Girls Golf: Red Wing takes first at home inviteSenior Marisa Toivonen shot a career-low 3-over par 74 Thursday on rain-soaked Mississippi National Golf Course to lead the Red Wing girls golf team to a first place finish at the Early Bird Invitational in Red Wing.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Senior Marisa Toivonen shot a career-low 3-over par 74 Thursday on rain-soaked Mississippi National Golf Course to lead the Red Wing girls golf team to a first place finish at the Early Bird Invitational in Red Wing.
Toivonen might have shot even lower if not for a triple bogey on the 18th hole, a 433-yard par 5. She still managed to medal with the lowest score of the day.
“She could have shattered it except for that triple,” Red Wing head coach Mark Herzog said of Toivonen’s career-best round. “By the back nine, (the weather) was horrible. That was a great round.”
She also double-bogeyed the second hole but her ability to drive the fairway consistently allowed more opportunities to attack the greens. A great drive on the par-4 13th hole followed by a nice approach shot set up a birdie on one of her least favorite holes, Toivonen said.
“She hasn’t always hit the ball as straight as she does now,” Herzog said. “It takes stress off. She’s taken her accuracy to another level this year. When you’re in the middle of the fairway, you always have a better angle at the green.”
The triple bogey was a frustrating way to end the round for Toivonen but shooting low 70s wasn’t a surprise, she said.
“I’ve shot it in practice,” Toivonen said. “I know I can shoot that and I can shoot lower.”
The Wingers finished with a 324 while Lakeville North was second with a 348 and Rochester Mayo came in third with a 350. Herzog said the scores will even out as the year progresses and Red Wing had a 15-stroke advantage playing on its home course.
Katie Kesti, a senior, posted an 80, good for fifth place, but she said after loosening her grip to deal with a hook she instead struggled with a slice during Thursday’s round.
“It’s our home course and I feel like I should be hitting better,” Kesti said. “I just don’t feel like I hit anything solid today … It was just everything with the long game.”
Her short game was pretty decent though, she said. She only had 29 putts in the round.
Junior Maddie Flack and seventh-grader Stephanie Herzog both finished with an 85, sophomore Nicole Schammel shot an 88 and ninth-grader Reagan Haley ended with 100 for Red Wing.
Mark Herzog said he was impressed with Flack’s play as she shot under 90 for the first time.
“That was really nice to see her do so well,” he said. “She’s got the length to shoot some low scores. She could maybe go even lower from there.”
He also said he expects Schammel to continue to improve as the season progresses and shoot under 80 but it’s a matter of consistency. Schammel shot a 40 on the first nine holes and a 48 on the final nine holes.
“She’s had two bad back 9’s,” Mark Herzog said. “Staying through 18 holes mentally for her is big.”
Her next chance will be Monday when the Wingers compete at Farmington.