Irish freshman swings her way to U.S. Womens Open

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo–At 15 years old, Reagan Zibilski can’t legally drive a car.

But boy can she drive a golf ball.

And as KOLR 10’s Matt Vereen reports, the Springfield Catholic freshman will be one of 26 amateurs playing at next week’s U.S. Womens Open.     

Hard work has always seperated the talented from the great.

And that’s a message Springfield Catholic freshman golfer Reagan Zibilksi has taken to heart.

“A couple of years ago, I really had to tell myself if you really, really want this then you’re going to have to do whatever you can,” said Zibilski.

But if you ask those around her, like Hickory Hills golf pro Rick Neal.

That hard work is just one of the many amazing qualities that make up Reagan Zibilski

Golf Pro Rick Neal: “I don’t know anyone that works any harder than she does.To get to the level she’s gotten to this quick in her career, hard work pays off.”

And that dedication to the craft is paying dividends on the course, much to the joy of her new high school coach in Frank Gallant.

“When she first came out, I had heard a lot of great things until I see her swing one time. I was like ‘oh, my,” said Gallant.

The freshman’s 250+ drives are landed her an individual runner up at state plus a second place finish for the Irish.

“You could see a dramatic drop of scores, especially this last fall,” said Zibilski.

And you’ll find no better example of that improvement than Zibilski’s performance at the U.S. Open qualifying.

“I played solid golf. And in golf you have to get lucky and I definitely got lucky a couple of times but I just had so much fun playing that day,” said Zibilski.

Hard not to have fun when you finish with a 145 over two rounds and beat out the no. 252 women’s golfer in the world with a playoff to earn the first alternate spot for the U.S. Open.

Golf Pro Rick Neal: “Think about this young girl’s future, what she has. This is the first of many times many things are going to happen good to her.”

And she didn’t have to wait long for the next big accomplishment, because last week Zibilski followed up the performance of a lifetime with a phone call she’ll never forget.

“My parents picked me up from school early. I kind of thought something was up. They said, ‘They called and you’re in.’ I couldn’t even talk, it was such a special moment for me,” said Zibilski.

At 15, Zibilski is headed for the 20-19 U.S. Open in Charleston, South Carolina later this month.

A chance to play alongside some of the greats, including one who knows a thing or two about early success.

“I’m really excited to meet Michelle Wie. I’m actually scheduled to play with her, I think Tuesday before the round so I’m super excited about that. I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life, so I’m just going to soak in every second of it,” said Zibilski.

In Springfield, Matt Vereen Ozarksfirst. 

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