MINNEOTA - When conditions are constantly changing on the golf course, a player's focus must remain steady.
That's the situation golfers found themselves in Tuesday at the Minneota Girls' Golf Invitational at Countryside Golf Club. One minute golfers were playing under sunny skies and warm temperatures and the next minute they were getting drenched by a brief downpour. One constant was a stiff wind, which made it that much worse on the golfers as they were getting pelted with by rain.
"I don't know if any adults would have stayed on the course and golfed," Minneota coach Ralph Hagen said. "There was no lightning, there was no thunder, but it went from downpour to sun, warm to cold. Those kids hung in there."
Photo by Matt Dahlseid
Lincoln HI golfer Kyra Gores follows through on her drive on the par-4 4th hole at Countryside Golf Club in Minneota Tuesday in the Minneota Girls’ Golf Invitational. Gores placed fourth individually with a 94 and helped the Rebels to a first-place finish in the 10-team competition.
The Lincoln HI Rebels proved to be the most resilient team Tuesday, firing a score of 390 to take top honors in the 10-team tournament. They edged Fulda by two strokes. Minneota came in third with a 411, Canby was fourth at 426 and Dawson-Boyd came in fifth with a 432.
Fulda's Tessa Kramer was the individual medalist with a round of 89, Lakeview's Steph Werner followed with a 91, and Lincoln HI senior Malorie Midtaune and freshman Kyra Gores came in third and fourth with rounds of 93 and 94, respectively. Seniors Danielle Buseth (101) and Chelsey Benz (102) rounded out the top four scores for the Rebels.
Lincoln HI head coach Greg Gile said the key to his team playing well was having the proper gear and he proper mindset.
Team Scores: 1. Lincoln HI 390, 2. Fulda 392, 3. Minneota 411, 4. Canby 426, 5. Dawson-Boyd 432, 6. Wabasso 434, 7. Lakeview 453, 8. Westbrook-Walnut Grove 456, 9. MACCRAY 459. Incomplete: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton.
Top 10 Individuals: 1. Tessa Kramer (Fulda) 89; 2. Steph Werner (LV) 91; 3. Malorie Midtaune (LHI) 93; 4. Kyra Gores (LHI) 94; 5. Hannah Kruger (RTR) 94; 6. Abby Herding (WWG) 95; 7. Briana Jenniges (Wab) 95; 8. Sandra Brau (Wab) 97; 9. Ashley Abraham (D-B) 98; 10. Sarah Stenge (Fulda) 98.
Canby: Taylor Gorder 107; Scarlet Thorston 101; Natalie Morris 117; Kristy Schmidt 101.
Dawson-Boyd: Ashley Abraham 98; Tracy Polzine 113; RaeAnn Tuff 114; Tiana Kruse 107.
Fulda: Tessa Kramer 89; Sarah Strenge 98; Katie Reynolds 103; Caitlin Strenge 102.
Lakeview: Steph Werner 91; Hailey Matthys 110; Whitney Fischer 112, Briatta Buntjer 140.
Lincoln HI: Malorie Midtaune 93; Kyra Gores 94; Chelsey Benz 102; Danielle Buseth 101.
MACCRAY: Baille Hauser 99; Kendra Kienholz 108; Karissa Kienholz 110; Tiffany Mogard 142.
Minneota: Katelyn Kack 106; Alyssa Engler 99; Megan Evers 100; Heidi Guttormsson 106.
RTR: Hannah Kruger 94; Kelsey Stanek 111.
Wabasso: Brianna Jenniges 95; Sandra Brau 97; Kendra Haase 131; Jenna Henriksen 111.
WWG: Abby Herding 95; Paige Erickson 105; Avoree Bakken 113; Deziree Koenig 143.
"We issue hand warmers to the players and they all have rain gear," said Gile, who followed his girls through the first nine holes before heading to Cottonwood to join the Rebels' boys team. "A couple have umbrellas, but in that kind of wind they don't do much good.
"We've spent some time playing in weather like this. It's not fun, but it's something they know they'll have to run into and they know it's best to just try to keep a positive attitude."
A familiarity with the course also helped the Rebels' comfort level, as the team had already competed in Minneota a few times this season.
"We've played this course so much that we kind of knew what to do," Midtaune said. "The main thing was to just stay out of trouble and hit it as straight as you possibly can."
Although she didn't win Tuesday, Midtaune is one of three Lincoln HI golfers that have won individual medalist honors so far this season. Gile said the team's balance from top to bottom has led to the squad's success.
The Minneota girls are also starting to see that balance develop, which has helped the team stay successful even with the loss of Taya Kockelman, the Vikings' top golfer from last season.
Junior Alyssa Engler led the Vikings on Tuesday with her round of 99. Megan Evers, a sophomore, carded a 100, while senior Katelyn Kack and seventh-grader Heidi Guttormsson each shot a 106 to finish in the top 25 individually.
Canby's Scarlet Thorston and Kristy Schmidt sparked their team to a fourth-place finish, each shooting a round of 101. Dawson-Boyd's top score came from Ashley Abraham, who finished ninth individually with a 98.
Wabasso had two golfers finish in the top eight Tuesday. Briana Jenniges was seventh with a 95, and Sandra Brau shot a 97 to finish eighth. The Rabbits were sixth as a team with a score of 434.
Werner's 91 led Lakeview to a seventh-place finish. The Lakers had a team total of 453. Westbrook-Walnut Grove's Abby Herding was sixth individually with a 95 and her team finished in eighth (456).
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton had just two golfers on Tuesday and was unable to post a team score. The Knights' Hannah Kruger still made an impression on the leaderboard, finishing fifth with a 94.