New Richmond golfers shuffle lineup and keep on winning
Having three of the four leading scorers in the conference has allowed the New Richmond girls golf team to use some flexibility with the bottom two positions in its varsity lineup.
With new girls in the fourth and fifth varsity roles, the Tigers were still able to win last Wednesday’s Middle Border Conference match by 21 strokes over second place Osceola. The win keeps the Tigers unbeaten in the MBC this season.
Junior Maddie McCann and freshmen Maggie Veenendall and Mallorie Brinkman have led New Richmond, with the trio ranking among the top four players in the conference all season. They continued that success last Wednesday, with McCann ranking second at Clifton Highlands with a 43, Veenendall third with a 48 and Brinkman tying for fifth with a 51.
With those three girls playing so well, the Tigers have won each of the MBC matches thus far, most by comfortable margins. The coaches are hoping that the girls in the fourth and fifth spots can produce as well, so they’ve opened up those two positions to challenges before each match. Winning the varsity spots for Wednesday were freshman Ashley Swiggum and senior Miah Olson. Swiggum performed especially well, shooting a 51 to tie for fifth.
While the Tigers have been winning their matches, Coach Neal Ziller thinks the girls can still do better. The plan between matches was to have the girls go back to their basics to improve their swing alignment.
“The misalignments are causing swing faults,” Ziller said.
St. Croix Central
The Panthers further solidified their hold on third place in the conference standings with their third place finish at Clifton Highlands. Panther coach Chance Langeness said the Panthers recognized that they can still do better. He said the girls struggled to gauge the speed of the greens at Prescott. That was led by senior Emma Landry, who put together a top-five finish with her round of 50, despite some trouble putting.
“Now she feels the bottom of her range is a 50,” Langeness said.
The Panthers were able to maintain third place because of Carolyn Morris and Sarah Phillips, who shot 58 and 59.
The Panthers had a much better day Thursday when they played a triangular at Pheasant Hills against Baldwin-Woodville and Ellsworth. The Panthers won the match by shooting a 203. This match was arranged to give the teams one more chance to study Pheasant Hills before the conference tournament is played there on Sept. 24.
Landry won the match with a 44. Morris and Audra Scott had much better days, both finishing at 51.
“You can see Carolyn is picking up the slack right now,” Langeness said.
The Spartans moved up to seventh place in this conference match, led by a strong showing from senior Ally Wittstock.
Wittstock tied for fourth by shooting a 51. That was capped by an outstanding chip shot on her final hole. Wittstock chipped out of a bunker 20 yards from the green, dropping her shot within three inches of the hole.
Somerset coach Kristin Flater said Wittstock’s improvement came from an adjustment in her stance. Wittstock was shifting her weight to her back leg during her swing. By working to get more balance in her stance, Wittstock’s swing began producing long, straight shots.
Sophomore Emma Westmoreland also had one of her best rounds of the season, finishing with a 59.
“She’s such a consistent hitter,” Flater said. “She plays straight up the middle.”
The MBC schedule is quickly winding down. A conference match will be played this Thursday at Krooked Kreek Golf Course in Osceola and another will be played next Tuesday at Somerset’s Bristol Ridge Golf Club. That leads into the MBC tournament, which will be played on Thursday Sept. 24, at Pheasant Hills Golf Club outside Hammond.