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New Richmond's McCann, Veenendall qualify for Division 1 golf sectionals

New Richmond senior Liz Towberman put in extensive work to maintain her position in the Tiger varsity lineup this season.

New Richmond’s girls golf team was able to advance two girls into this week’s WIAA Division 1 sectional tournament. Junior Maddie McCann and freshman Maggie Veenendall played their way to the sectional level.

The Tigers were the host team for last Wednesday’s Division 1 regional meet, played at the New Richmond Golf Club. The Tigers were hoping to advance to the sectional level as a team, but they fell just short of that goal. The top four teams at the regional move on and the Tigers placed sixth, missing the qualifying mark by seven total strokes.

McCann tied for third place at the regional tournament, with her score of 90. Veenendall shot 98. Four individuals advance from each regional to the sectional tournaments. New Richmond and Hudson each had two of the qualifiers from this regional.

That McCann ranked among the leaders at the regional tournament was no surprise to Tiger coach Neal Ziller. He’s seen McCann mature into one of the best players in the area this season.

“Her game is ready for the next level,” Ziller said. “Maddie held her composure right to the end.”

Veenendall and Mallorie Brinkman were freshmen playing in the second and third slots in the lineup for the Tigers. They are cousins and their games were similar in the regional meet. Both played well at times, but they both struggled at times with their short game during the round.

Veenendall overcame the issues with her irons to qualify for sectionals. Brinkman wasn’t far behind, finishing at 106.

Ziller said the freshmen handled the pressure of playing in their first WIAA tournament well.

Seniors Beth Duncan and Liz Towberman finished at 111 and 120, respectively.

Ziller said the girls were disappointed that they weren’t able to advance to the sectional level, especially after missing it by such a small margin. The Tigers were seven strokes away from the final qualifying spot.

“I know every single one of the them had three or four shots they’d like to take back,” Ziller said.

Ziller said McCann and Veenendall have the skills to be a state qualifier. The sectional meet was scheduled to be played this Tuesday in Tomah. Ziller projected that it would take a score in the mid-80s for any girl to advance from the sectional meet to the state level.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for more than 30 years.

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