Leah Herzog, the recently graduated Miss Minnesota Golf Award winner from Red Wing, lost to her sister, Stephanie, in the 2018 Women’s Division championship at the Resorters. She avenged that on Saturday by winning the 2019 title against her cousin, Madison Herzog.
“It was super fun this year because I got to play a family member again,” Leah said. “It was fun to kind of get revenge, making that championship match again and just having a better round. Last year, I played pretty bad the last day, which was kind of a bummer. Today, I played a lot better, so that was good just hitting the ball a lot better. It made it more fun and enjoyable.”
Leah won it on the 18th hole by a 1-up score when Madison missed a chip-in that she needed for any chance to extend the match. Madison conceded the hole to Leah, who was set up for a birdie putt from about 10 feet.
Golf is simply apart of the Herzog family. Stephanie plays at the University of Iowa. Madison is a sophomore at North Dakota State University, and Leah will be a freshman at the University of Nebraska, joining her sister in the Big Ten this fall.
Each summer the last handful of years has been a family get-together at the Resorters for the Herzogs, so it has become commonplace for some members of the family to have to play each other throughout that Women’s Division.
“We kind of know every year that at some round we’ll end up playing each other,” Leah said. “It’s more fun because we actually know each other. Then again, there’s some awkwardness because we are family so with giving putts, sometimes you don’t want to be too rude about it. You want to be generous, but you’re still trying to win. It’s different, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Madison and Leah shared some laughs throughout Saturday’s final round as they played a tightly-contested match all afternoon.
The biggest lead for either of them was 2-up when Leah won No. 11 with a bogey. Madison answered right back, pulling even two holes later after winning Nos. 12 and 13 with a birdie and a par.
Leah’s birdie on the par-five 14th moved her back to 1-up, and that’s where things stood before Madison’s par win on 17. Leah proved steady on 18 with a good drive and a tight approach shot that ended up cementing the win.
“It was really fun,” Leah said. “It was back and forth the whole day. We were all square for most of the round and then we’d go 1-up, 1-down, just kind of back and forth. I lost 17 so we went into 18 all square, and I won that hole. It was a good way to end it.”
Leah is a regular when it comes to competing for tournament titles in her young career, and she was excited to add her first Resorters championship to her resume.
“I think it’s really fun because it’s a whole week of match play,” she said. “It’s not just a two-day tournament. It goes the whole week, so you have to be on top of your game all week to keep going because match play, anything can happen. That’s a lot of fun.”