There are four golfers on the Pekin girls golf team. That’s it.

Four scores count in a match. So the Dragons have the minimum amount of golfers to have a team. And those golfers are quite inexperienced on the links.

But Pekin coach Chris Neville is entering the season with optimism.

“This is going to be a good group to work with,” he said. “They’re athletic and picking things up more quickly than most of the new players I’ve had over the 28 years of doing this.”

The Dragons lost 171-268 Tuesday to Normal Community in their season-opening match on the front nine at Ironwood Golf Club in Normal.

Lauren Minkel led the way for Pekin with 62. Hannah Schoon (67), Olivia Torrey (69) and Remi Wagemann (70) also played for the Dragons.

Amanda Gravelle led the Iron (2-0) with a 3-over-par 39.

“Normal Community was a quality opponent, and I mean quality in several ways,” Neville said. “First, they can play -- 171 this early in the season is a great sign for them.

“Secondly, and far more important (Tuesday), their golfers were patient and polite with our golfers. Three of our golfers (Schoon, Wagemann and Torrey) had never been in a golf competition until Tuesday. In fact, they’d never set foot on a golf course until last Monday (Aug. 12).”

Schoon had a par and bogey on the par-3’s Tuesday.

“That makes me think we should move our home matches to Fon du Lac Golf Course in East Peoria (a par-3 course),” Neville joked.

Next for Pekin is a match Thursday against Peoria Richwoods at Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.