Sindlinger ready to bring experience to Hawkeyes

BY RYAN YOUNG | AUGUST 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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Average golfers might never hit a hole in one in their golf careers — maybe one, if they’re lucky.
Jessie Sindlinger did so when she was 9.

“My parents and grandparents would take me out golfing all the time as a kid,” she said. “But once I made my hole in one, I completely fell in love with the game.”

Sindlinger, a recent graduate from Charles City High School, became the second player in Iowa prep golf history to win four-consecutive state titles. She was also named the Senior Girls Golf Athlete of the Year.

Sindlinger also led her team to two team championships in the past three years, adding to her long list of accolades. She’s even made an appearance in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated, in which she was featured in the “Faces in the Crowd” for her success as an amateur athlete.

“Obviously, she had her individual goals, but her main one was for the team to get to state,” Charles City High golf coach Eric Johanningmeier said. “She was a real leader on the team and would always get all the girls involved and excited. She really had a huge impact on the team.”

Sindlinger didn’t just excel at golf in high school. She held a 3.98 grade point average, and she is a member of the National Honor Society. She lettered in basketball and volleyball, and led Charles City to a volleyball state championship her senior year.

“The fact that she was a three-sport athlete and still excelled at golf is really impressive,” Iowa golf coach Megan Menzel said. “Most good golfers just specialize on golf, and won’t play anything else. She has just an incredible work ethic.”

Sindlinger looked at several schools — including Northern Iowa, Kansas State, and Wisconsin. She ultimately decided on Iowa City, and she will join the Iowa women’s golf team in the fall.

Menzel has been the coach of the women’s golf program for two seasons now. But she’s long kept an eye on Sindlinger.

“What really impressed me was how she really just dominated the state and was able to consistently post low scores,” she said. “She’s always steady and has great composure on the course. You can never tell if she’s having a good day or a bad day out there.”

Sindlinger has not been able to officially practice with the Black and Gold yet; she will start in mid-August, when she moves to Iowa City.

While Menzel notes that Sindlinger does have great potential, she tries to keep her expectations for her players low.

“We try to have no real expectations for our players,” she said. “Players will play much better if they can just go out there, play without pressure, and just play for themselves.”

Earlier this month, Sindlinger won the Iowa Section title at the Ames Golf and Country Club by 8 strokes. She finished the two-day tournament with a score of 147 and qualified for the 38th PGA Junior Championship in Washington, D.C.

Sindlinger will compete in the final two rounds of the championship today and Friday at Trump National Golf Course.

“[Qualifying] just shows that all of her hard work really did pay off,” Johanningmeir said. “She’s a very driven athlete, and has put in so much work over the years.”

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