Golf Team Tees Off in Big 12 Minus Munzlinger
The fun continued when she earned two All-Big 12 selections and an honorable mention All-American. Her 74 stroke average and three top-10 finishes that fall led the team. Now, she's done playing for Mizzou.
"I was under the understanding that I wouldn't be affected, that I'd still be on the team and I'd still be traveling if I didn't go to the tournament," Munzlinger said. "So, I chose not to go."
Munzlinger says the coaches approved her skipping the tournament to work on improving her game.
Coach Stephanie Priestmeyer responded, "Really, the ultimate thing is she backed out of a tournament and it negatively affected the team quite a bit and, as a coach, you got to make a tough decision."
Munzlinger wasn't formally dismissed from the team, but Coach Priestmeyer, formerly Coach Cooper, told her she wouldn't play in any more tournaments this year.
"I'm finished," Munzlinger said. "My season is over and I'm done basically."
Priestmeyer added, "It's just a choice that I made for the best interests of this team."
And Munzlinger isn't getting a mulligan because the team supports the coach's decision.
"She wasn't good for this team anymore," said senior Kelli Strubinger. "She wasn't supportive of the team and that's what it came down to."
Junior Stephanie Wavro added, "We all respect our coach's decision. We have tremendous respect for Coop[er]. It's a tough situation. I'm friends with Denise. I wish her the best. We just can't look back on that now. We just have to look forward."
Now, Strubinger is the only women's golfer still on the team who knows how Mizzou almost won in 2003.
"I just kind of remind them how close it can be, regardless of whatever you're ranked or who's ranked ahead of you, she explained. "We've done it before and I just let everybody know we can do it again."
Munzlinger plans to take a shot at the LPGA tour after she graduates in May. She said she still supports her teammates and hopes they bring back a Big 12 Championship from Lincoln, Neb., this week.