Girls Golf: Wingers win home invite, Tigers second
The first showdown between new Section 1AA rivals Red Wing and Lake City took place Thursday at Mississippi National Golf Links. The Wingers took full advantage of their backyard, shooting a 309 to take top honors in the 12-team invitational, 24 strokes better than the second-place Tigers.
“We played really good,” said Red Wing head coach Mark Herzog. “It got cold, and then it got nice the last three or four holes. I was really surprised at how well we played Tuesday, and how we played today. Nicole’s back nine was amazing … Stephanie and Reagan were solid on the front. I mean, those are really good scores.”
Nicole Schammel led the way for Red Wing, shooting 2-under-par on the back nine to come in with a 74. Two of Schammel’s teammates came in right behind the senior medalist as freshman Stephanie Herzog fired a 76, and junior Reagan Haley closed with a career-best 77. All six Wingers broke 90 with Kayla Oberding (82), Sophie Yoemans (87) and Solveig Christenson (89) all posting scores in the 80s.
“We’re all hitting the ball well right now, and hopefully it will keep improving, pick up a few things that we’re lacking,” Schammel said. “And I think it was awesome that our whole varsity team shot under 90 today. That’s a really big deal.”
The course certainly helped Red Wing pull away from the field, but so did the fact that the Wingers already played. Lake City had not competed prior to Thursday, taking only a few spins around their home course.
“I was very impressed with our opening round,” said Lake City head coach Steve Randgaard. “That’s the first time we got 18 holes of competition in this year, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought we could get four in the 80s somewhere, but we’ve only played Lake City’s course. I know a lot of the kids wasted some shots around the greens, but hopefully that will come with some more practice. But I think our contact wasn’t too bad overall.”
Randgaard said he hoped for a 340, so the seven-strokes the Tigers shaved off of the expectation wasn’t “too bad.” And Randgaard’s goal of four in the 80s was also low as five Tigers managed to break 90 including Emily Schimbeno (81), Lidia Wallerich (83), Erin Pennington (84), Claire Gruber (85) and Lexi Geolat (89).
Herzog estimated a home course being worth 15 strokes, so a theoretical 324 would have made things much closer with Lake City.
“I think both teams are really good, and being on our home course gave us an advantage. And we played really, really good,” Herzog said. “But golf is really fickle. Next week, we might not play that well, and this was their first match…I thought we played great, and they played really good. If we (both) play solid on a neutral course, it would be really close. But we have 13 tournaments before we get to that.”
The Tigers, meanwhile, know what they’re up against.
“It’s a good measuring stick,” Randgaard said. “They’re going to be very tough to beat. We’re going to have to play very well.”