Girls' golf: State-ranked golfers set torrid pace at Red WingAlexandria finished 10th and neighboring Minnewaska was sixth in Tuesday's meet
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
HOT SHOOTERS AT RED WING
The top 11 girls in the combined state rankings (according to the Minnesota Golf Associations’s Mike Fermoyle) were all in attendance at the Red Wing tournament Tuesday – 1. Cassie Deeg, Stillwater, 2. Celia Kuenster, Cretin-Derham Hall, 3. Sara Detlefsen, Eastview, 4. McKenzie Neisen, New Prague, 5. Sarah Burnham, Wayzata, 6. Kate Smith, Detroit Lakes, 7. Devyn Gardner, Northfield, 8. Marisa Toivonen, Red Wing, 9. Abbie Mozzetti, White Bear Lake, 10. Trisa Hutchinson, Detroit Lakes, 11. Hailey Boner, Stillwater.
The top nine girls’ teams were also on hand to compete – 1. Stillwater, 2. Detroit Lakes, 3. Red Wing, 4. Minnewaska, 5. Edina, 6. Wayzata, 7. New Prague, 8. Eastview, 9. Alexandria.
Lightning, along with rain and thunder, delayed the early part of the Red Wing Invitational girls’ golf meet Tuesday for an hour, but the premier tournament went on as planned and Class AAA’s No. 7 Alexandria found itself tied for 10th when all was said and done.
“Two holes into the meet, we were halted due to a thunderstorm that passed through and dumped at least an inch or two of rain on an already wet golf course,” said Cardinal head coach Tim Zupfer. “After an hour delay, the players headed back to the course to complete the meet.
“Our team started on the much tougher back nine, and we did not necessarily handle the interruption of play as well as we could have. This was a good learning experience for our young team. After a tough start to our day, our kids played some of their best golf of the season late in their rounds. You could say we rallied.”
“This meet attracts the best teams and individuals in the state each year,” said Zupfer. “Some argue that this meet is tougher than the state tournament, because it includes the very best schools from all classes. Minnesota has three classes of golf – A, AA and AAA. The team competition was very close, with last year’s AAA state champion Wayzata winning by a narrow margin.”
Minnewaska Area, one of the top Class AA teams competing, finished in sixth place, as defending Class AAA champion Wayzata claimed top honors as Alexis Guggisberg led her squad with a ninth place finish with 76.
Sarah Burnham, ranked No. 5 in the combined state polls, was the catalyst for Wayzata’s victory as she burned up the front nine as she carded a 32 on her way to a 1-under-par 70 for the individual title.
The Cardinals were led by Amanda Bigger, who finished tied with 40-41 – 81 on the day.
“Individually, we were led by Amanda, who played her best golf this season, carding an 81,” said Zupfer. “The field was so good that it took a score of 79 to make the top 15.
“Amanda had her best putting round of the season (30 putts) and really battled for all 18 holes. She finished strong with five consecutive pars.”
Brynn Novotny was the next finisher for Alexandria as she shot 42-43 – 85, with Emily Thul carding 44-47 – 91. Natalie Amundson had a round of 45-50 – 95, Caroline Roers 46-55 – 100 and Allison Schwartz 50-59 – 109.
“Brynn had two solid nines, like Amanda, shooting 42 and 43,” said her coach. “She is striking the ball well again after struggling a little last weekend.
“Emily again had a tough hole late in her round. Without that particular hole, she shoots 41 on the front.
“Natalie had a tough time with a course that played long due to the softness of the course,” he pointed out. “It took her a while to adjust and hit enough club into the greens.
“Caroline again had one really tough nine. Her putting is also a factor in her higher scores. She will work through this and contribute lower scores soon.
“Allison got a taste of a prestigious varsity golf event for the first time,” said Zupfer of his final golfer. “I think she was a little overwhelmed and frustrated early on. She did manage to play better her 2nd nine holes. The experience she gained will prove valuable for her in the future.
“I felt like our kids learned to do what the tour players call ‘grinding’,” the coach explained. “When the conditions are tough, you need to learn to find a way to make pars and keep the bad holes to bogeys and no worse than double bogey. I was proud of our efforts today, even though some of our scores were a little higher than we are used to.”
RED WING INVITATIONAL
TEAM SCORES – 1. Wayzata 318, 2. Red Wing and Eastview 320, 4. New Prague 322, 5. Detroit Lakes 323, 6. Minnewaska 326, 7. Stillwater 333, 8. Edina 342, 9. Elk River 350, 10. Chanhassen and Alexandria, 352, 12. Forest Lake and Northfield 369, 14. Cretin-Derham Hall 370, 15. Andover 390, 16. White Bear Lake 393, 17. Red Wing Gold 400.
TOP 10 – 1. Sarah Burnham, Wayzata 32-38-70, 2. Cassie Steeg, Stillwater, 35-36-71, and Marisa Toivonen, Red Wing, 36-35-71, 4. Sara Detlefsen, Eastview, 38-34-72, 5. Celia Kuenster, CDH, 37-36-73, and McKenzie Neisen, New Prague, 37-36-73, 7. Abbie Mozzetti, WBL, 37-37-74, and Kate Smith, Detroit Lakes, 34-40-74, 9. Alexis Guggisberg, Minnewaska, 38-38-76, 10. Maddy Paulsen, Eastview, 38-40-78,
ALEXANDRIA RESULTS –Amanda Bigger 40-41-81, Brynn Novotny 42-43-85, Emily Thul 44-47-91, Natalie Amundson 45-50-95, Caroline Roers 46-54-100, Allison Schwartz 50-59-109.
MINNEWASKA RESULTS – 9. Alexis Guggisberg 38-38-76; Jenna Janu 81, Brianna Janu 82, Ellen Stensrud 87, Ashlyn Guggisberg 93, Ariel Ostrander 105.