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Rebels ready for Pebble Creek’s hazards

Lots of trees, water hazards and sand traps await the Rebels at Pebble Creek, but the veteran group from Lincoln HI are ready for the challenge

June 11, 2012
By Joe Brown ( , Marshall Independent

In order to try and do its best in the Class A state golf championship, the Lincoln HI girls' team has tried to put itself through the worst.

At a course like Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker, the sand traps, elevated fairways and water hazards are plentiful, so the Rebels have worked on ways to get out of tough situations.

"We've been going around the golf course in Hendricks and finding the worst possible putts you can come up with," said Lincoln HI golf coach Greg Gile. "We've spent a lot of time on speed putting, racing-type putts, the kinds you just dread to have."

Back at the state tournament for the third time in four years, preparing for this kind of hazard golf has the Rebels hopeful they can hop up in the standings.

"It helps a lot because there's a lot of sand on the course and the greens are really tough," said senior Taylor Ness.

Finishing in fifth place in both 2009 and 2011, Lincoln HI's four seniors - Ness, Malorie Midtaune, Danielle Buseth and Chelsey Benz - have one simple goal: get into the top four.

"For us seniors, when we went to state in ninth grade, our goal was to get back to state as seniors," Midtaune said.

Ness added, "It's been kind of surreal this week. (The seniors) have always been together, and we work all really well together."

Joining Lincoln HI in the Class A field are Sleepy Eye, Ortonville, Barnesville, Legacy Christian Academy, Fosston, Mesabi East and last year's state champions, Lewiston-Altura.

But golfing at Pebble Creek for the third time - or in Midtaune's case, the fourth time - the Rebels are wise enough to know they have to beat the course before they can beat the other teams.

"They don't only have sand traps, but in some spots, they got sand traps on one side and water on the other," Gile said. "So if you shoot long, you're in the water."

When the senior foursome were freshmen, Ness remembers how bad the course chewed them up at times.

"When we were freshmen, we played in the trees the whole entire round," Ness said. "Then, you have to choose whether you want to hit the long shot or not.

"It's a tough course, but I think we can conquer it this time around."

Miranda Jerzak opens things up for the Rebels on Tuesday with a 7:30 a.m. tee-off time, followed by Benz, Buseth, Midtaune, Ness and freshman Kyra Gores, whose Section 3A score of 85 has her in Lincoln HI's No. 1 spot.

"It's a difficult thing since we've had Malorie and Taylor golfing at the one and two spots all season long," Gile said. "But for a freshman, she's approaching it with quite a bit of maturity and a pretty tactical approach. It's not the spontaneity you'd see out of a typical freshman."

The praise for Gores didn't end there.

"She hits the ball just a country mile," Gile added. "I think she's the best freshman in the state, personally."

After putting their focus on beating the Marshall Golf Club in the section tournament, it was a quick turnaround to prepare for Becker. But with years of experience for the bulk of the team, the Rebels are ready to become a threat in the team tournament.

"There's a few holes we have to watch during our practice round and learn how to play them safe," Midtaune said.



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