament champion, Lindsay Rodgers of West Point. Rodgers scored an 86 Monday, shooting better at TPCC than she did last week when the course was wet and she fired an 88 for the first round of the two-day county tournament.
Joining Ruehl, Rodgers and Ponder on the all-tournament team was Sarah Kate DeCarlo of Vestavia with a 90. Ponder edged Mountain Brook's Anna Lewis-Simmons for the final spot on the All-Tournament team. Both had a 91, but Ponder had a lower total on the 18th hole than Lewis-Simmons, which put her fourth overall in the individual division.
Ruehl was pleased with her effort for her best score of the 2016 prep season. She had an 88 in the recent Bert McGriff Invitational at TPCC. But the course was wet from recent rainfall and challenging to the golfer.
The pre-sectional was played under sunny skies, on a dry course with temps in the 70s. Thirty prep golfers took to the course, using it as a tune-up before the sectionals take place next week.
Cullman will be in the Section 4 Tournament at Canebrake Golf Course in Athens next Monday. Their goal is to make it through the sectional at get to sub-state the following week with the state tournament in three weeks down in Montgomery.
Rodgers will have her sights set on the 5A, Section 4 Tournament next week at Twin Pines Country Club in Russellville. The two-time Cullman County champion will take part in a practice round there later in the week to get herself comfortable on the course located in Franklin County.