By BRADEN LAYER Daily News
Effingham Daily News
---- — Brad Rohlfing has always been a personal coach to daughter Miranda on the links, it just became his official title this past season.
Brad, who took over the reigns of the St. Anthony girls golf team in the fall, helped Miranda realize her vast potential in 2012. Miranda placed 16th at Decatur's Red Tail Run Golf Club in the Class A state tournament, firing a two-day score of 164 in her third trip to states.
"It was great (having my dad)," Miranda said. "I was glad I could walk down the fairway and he could coach me down the fairway, he's always been there."
The father-daughter bond allowed each to voice their opinion without any fear of consequence, and Miranda said she was grateful for her father's sometimes fiery approach.
"I'm glad for that," she said. "That's helped me make my game stronger."
Miranda will now take her skills to the college circuit, signing a letter a letter of intent this week to play for the Tritons at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
"I'm really excited," Rohlfing said. "That's always been a dream of mine to play college golf. I'm really glad I got to sign with them, I know they're a good team, I'll get to develop my game."
The St. Anthony senior will also get the chance to develop her passion for nursing, as she plans to major in the discipline.
Miranda said she heard from other schools, but UMSL's combination of nursing and golf had her sold.
"I'll get the best of both worlds," she said. "I'll do nursing and play golf, this school was the perfect fit."
Miranda also looked at Indiana State, but said she wanted to make an immediate impact on the team, rather that sitting and waiting for her turn that may never come.
That will be the case at Division II UMSL, where the Triton's squad of six players will benefit early from her talents.
"I think I'll be able to get along with the girls, just be like a family," she said. "Hopefully I will be able to contribute some lower scores that will be counted."
To do that early on, Miranda will get to work improving her distance. A short-game specialist, she said improving her long ball will hold the key to her collegiate success.
"I need to work on my distance, getting muscles to be able to hit the ball further," Miranda said. "The college courses are a lot longer, so it's a lot harder. I'm going to the gym and working on that."
She has committed to play for coach James Earle, but it's a safe bet a familiar face will still be walking the fairways beside her.
After all, Brad, and other family members, have just a short trek to campus.
"Oh yeah, for sure," Miranda said about her family traveling to tournaments. "My parents will be able to come watch me, I won't be very far."
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org