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Girls Golf: Red Wing rocks stacked field for home win

Red Wing's Stephanie Herzog shot a 69 in Tuesday's Winger Invitational at Mississippi National Golf Links, finishing second after losing a three-hole playoff. (Joe Brown/RiverTown Multimedia)1 / 4
Red Wing's Sophia Yoemans chips onto the green on hole No. 13 at Mississippi National Golf Links during Tuesday's Winger Invitational. (Joe Brown/RiverTown Multimedia)2 / 4
Lake City's Ava Wallerich putts for a birdie attempt during Tuesday's Winger Invitational at Mississippi National Golf Links. Wallerich tied for a team-best score of 75. (Joe Brown/RiverTown Multimedia)3 / 4
Lake City's Lexi Geolat shot a round of 77, helping the Tigers tie Edina with a score of 307 during the Winger Invitational Tuesday at Mississippi National Golf Links. (Joe Brown/RiverTown Multimedia)4 / 4

Seven of the top 10 girls' golf teams in Minnesota, and the top six golfers in the state, all came down to Mississippi National Golf Links on Tuesday.

And when the final scores were added up, the Wingers were queens of their home course, winning the Winger Invitational for the first time since 2011.

“We played really well. Obviously our top three played fantastic,” said Red Wing girls golf coach Mark Herzog. “Then you get a fourth score of 89, and it shows if we can get our fourth score down there, we can compete. Today, the difference for us was our top three. We made up nine strokes on our two-three, and our fourth was able to stay within striking distance.”

The Wingers, ranked second overall in the Minnesota Golf Association poll this week, had a team score of 304, which bested top-ranked Edina and third-ranked Lake City, which both finished with 307. The Hornets were given the nod for second place after having a lower score from their fifth golfer.

“It was just a good effort overall,” said Tigers head coach Steve Randgaard. “Both of the Wallerichs (Lidia and Ava) played really well with 75s, then Lexi (Geolat) with a 77 and Olivia (Matzke) with an 80. Our top four kids have been carrying us all year and they did it again today.”

Sixth-ranked Forest Lake was fourth with 320, followed by Wayzata with 326 and fifth-ranked Lakeville North at 328. Ninth-ranked Chanhassen was ninth with 340, and No. 10 Stillwater was 14th in the 15-team meet with 367.

“We have very good players down here, and very good teams except for maybe Detroit Lakes or Minnewaska, which are two teams we'd like to come down,” said Red Wing senior Stephanie Herzog, who carded a team-best round of 69.

Stephanie had some extra golf to play after Edina's Grace Kellar also shot a 69. After playing even through two playoff holes, Kellar was finally able to surpass Stephanie on the third try for medalist honors.

Stephanie is the top-ranked golfer in the state, according to the MGA, followed by Visitation's Anni Heck. The Wingers' Sophia Yoemans is third, followed by teammate Leah Herzog, Lakeville North's Megan Welch and Kellar.

“I played pretty consistent. I think I only had one bogey and that was because I went in the water,” Stephanie said. “On the front nine, I had five one-putts and a lot of them were for par. I was just handing in there so I could keep plugging away and that gives me more confidence going to the next hole.”

Behind Stephanie, Yoemans carded a 71, followed by 75 from Leah. A big jolt came from the fourth spot, where Sydney Flack carded an 89. Emily Otteson came in with 100, and Ava Bremseth had a 107 for Red Wing.

“If we get a fourth score like that, it's hard to beat us,” Mark said. “You get down to 304, anywhere under 310, that's pretty good. A lot of our scores you see around the 330-to-340 range because that fourth score is around 100. … You can't underestimate playing on your home course, it's probably eight-to-10 shots there.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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