ALTON – For a full week, storms were predicted for the girl’s golf annual Blast Off Tournament. However, with a lot of help from the Midwest weather, overnight the weather changed from all-day storms to all-day sun. That level of uncertainty may have affected other player’s preparation or mentality going into the weekend’s competition, but it wouldn’t shake Marquette Golf’s standout and Blast Off Champion, Gracie Piar.

Piar is the first Jeff Lauritzen-Country Financial Female Athlete of the Month for Marquette Catholic High School. of the 2021-2022 school year.

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When asked if the predicted weather had any effect on her preparation going into the weekend, “Honestly, it didn’t. I play in the rain all season, during the summer and even during the winter. I know how to play in the rain, and I know what to expect. I was a little bit on edge if the storms would cancel the event. But in terms of golf, I was ready to go.”

Piar showed just how prepared she was as she shot a tournament-best 66, finished 6-under par, and was crowned Blast Off Champion. Beyond physically executing precise and calculate shots, golf is one of the toughest mental sports. When asked what her mental approach to every round of golf she plays is, “Win. I want to win everything. Obviously, I am not going to win everything but that’s how I go into every match. Not only do I want to win, but I also want my team to win,” said Piar.

Before Piar can shine against some of the world’s best competition, there is still some work to be done with the Blue and Gold. Coach Deb Walsh said: “We are super committed to making state. That is our goal and it’s never been a question for this group. Last year we did not get the opportunity to have state and the girls are happy to have that back in the mix.” Due to issues with COVID-19, one thing not to be overlooked is the ability for Piar to finish her senior year with a full-regular season."

Piar said she believes this year is going to be "great" for her and her Explorers' teammates.

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At the end of her last high school season for Marquette Catholic, the next stop for Piar’s journey sees her going West to the warm and sunny conditions of Los Angeles, California. In January of this year, Piar verbally committed to California State Northridge, a Division 1 University in the Los Angeles area where she will be able to practice, compete, and master her golf skills year-round for another four years.

So just how far can her talent, practice and preparation, and winning mentality take Piar? According to her coach Deb Walsh, she says, “I think she is going to the LGPA. That is where she wants to end up.”

With Piar’s support system, becoming a Division 1 athlete, and all her talents and abilities, don’t be surprised if Piar goes on to compete with some of golf’s best talent in the world.

While golf is an individual sport, it takes a team of supporters to the individual to reach such success. So, who can Piar and her fans look at for helping her achieve so many accolades? According to Piar, “100 percent to my parents and coach Deb. Coach Deb has been a great coach over these last three years. I owe a lot of thank to my dad for getting me into golf and to my parents for running me around all summer and all high school. I am very appreciative of them and everything they do.”

Piar’s next competition will be on August 24 at Far Oaks Golf Club.'s Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at wish you continued success in your future!

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