Card girls' golf: Alexandria second at Wadena, third at St. Cloud
The Cardinal girls finished second at Wadena Saturday, unable to put together four scores low enough to win.
Two of the best scores, however, came from Natalie Amundson and Emily Thul as they posted rounds of 79 and 80 to earn medalist and runner-up honors.
"We shot a team score of 343, which was eight shots higher than we shot two and a half weeks ago on the same course," said head coach Tim Zupfer. "Natalie was the meet medalist and Emily tied for second individually. This was Emily's lowest score in high school competition."
Grand Rapids picked up the team victory with a 338, five strokes ahead of Alexandria.
"We are getting close to shooting something really low as a team," said the coach. "We have now had four players shoot 81 or better in a meet this season.
"We have also had four different players shoot our low individual score in competition. It is this depth that gives us a chance to really shoot something special. This should give us the confidence we need as we are about to enter the post season."
Amundson's round consisted of a 40 on the front nine and 39 on the back, while Thul carded rounds of 39 and 41.
"Natalie had a very good round striking the ball, hitting most of the fairways off the tee and eight of 18 greens in regulation," said Zupfer. "She only had one double bogey on her scorecard and made a number of clutch putts.
"Emily had back-to-back birdies on holes 5 and 6, which helped keep her to a score of 39 on the front nine. She also finished her round with three consecutive pars to keep her score at 80. She has been very close to shooting this low for a number of her rounds. Today, she was able to finish strong. This is a good confidence booster for her."
Caroline Roers had rounds of 46-44 for a total 90, while Amanda Bigger carded rounds of 44-50 for 94. Shelby Iverson shot 48-51 for a 99 and Sadee Kirckof finished 56-51 for a total 107.
"Caroline did not strike her irons well today," said her coach. "She also had trouble with her putting. Overall, this made it difficult for her to post a good score.
"Amanda had trouble with most of all her game today," he added. "She is usually a good ball striker, but today hit very few fairways off the tee and even fewer greens in regulation. Normally, she could rely on a very good short game to save more pars. Today was not her day.
"Shelby is getting close to shooting even lower. She is striking the ball with more consistency, but still has three or four holes that she is victimized by. Look for her to shoot something in the low 90s or better soon.
"Sadee Kirckof saw her first action in a varsity competition on an unfamiliar course," said Zupfer. "She was a little disappointed with a 56 on the front nine, but shot a very respectable 51 on the back nine. She is one of a talented group of JV players that continues to improve."
ALEXANDRIA GIRLS' GOLF AT WADENA
TEAM SCORES - 1. Grand Rapids 338, 2. Alexandria 343, 3. Bemidji 358, 4. Staples/Motley 360, 5. Park Rapids 369, 6. Moorhead 377, 7. Wadena-Deer Creek 388, 8. Nevis 460, Menahga-Sebeka incomplete.
MEDALIST - Natalie Amundson, Alex, 79.
ALEXANDRIA RESULTS - 1. Amundson, 2. Emily Thul 80, Caroline Roers 90, Amanda Bigger 94, Shelby Iverson 99, Sadee Kirckof 107.
The Cardinal girls' golf team finished third at the St. Cloud Invite last Thursday but still increased its lead in the Central Lakes Conference with a team score of 331.
Alexandria finished 15 shots behind top-ranked Detroit Lakes and eight shots behind St. Cloud Apollo. The Cardinals still gained ground in the CLC standings by finishing in front of St. Cloud Tech. The Tigers were second coming into the meet before shooting a 350.
Amanda Bigger and Natalie Amundson both tied for ninth place with an 83. Bigger went 41, 42, while Amundson reversed those scores, shooting a 42 on the front before finishing up with a 41 on the back.
"Both Amanda and Natalie continue to play consistent golf for all 18 holes," head coach Tim Zupfer said. "While both of them finished in the top 10, they each felt like they missed opportunities to score even lower. Amanda had a much-improved putting day, with only 31 putts total."
Emily Thul kept her scores in the low-to-mid 40s on both nines as she carded an 88. Brynn Novotny was Alexandria's fourth scorer with a 92.
"Emily played many good holes but struggled to get any of her birdie putts to drop," Zupfer said. "She also had four holes that she three-putted. If she can keep striking the ball well, she will continue to improve her scores.
"Brynn struggled with a stiff back again. She had a day where nothing came easy. To her credit, she finished the last three holes of her round 1-under par. It just seemed to take her so long to get her game going."
ST. CLOUD INVITE
TEAM RESULTS - 1. DL - 331; 2. Apollo - 338; 3. Alexandria - 346; 4. Tech - 350; 5. Buffalo - 353; 6. Becker - 361; 7. Staples-Motley - 362; 8. Brainerd - 367; 9. Rocori - 372; Willmar - 372; Monticello - 372; 12. St. Michael-Albertville - 378; 13. Fergus Falls - 393; 14. Marshall - 398; 15. Sartell - 405; 16. Rogers - 425; 17. Sauk Rapids-Rice - Inc.
ALEXANDRIA SCORES - Bigger - 41, 42 - 83; Amundson - 42, 41 - 83; Thul - 45, 43 - 88; Novotny - 46, 46 - 92; Caroline Roers - 50, 45 - 95; Shelby Iverson - 49, 49 - 98