Wingers, Blue Jackets in front of defending champions at state golf
The back nine holes of Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan can change a tournament in a hurry and Detroit Lakes sits 12 shots out of first place after holding a lead at the turn of the Minnesota Class AA State girls golf tournament Tuesday, June 11.
Behind a bogey-free, 1-under-par, opening nine holes by junior Anna Cihak, the Lakers led Minnewaska-Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at the turn by three strokes. Cihak birdied the opening hole and parred out the remaining eight.
Her back nine started great with another birdie on hole No. 10, but the toughest stretch of the course produced four straight bogeys.
“I just told myself to keep playing and keep going,” said Cihak. “I was playing pretty well throughout the day.”
Cihak was in the grouping with defending champion and first round leader Sophia Yoemans of Red Wing who carded a 3-under-par, 69 to open a four-stroke lead on fellow senior and teammate Leah Herzog (+1, 73) and Jacqueline Gossen of Minnewaska/BBE.
“Sophia is a great player; she makes everything look really easy,” Cihak said.
Yoemans provided an extra level to Cihak’s mindset during the round but DL’s No. 2 golfer took the No. 1 spot on the team accepting the challenge. Tomorrow’s plan is for more of the same.
“Come out and shoot hopefully, the same score, even better,” she said. “You just have to control what you can control.”
Laker freshman McKenna Mallow posted the team’s second best round of the day of 5-over-par 77 landing in a tie for sixth place. She hit a seven iron to five feet and birdied the sixth hole on the way to an even par 36 on the front nine.
“I definitely want to improve to not looking towards the future on holes and just being in the moment,” Mallow said.
Shelby Busker, DL’s top golfer all season, was a stroke behind Mallow shooting a 78, good enough for a top 10 finish in a tie for ninth place. Like her teammates, the back nine produced far more bogeys than the front. Busker went out at just 1-over-par.
DL’s No. 6 golfer Evan Westrum added to the team score with a 95.
Minnewaska/BBE leads the two-day tournament with a team score of 313, six strokes ahead of Yoemans, Herzog and the Wingers (319). The Lakers sit in third at 325 in a three-team race as DL is 26 strokes in front of fourth place Jordan (351).
The way the back nine is playing this week, big changes could hit the scoreboard on holes 12 through 14 on championship Wednesday.
“We just have to go out and play our own game and take one hole at a time,” said Mallow.
Detroit Lakes is chasing a fourth consecutive team state championship.
Minnesota Class AA State Girls Golf tournament, Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, June 11
Team scores: Minnewaska/BBE +25, 313, Red Wing +31, 319, Detroit Lakes +37, 325, Jordan +63, 351, International Falls +69, 357, Visitation +88, 376, Albany +95, 383,
Top 5 Individuals
1 Sophia Yoemans, Red Wing -3, 69
2 Leah Herzog, Red Wing +1, 73
2 Jacqueline Gossen, Minnewaska/BBE +1, 73
4 Anna Cihak, Detroit Lakes +3, 75
5 Bergen Senf, Fairmont +4, 76
Detroit Lakes (325)
Anna Cihak +3 75
McKenna Mallow 77
Shelby Busker 78
Evan Westrum 95
McKenna Burhans 98
Hanna Knoop 102