Golf: Pioneers come out swinging to start 2020 high school season

The Pioneer girls’ golf team is back in the swing of things – picking up right where they left off after last year’s incredible season.

“I’m very happy with the start,” says Pioneer coach Bill Lyle. “The rankings came out and after the first two weeks we are eighth in Division 1 and have beat three of the teams ranked ahead of us so I’m pleased.”

Pioneer finished eighth in the state last year, led by Amaya Melendez, who took 10th overall in the individual standings.

Pioneer opened this season on Aug. 19 at Hudson Mills in Brighton and landed fourth out of 18 teams. Melendez finished sixth with a 76. Other contributors were senior Jillian Giordano, sophomore Mackenzie Rooney and freshman Alex Ellender.

Two days later, the Pioneers teed it up at the Hartland Invitational where they finished fourth out of 24 teams. Only Rochester Adams, Grand Blanc and Northville – the top three ranked teams in the state – carded better scores than the Pioneers.

“Our score of 322 was amazing and was our best team score in four years,” Lyle said. “So I was very happy especially against a very strong field.”

Melendez shot a career low round of 68, Giordano shot a career round of 80 and Mackenzie Rooney shot a career round of 81. Sophomore Alysa Zhu carded a career round of 93 and freshman Alex Ellender shot a career best 93.

On Monday, the Pioneers opened SEC action by beating both host Chelsea and Ypsilanti. The next day, Pioneer defeated host Saline and Bedford to improve to 4-0 in the SEC.

Pioneer tees it up on Monday against another strong field at the Flint Golf Club.