Prep linksters battle the elements

Prep linksters battle the elements


Prep linksters battle the elements


Umbrellas were out in force Friday during the first round of play in the MHSAA Girls’ Golf Finals action across the state.

Yet despite rainy, windy and brisk conditions, local linkksters aas well as golfers from across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula turned in some decent scores — and in some cases, some very excellent numbers.

Following is a rundown of Friday’s first round of play at sites involving local teams and individuals:


At Bedford Valley Golf Club in Battle Creek, the 18-hole layout that is part of the Gull Lake View chain of courses that’s owned by the Scott Family hosted 15 full teams and 15 individual qualifiers from regionals — with 2011 champion Grosse Ile owning first-day team scoring honors with a 349.

Second was Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 355, third was Detroit Country Day at 363, fourth was 2010 champ Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern at 367, fifth was Jackson Northwest at 372, and sixth was Hastings at 374.

Also, local squad Marshall — making its fifth straight finals appearance and sixth in the past seven seasons — was in 12th with a 425.

Scoring for the Redhawks of the SMAC East (who were 12th at state last year) were senior Amanda Genise with a 91, sophomore Sammi Price with a 102, sophomores Annie Cape and Shannon Hicks with 116s, and junior Jill Puckett with a no-count 124.

“It was a tough day out there for everybody, what with the wet conditions and the wind and all … but we’re a young team, we’re not very long off the tee, and Bedford Valley here is a long course. So, we knew we were going to struggle a bit, and we did,” said coach Dick Hamilton, in his 33rd campaign at the Marshall helm.

“We just didn’t adjust to the speed of the greens very well when they got a lot of water on them, and overall we played pretty poorly for us. Still, I’m hoping that with better weather (Saturday), we’ll play better. And since this is Amanda Genise’s fourth straight year at state and her final year at state, I’m hoping she especially does well.”

Also at Bedford Valley as individuals from local schools were Harper Creek senior Jozlin Johnson and Coldwater junior Anna Wendorf. Johnson, making her second consecutive finals appearance, opened with an 89; and Wendorf, a first-time state-meet competitor, had a 99.

“The weather out there, it was pretty strange and pretty tough to play in today. It felt like there was different weather going on at every hole,” Johnson said. “One hole it would be kind of clear weather, and the next one there’d be a downpour. So, an 89 in these conditions, I’ll take it.”

A score of 88 or better was needed to be in the top-10-and-ties group on Friday for individual medalist honors. Leading the way with 81s were Ayia Bogio of Clio and Natalie Blazo of Dearborn Divine Child.

“It was unfortunate that the girls had to play in the weather we had today, but it’s just really good for Bedford Valley to be hosting this state finals and girls’ and boys’ state finals for the next five years,” said Bedford Valley head professional Dean Kolstad, speaking on behalf of the GLV chain. “This is a great tournament for high school players — I put it right up there with the Michigan PGA Senior Open Championship that we’ve been hosting for many years — and hopefully there will be better weather tomorrow for these fine young student-athletes to play in.”

For complete scores, please see


At The Meadows Golf Course at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, No. 3-ranked Lakeview — making its 10th straight finals appearance and coming off a tied-for-fourth-place effort last fall — was second after Day 1 with a 354. That was 13 shots back of first-place and three-time-defending state champ Muskegon Mona Shores and its 341.

Tied for third were Okemos and Birmingham Seaholm at 358.

Individually, Lakeview senior Danielle Little was the the first-day medalist with an excellent round of 78. The only other golfer in the 70s was Mona Shores’ Hailey Hrynewich with a 79.

Local individual Cydney Martell, a sophomore from Gull Lake High, opened with a 98.

Aside from Little’s 78 for Lakeview, the Spartans received an 89 from junior Amanda Noakes, a 93 from junior Megan Strole, a 94 from senior Sarah Vocke and a no-count 113 from senior Lexi Popovich.

Included in Vocke’s round was a hole in one on the 142-yard, par-3 No. 7 hole.

“It was pretty bad playing conditions in our 6 1/2-hour round, with only about the last 2 1/2 hours of kind of better weather at the end. It was very wet and windy. Yet despite the conditions, I was pretty happy with our scoring team-wise … and Danielle had just a great round again,” said Lakeview coach Tony Evans.

“I’m not sure we can catch Mona Shores for first place (Saturday), but that’s what we’ll strive for. We all want to go out there and hope we can improve on the rounds we shot today in conditions a bit more favorable … and yeah, maybe we can catch Mona Shores. Anything’s possible if we just go out there and play the best we can.”

For complete scores, please see

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