Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories honoring the top local high school student-athletes in each of the fall sports. Today, we recognize the best girls golfers.
When Marshfield’s Molly Field describes the medalist honors she earned at the Sparta regional girls golf tournament, the word she uses is “satisfying.”
But when she talks about the Tigers team for qualifying for the sectional meet, another word comes to mind.
“Everything. It was everything,” Field said. “Team is everything in all sports. … When I found out that we made sectional, there was the realization that all our hard work was worth it. Being medalist was fun, but it doesn’t mean anything without your team right there behind you. That meant so much more than what I did myself.”
For helping a young Tigers team exceed expectations — as well as her own individual accomplishments — Field has been named Gannett Central Wisconsin Media’s girls golfer of the year.
Due to inexperience, Marshfield wasn’t sure whether qualifying for the sectional was a realistic goal. Field did her part to help the younger players get ready for the season and kept up the encouragement through the postseason.
“I just told them we had to go out there and leave it all out on the course,” she said. “There’s no time to question or be nervous.”
Surprisingly, it was Field feeling the jitters on her first hole of the regional. On her first her hole, she hit the green in regulation and promptly four-putted. But she looked at her father and coach, Mike Field, and their exchange helped soothe her nerves.
“I talked to my dad, and we had a moment,” Field said.
By the time she hit the next tee, Field was back on her game. She went on to shoot an 82, winning the tournament by two strokes.
“I looked at her on the second hole and could see she was breathing again,” coach Field said. “She was able to gather her thoughts and stay focused on golf.”
Another of Field’s goals was to qualify for state, and she wasn’t quite able to achieve that one. She was in contention until late in the round when she sent a shot from the bunker over the green. Things snowballed from there, and she ended up taking a nine.
She regained her composure, but knew her chance at qualifying was gone. She ended up shooting a 90 and placing 12th.
“It’s heartbreaking to look back and know I could have done it if not for that one hole — that one very, very bad hole,” she said.
That hardly put a damper on a season that included medalist honors at Neillsville and Eau Claire during CloverVally Golf League play, a third-place finish in the CVGL season standings, the regional medalist honors — and the Tigers qualifying for the sectional.
It was a fitting to end to Field’s golf career — she is attending the University of Wisconsin and is not planning on golfing there.
But her commitment to the team will continue.
“Somewhere down the road, I’d love to coach the Marshfield Tigers,” she said.
Lou Babiarz can be reached at 715-845-0700. Find him on Twitter as @loubabiarz
Molly Field, Marshfield, sr. — Field won medalist honors at three tournaments (Neillsville, Eau Claire, Sparta regional), finished third in the CloverValley Golf League standings and placed 12th at the sectional.
Jessica Barber, SPASH, fr. — Barber finished eighth in the final CVGL standings, highlighted by a second-place finish at Marshfield. Barber was 23rd at the regional and 19th at the Chippewa Falls sectional.
Cierra Botcher, Wisconsin Rapids, so. — Botcher was seventh in the final CVGL standings and had three top-five finishes during the regular season. Botcher was 11th at the regional, qualifying as an individual for the sectional, where she tied for 34th.
Mary McDonald, SPASH, so. — McDonald was medalist at three of the six CVGL tournaments and took fifth in the individual standings. McDonald tied for 12th at the regional and tied for 27th at the sectional.
Abbie Ter Maat, SPASH, jr. — Ter Maat saved her best golf for the regional, where her 84 was good for second place and helped the Panthers win the team title by a stroke. She was 25th at the sectional.