Golf is hard enough to play against the course designer’s intentional hazards, but Mother Nature added another element to Thursday’s girls’ golf regionals — steady and gusty winds, reaching 40 miles per hour at times.
In the end, no mid-Michigan golfer made it through the Division 3 regionals at Spring Meadows Country Club, ending the season for state final-qualifying hopefuls.
The top three teams that advanced were smashed together as tight as is possible atop the leaderboard: Chelsea finished first at 373, Jackson Northwest had 374 and Tecumseh scored 375.
DeWitt took fifth place with a team score 405. Haslett was seventh at 414 in the 13-team regional. Charlotte and Eaton Rapids were also there but did not field full teams.
“We had a very good season with the players we had this year,” said DeWitt coach Steve Crowley. “We had four returning seniors who held their own. Even with some hiccups along the way we won the league so we’re very proud of everyone’s efforts for that.
“It was a little brutal out there,” Crowley said with a smile about Thursday’s weather. “Based on the scores I don’t think the wind affected us, but it may have helped us have a better chance of potentially qualifying over some other schools.”
DeWitt senior Hannah McManus, however, came within inches of reaching the state finals. After the top three teams qualify, the next three lowest individual scores from the remaining teams get to advance as individuals. McManus was tied for the final qualifying spot with a 91 and forced into a playoff with Clio senior Ayla Bogie. The duo tied the first hole before Bogie won the second.
McManus had a 6-foot par putt on the first hole come up a little short, extending the match to the par-5 second hole.
“The other girl has a little more length than Hannah, so I knew if she didn’t win the first hole it would be tougher to get it back,” Crowley said. “She was very nervous, but she did well for being in that situation for the first time. I was proud of her. She did great by putting herself in a position to get to the state finals.”
Junior Klaudia Holland led Haslett with a 94. Sophomore Sydney Adams paced the Greyhounds with a 96, and Dorothy Shewchuck had a 98 as the lone player from Charlotte.
“We’re very proud of those girls,” said Joe Dutcher, subbing for head coach Stephanie Wageman. “The course was is great shape, but the wind was huge. It was cold yet they continued to battle. They played tough out there. There are some bright things that will happen for Haslett in the future.”
HER, HOLT ADVANCE AGAIN TO STATES
Senior Pader Her fired a 1-over-par 75 to claim medalist honors and help Holt qualify for state finals for a ninth straight year with a third-place finish at the Grandville regional.
The Rams will compete next weekend in the Division 1 state finals at Michigan State’s Forest Akers East.
Junior Elle Nichols was medalist with a 77 in a regional at Augusta as Okemos took second place, while senior Kristyn Crippen took seventh with an 84 to help East Lansing to third place. Both teams advance to next weekend’s Division 2 state finals at Grand Valley State’s Meadows.