Matanzas golfer Alexandra Gazzoli makes history
PALM COAST — It would be inaccurate to say that Matanzas golfer Alexandra Gazzoli was nervous while waiting for the final results to come in at the 2A state championship
She was quiet. After all, she was having a good day. She shot 3 under the first 11 holes and had the lead. She ghosted 12 three times, erased all of her work in 11, and freaked out 17. Even then, she felt she could still win.
Gazzole just had to wait for American Heritage’s Kathryn Schaefer to finish because she, too, was having a good day. Schaefer had collected three birdies on the front nine and even picked up another one on the 17th. Then, on the 18th, Schaefer sealed the deal.
a summary:The Ponte Vedra boys are back on top, and Matanzas’ Gazole takes home the girls’ 2A title
Champions:Public Service Announcement: Golf superstar Ponte Vedra Carson Brewer is back in time for the area
“It was kind of a thrill,” Gazzoli said. “When I saw she snapped the last ball, it was more of a relief.”
Gazzole won her first state title and became the first female golfer—girl or boy—to win an individual championship in school history.
After confirming the win, Coach Brandi Allred opened two Cranberry Sprites—Gazzoli’s favorite beverage—and toasted her victory. The win tasted even sweeter because Gazzole didn’t think she would even play in the states.
Gazoli had a bad day at Regionals. She scored 77 and finished 12th, a disappointing effort for a golfer like Gazzole, who was fresh from the 2A District 4 individual and team championships.
Gazzole was disappointed, but fortunately, he ended up getting a big offer to play in the states. Alred said she most likely got the nod because of her district win and because she finished in the top three the past two years at the state tournament.
“I didn’t think I’d make it into the state,” Gazzoli said. “All that mattered was getting there in the first place. It wasn’t really about what you did before. So I was ready to go play.”
The 3-under Par-71 Gazole made its first day in the 2A state championship. She birdied 12, 14 and eagled 13, showing that she did not plan to miss her attempt.
She drew three more birdies on her second day and bowled two runs to finish one, which was enough to edge Schaefer who shot 2 that day. She defeated Gazoli Schaefer by one stroke, 140 to 141, to win her first gold medal.
Victory was three years in the making. Gazzole felt she could have won states her junior year when she finished third, she said. When she finished second last year, Alred said she knew this would be the year she accomplished it.
“Her expectation and mine was that she would win it,” said Alred.
Really, Victory has been 15 years in the making. Gazzole, who has been playing golf since she was two years old, practices every day and plays no fewer than 15 tournaments a year. At this point, her confidence is high and there are no jitters.
“It’s almost like second nature at this point,” Gazzoli said. “I don’t get nervous at all. It’s kind of like something I just do.”
Gazzole will soon decide where she will play in college. Some of the schools interested include the University of Georgia, Oklahoma State, and Florida State.
But before she graduates next year, she wants to win the team championship and another individual championship. Gazzoli said she believes the team can make it to the States next season.
Alred will lose senior Emma Markese but will still have Gazzoli, Zoe Alred, Ana Heartz and Arianna Rodrigues next year from the team that wins the district championship. The Lady Pirates’ strong year and Gazzoli’s individual state championship give them the momentum they need for next season.
“I am really excited for next year,” said Zoe Allred. “He will definitely motivate me and my team. I feel he will really push us and help us get closer”
Gazzoli’s teammates look up to her and try to learn as much as they can. Zoe Allred said Gazzole’s big win showed her that a good work ethic and taking time can lead to great accomplishments.
Like becoming the first golfer in Matanzas history to win a state title.
“It will be a long time before we have another state champion, because she is so good,” said Brandi Allred.
#Matanzas #golfer #Alexandra #Gazzoli #history