Pinckneyville’s Megan Breslin enjoyed a solid golf season all year, but she turned it up a notch at the Class 1A state tournament.

Breslin carded a two-day total of 163 to earn all-state honors, the only athlete in The Southern’s coverage area to do so.

For her efforts, Breslin is The Southern Illinoisan’s Girls Golfer of the Year.

“Last year, I missed at sectionals by a stroke, and it was a huge reality check for me,” Megan said. “I knew there were a lot more girls that were better than me and that I really needed to work hard into the summer. It really drove me, and this year I just wanted to go to state.”

At Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur, Breslin shot a 76 on the opening day and stood just two strokes back of Charleston’s Lauren Chappell, who has won multiple state titles. Breslin notched an 87 on the second day, but held on to secure the all-state selection.

“I was kind of hoping it would be over after nine holes,” Megan joked. “Playing in the last group and with the best of the best, they were all talking about going to Division I schools and how they all had full rides to college. It was crazy how much pressure it was.”

Only a sophomore, Breslin knows the mental aspect of the game may have gotten to her in the final round. But she did finish with a much-needed par on the final hole of the tournament.

“If you let a bad hole affect you, you’re done,” Megan said. “I shot an eight on a hole, and I had to keep it out of my mind or there was no way I would finish strong. I was playing with such good girls and they would drive the ball 100 yards more than me. Those girls actually have been in my shoes as a sophomore, and they were really encouraging toward me.”

Breslin’s twin sister, Sarah, is also very good at the sport. Sarah Breslin shot a 76, five strokes better than her sister, to win the Trico Regional.

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Neither girl likes to lose, but especially not to a family member.

“Think of what the most competitive is and go up a notch, that’s us,” Megan said. “We are competitive about literally everything, especially golf, of course. Without having a twin sister, I don’t think either of us would be as good as we are. We push each other all the time. I think it helps us out with everything.”

At home, the twins were never forced to do anything with golf.

“I never told them they had to go practice or go hit 1,000 balls,” said Pinckneyville coach Dan Breslin, father of the twins. “They wanted to do that themselves. I never wanted to push them because you always hear about parents that do that, and then the kids lose interest. They are really competitive at everything, and that’s what made them good. If one starts practicing, the other one would follow because she didn’t want her sister to beat her. It is like that with everything.”

Dan Breslin owns Red Hawk Golf Club in Tamaroa, and the family lives on the course.

“I am so grateful, and we can just come home and walk out into our backyard, and we’re on hole number seven,” Megan said. “We can literally go out at any time of the day and putt, chip or pitch. Most kids have to ask their parents to take them to the golf course, and I feel so blessed that we live where we do. I feel so privileged to have that opportunity.”

As for the future, Breslin is just hoping to build on an already good prep golf career.

“I look at Lauren Chappell, and she won her freshman and her sophomore year,” Megan said. “I don’t feel like I’m up to where I should be. Next year, I have to work so much harder. There is so much room for improvement. I just think I can only get better from here.”

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