LAKE CITY — As news broke that the Big Ten was canceling its scheduled fall athletic events, former Red Wing Winger Leah Herzog realized that she could be playing in her last tournament of the year. Heading into her second year at the University of Nebraska, she already missed out on much of the spring season before getting in some Minnesota tournaments this summer.

Playing in the Women’s State Open Championship, Herzog hit what could be her final tournament shot of 2020 with some of the people she grew up competing against.

“I knew that going into this tournament it might be my last one for awhile, so it was nice to be able to have a tournament on a course I know very well and with some people I really enjoy playing with,” Herzog said.

Leah Herzog of Red Wing hits an approach shot on the 16th hole at The Jewel during the Women's State Open Championship on Aug. 11, 2020. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia
Leah Herzog of Red Wing hits an approach shot on the 16th hole at The Jewel during the Women's State Open Championship on Aug. 11, 2020. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia

The two-day tournament held Aug. 10-11 at The Jewel in Lake City, fielded some of the top names in the Minnesota women’s amateur golf scene. By the end of the final round however, it was 15-year-old Kathryn VanArragon who found her name at the top of the leaderboard with a two-round score of 4-over-par.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

VanArragon won the tournament after a disappointing back nine by Taylor Ledwein of Bradley University. Ledwein held a 1-stroke lead through the first round — a lead that held through the front nine of Day 2. Ledwein shot 8-over-par in her last eight holes though, including a triple bogey after she lost her tee shot in the woods on the 18th hole.

Some of the golfers acknowledged the challenging course layout. Only Ledwein posted a sub-par round throughout the tournament with a 1-under showing Monday. Former Winger and current University of Missouri sophomore Sophia Yoemans and South Dakota State junior Cassidy Laidlaw were the only golfers to card an even-par round.

Lexi Geolat of Lake City taps in a putt on the 16th hole of The Jewel during the Women's State Open Championship on Aug. 11, 2020. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia
Lexi Geolat of Lake City taps in a putt on the 16th hole of The Jewel during the Women's State Open Championship on Aug. 11, 2020. Jake Pfeifer / RiverTown Multimedia

Yoemans shot the low round Tuesday as the rest of the field shot 2-over-par or higher. It was a nice bounceback round for Yoemans as she shot 6-over-par on Monday. Her two-day score put her two strokes behind VanArragon and in a five-way tie for third place.

Herzog was part of that third-place tie as she shot 72 on Monday and 76 on Tuesday.

“I’d say the last few days there’s definitely been some tough pin placements so you really couldn’t mess around with that,” she said. “I found myself definitely struggling on a couple of holes with the pin being back or in a tough place.”

Herzog was two strokes behind Ledwein after the first round but struggled to keep pace through the front nine of the second round. She posted five bogeys and one double bogey in her first 10 holes of Day 2. However, she was able to recoup some ground on the 16th and 17th holes with two birdies to put her in the same leaderboard position she was in when the day began.

Other notable performances

  • Lexi Geolat of North Dakota State University and a Lake City graduate finished tied for 11th place with a score of 9-over-par.

  • Ava Wallerich, a 2020 Lake City graduate, finished tied for 16th at 11-over-par.

  • Stephanie Herzog of the University of Iowa and a Red Wing graduate finished tied for 28th at 19-over-par.

  • Jordana Windhorst-Knudsen, a Lake City grad, finished tied for 28th at 19-over-par.

  • Nicole Schammel, a Red Wing grad, finished tied for 41st at 31-over-par.