Golf: Tigers peaking as playoffs near

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With the WIAA girls golf sectional tournaments in the area scheduled for next Wednesday, the local teams are looking to put together some momentum that will carry them to tournament success.

The New Richmond, St. Croix Central and Somerset girls played in a pair of Middle Border Conference matches last week. The conference tournament was scheduled to be played this Tuesday. There was also a match scheduled for this Monday, but it was washed away by rain. As of late Monday, a decision hadn't been made on whether that round would be made up.

The New Richmond golf team will host the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament next Wednesday at the New Richmond Golf Club, beginning at 9 a.m. St. Croix Central and Somerset will play at the Division 2 regional meet, which will be played at 9 a.m. next Wednesday at Pheasant Hills Golf Course.

New Richmond

The Tigers head into playoff action playing the best golf of their season. In last Friday's MBC match at Pheasant Hills, the Tigers shot a season-best score of 175. That win, for all intensive purposes, locked up the overall conference title for the Tigers.

New Richmond was led by juniors Maggie Veenendall and Ashley Swiggum. Veenendall was meet medalist by shooting a 37. Swiggum tied for second place by shooting a 42.

Veenendall has played three matches since returning from a leg injury. In those three rounds, she was medalist in all three, shooting 39, 38 and 37. Swiggum's 42 is one stroke off her career best.

Rebecca Ziller shot one of her best round ever to finish at 46, with Molly Hassler shooting 50 and Elise Kolbeck at 56.

The Tigers were just as impressive in winning last Tuesday's match at the Amery Golf Club with a 185 team score. Veenendall's 38 grabbed everyone's attention.

"I haven't seen a score in the 30s at Amery since Casey," said New Richmond coach Neal Ziller, referring to former state champion Casey Danielson of Osceola.

Swiggum shot a 47 at Amery, with Kolbeck at 49, Ziller at 51 and Hassler at 59.

"When we play like we're supposed to play, we should be around 185," Coach Ziller said.

The downward trend in scores has the Tiger coach thinking the Tigers are ready to make a splash in the tournaments.

"I sincerely think the girls are starting to peak. They've got a fire in their belly," he said.

St. Croix Central

Another team starting to make its move is the St. Croix Central girls. They shot a 195 to take fourth place in Friday's match at Pheasant Hills. That resulted from all five Panthers matching or beating their best score of the season. This was the first time the Panthers broke 200 this season.

"They've all been working really hard and have been so close to breaking out for a while now, so I'm happy they were all able to do it on the same night and reap the benefits as a team," said Central coach Logan Kimberly.

For the first time this season, three Panthers scored in the 40s. Senior Audra Scott led the Panthers with a 46, the team's best score of the season. Abby Edelman was at 47 and Brooklyn Mishler at 48. Parker Chladek and Hanna Wehausen both shot 54.

The Panthers were the third place team in last Tuesday's match at Amery finishing at 213. It was another balanced effort with Scott and Mishler sharing the team lead at 50. Edelman finished at 53, Chladek 60 and Wehausen 64.

Somerset

The Spartan girls shot a 205 to place sixth in last Friday's match at Pheasant Hills. This was one of the most balanced strong efforts of the season for the Spartans. Grace Bauer led the team by shooting a 48. Emma Westmoreland produced a career-best score of 51. Cora Atkins finished at 52, Haley Myers at 54 and Megan Erlitz at 58.

Somerset coach Kristin Flater said it was a good sign that the Spartans could have all the girls bringing their scores down at the same time, led by a round in the 40s.

The Spartans were also the sixth place team in last Tuesday's match at Amery. The score of 223 showed the added difficulty that comes from playing on the Amery course.

Bauer led the Spartans with a 51 at Amery. Myers shot 54, Westmoreland 57, Erlitz 61 and Atkins 63.