Golf: Martin places 8th at state as Elk girls finish 5th

Sadie Martin took a practice swing Wednesday on her way to shooting 77 for the day. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

by Bruce Strand, sports editor

Elk River junior Sadie Martin earned a spot on the medal stand at the state golf tournament Wednesday while her team struggled otherwise and the Elks finished fifth in Class AAA.

Martin shot 35-42-77 at Bunker Hills, moving up to an eighth-place tie with 159. She started the day tied for 17th after an 82 on Tuesday.

“It went a lot better today,” said Martin, who chipped in for a birdie on East No. 2 and parred the other eight holes that round for a 35.

The Elks, who held fourth with 355 on Tuesday, shot 352 Wednesday but four teams ahead of them improved their scores a lot more the second day. With 707, the Elks finished one stroke out of fourth place.

McKaila Granning

Wayzata was champion with 661, followed by Stillwater, Eden Prairie, Apollo and the No. 5 ranked Elks.

The individual medal was shared by Cretin-Derham Hall freshman Calia Kuenster and Stillwater junior Cassie Degg with 148′s.

In her third state tournament, Martin made her presence felt for the first time. She was 40th last year with 174 and 69th as a freshman with 194.

“I had a lot of pars. I was hitting the fairways,” said Martin. “On the last nine it was harder to get pars and I had a  bogey and a double bogey.”

The Elks have sent girls to state just about every year for about 30 years, including 18 years with the whole team there, but Martin is just the seventh to medal by placing in the top eight.

She joins Laura Bleyhl, who was champ in 1989 and top-six four times, along with Rachael and Rochelle Schmidt (fifth and seventh in 2005), Molly Martin (fourth in 2006), and Karla Schuldt and Kirsten Whalen (third and fourth in 1995).

“That’s always been my goal, to place at state,” said Sadie.

Her sisters Anne and Molly, members of the 2005 state championship team, were in her gallery along with her parents and her boyfriend Alex Kline, who placed 31st in the boys tournament.

“Sadie looked great today,  and she was the only one of our players to  do better today than Tuesday,” said coach Dave Bleyhl, “except for Nicole who had a 94 after a 97. But our two, three and four did not have a good tournament.”

Andrea Dwyer

Senior Andrea Dwyer was the next Elk, in 48th place with 171. Junior Ashlee Lindeen had 183, senior McKaila Granning 184, senior Nicole Thorndal 191 and sophomore Alex McDonald 195.

“The girls actually shot better at Bunker Hills in the rain at an (invitational) tournament there, and at the conference meet there, too,” noted Bleyhl. “Maybe it was nerves.”

Bleyhl called it “a very good season” as the Elks won conference for the third straight year, and got back to state for the first time since 2005.

 

 

Team scoring

 

1. Wayzata ………………… 331-330–661

2. Stillwater ……………….. 337-331–668

3. Eden Prairie …………… 344-338–682

4. St. Cloud Apollo ………. 358-348–706

5. Elk River ……………….. 355-352–707

6. Northfield ………………. 380-355–735

7. Mounds View …………. 375-369–744

8. Woodbury ………………. 378-367–745

 

Top 8 individuals

 

1. Celia Kuenster, Cretin-Derham Hall ……… 76-72–148

Cassie Degg, Stillwater …………………………. 77-71–148

3. Mary Sweeney, Woodbury …………………… 74-75–149

4. McKenziie Niesen, New Prague ……………. 71-79–150

5. Sarah Burnham, Wayzata …………………… 80-85–155

6. Brooke Finger, Northfield ………………….. 80-77–157

7. Lexi Bollant, Buffalo ………………………….. 81-88–158

8. Sadie Martin, Elk River …………………….. 82-77–159

Maxine Carlson, Alexandria …………………. 80-79–159

Grace Todora, Cretin-Derham Hall …………. 74-85–159

 

Other Elk River players

 

48. Andrea Dwyer ……………….  90-81–171

54. (tie) Ashlee Lindeen ………. 90-93–183

58. (tie) McKaila Granning …… 93-91–184

68. (tie) Nicole Thorndal ………. 97-94–191

76. (tie) Alex McDonald ………… 93-92–195

 

 

 

 

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