Fourth consecutive section banner comes with ease for DL girls’ team
The doubt meter was signaling “very low” regarding whether the Detroit Lakes girls’ golf team would be able to defend their Section 8-2A championship Monday at Walker’s Longbow Golf Course.
Of course, the meter was correct, as the Lakers clinched their fourth-straight section title and placed in the top four individual slots, as well, with DL finishing with a 310, 48 strokes ahead of second-place Perham.
The only mild surprise was who wasn’t in that top four for the Lakers, as 2012 defending state champion freshman Kate Smith shot an uncharacteristic 82, one of the very few times she has topped 80 this season.
Nevertheless, the Lakers’ amazing depth shown through, as Matty Tschider took medalist honors with a four-over par 76, followed by teammates Trisa Hutchinson with a 77, Natalie Roth at 78 and Emma Thompson with a 79 to clinch top four honors.
Sydney Busker, who finished as DL’s sixth golfer, still shot better than the majority of the field with a very good 83.
“That’s golf, it happens,” said DL head coach Cali Harrier of Smith’s 82. “I am pretty sure she will be very motivated for state now.”
Smith is the top rated golfer in the state with an average of 74.9, while Hutchinson is No. 4 at 76.40, Roth fifth at 77.10 and Tschider is tied for seventh with a 78.40.
That doesn’t bode well for the Class 2A state field, which takes to The Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Lakers averaged a 308.5 this season, by far the top team score in the state. Their depth is unmatched, with the No. 6 golfer, which was Thompson in the section, usually shooting near or under 80.
The section meet was also the sixth time this season the Lakers had four scores break 80.
“It’s cool you can go into a meet and know all your teammates have your back,” Tschider said. “We can pick each other up when one of us has a bad day.”
Tschider started her round by shooting a 39 and finished with a strong 37 for her meet-low 76.
She was also the sixth different Laker who has won medalist honors this season.
“Overall, I had solid iron play and was putting well (30 putts on the day),” Tschider said. “The only bad hole was on No. 7, when I had to take a relief, but it was nice to calm down after that.
“It really feels good winning medalist and heading into state playing well.”
Next up was Hutchinson, who will be making her fourth trip to state as just a sophomore.
Hutchinson fired a 39-38 for her 77, which has been her forté all season – consistency.
“It does help relax you when playing, because you know if you’re having a bad round, your teammates can pick you up,” Hutchinson said. “There’s six good golfers on our team and if you are not shooting well, five others can shoot par or better.”
Hutchinson had three birdies on the day, including back-to-back ones on holes five and six. That was after starting her day with two consecutive bogeys, before rebounding right back with a birdie on her third hole.
After winning state last year and taking third the year before, state experience will play a role for the heavily-favored Lakers heading into Jordan next week.
“We learned that every stroke matters and you need to play every shot,” Hutchinson said. “You also need to play relaxed and with composure.
“But most of all, we need to have fun playing.”
Another steady scorer this season has been Roth, who came in third with a 37-41-78.
Roth feels her game is peaking, as well, even though the greens didn’t treat her the best.
“I feel this was the best day this season I was hitting the ball, but I struggled with my putting,” Roth said. “After the first nine (where she shot a 41), I was glad to start new on the next nine.”
Roth was able to record two birdies on her back nine, the second coming off a blind approach shot, which landed close to the hole.
The Lakers will now be defending their 2012 Class 2A state championship, which came on a new state meet record of 619.
There are some other targets the Lakers will be shooting for, besides another state title, which includes the all-time low score for 18 holes, which is 296.
DL already has a school record of 299 this season, so that 296 set by Minnewaska is well within reach.
“We do have an advantage with some of our girls in their fourth state tournament already and none of them seniors,” Harrier said. “The girls are coming into state confident, but they know it will not be handed to them. They know they have to work for it.”
Work gets underway Tuesday, starting at 11:40 a.m. at The Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course.
Laker results - Section 8-2A meet at Longbow Golf Course in Walker, Monday, May 3
Team results (*State qualifier): *Detroit Lakes 310, Perham 358, Park Rapids 390, Wadena-Deer Creek 392, Roseau 392, Crookston 394.
Top 4 individuals: Medalist – Matty Tschider (DL) 39-37-76; Trisa Hutchinson (DL) 39-38-77; Natalie Roth (DL) 37-41-78; Emma Thompson (DL) 42-37-79.
DL results: Matty Tschider 39-37-76; Trisa Hutchinson 39-38-77; Natalie Roth 37-41-78; Emma Thompson 42-37-79; Kate Smith 40-42-82; Sydney Busker 43-40-83.