HAMMOND, Wis.-- The story of Thursday’s Baldwin-Woodville Invitational at Pheasant Hills Golf Course in Hammond was the wind.
“The wind was absolutely punishing,” St. Croix Central girls’ golf coach Logan Kimberly said. “That's one of the real challenges playing at Pheasant Hills. Because it's still a relatively younger course, it doesn't get the tree coverage that some other courses have, and when the wind blows like it did yesterday, it plays a lot like a links course.”
While the scores were a little higher than usual, New Richmond’s Lanie Veenendall managed to shoot an 81 to earn medalist honors and teammate Sydney Nolan placed third with an 84 to lead the Tigers to a second place team finish, eight strokes behind Prescott, with a score of 363.
The invite featured seven of the eight Middle Border Conference teams with Grantsburg taking Amery’s place in the field. Conference-leading Prescott had four varsity players and one JV player finish in the top ten, led by Ava Salay’s second place score of 82, to take the team title with a total of 355.
Abbie Ritzer finished just out of the top ten with a 98 for New Richmond while Kailey Stevens shot an even 100 and Nora Harris had a 105.
St. Croix Central placed third overall at 387, led by Sydney Vangsness with a fourth place score of 85.
Vangsness was one of only two players, along with Veenendall, to post a nine-hole in the 30s with a 39 on the front. She also played the four par-5s at three-under par. “Which is really impressive considering all that wind,” Kimberly noted.
Central’s four other golfers all finished within eight strokes of each other with Jenna Wehausen contributing a ninth-place score of 97, Sarah McHenry shooting 101, Sydney Burgess 104 and Gil Holme 105.
“I'm very pleased with the depth of our team,” Kimberly said. “The girls really root for each other and push each other to get better.”
Somerset finished sixth in the final team standings with a total score of 433, led by Ava Pesha’s seventh place individual score of 93.
The 18-hole Baldwin-Woodville came after a pair of 9-hole MBC matches that saw the race for the conference title tighten by virtue of a first place finish by New Richmond Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Krooked Kreek in Osceola.
Halfway through the MBC schedule, Prescott holds a two-point lead over New Richmond, 39-37, while St. Croix Central is in third with 32 points.
The Tigers edged the Cardinals by two strokes Wednesday in Osceola to take first with a team total of 178. St. Croix Central was third with season-low 185 followed by Somerset with 204, Baldwin-Woodville with 216, Ellsworth with 229, Osceola with 231 and Amery with 254.
New Richmond’s Veenendal fired a 37 to earn medalist honors, four strokes ahead of both St. Croix Central’s Vangsness and Somerset’s Pesha.
All five Tigers finished in the top ten with Ritzer placing fourth with a 44, Stevens, eighth with 48, Nolan tying Central’s McHenry for ninth with 49 and Harris tying Central’s Wehausen for tenth with 50.
Sydney Burgess boosted the Panthers’ third place team score by placing sixth individually with a 45.
Kimberly said he was happy for Burgess, who cut five strokes off her previous best score of the year.
“She has an amazing work ethic and has put so much time and effort into improving over the summer that I'm really happy to see it pay off for her,” Kimberly said. “She's definitely going to be a crucial player for us throughout the season.”
Two days earlier at New Richmond, the Tigers couldn’t keep up with Prescott on their home course as the Cardinals solidified their hold on first place with a team score of 186. New Richmond was eight strokes back at 194 while St. Croix Central was third with 196 and Somerset took fourth with 218.
Salay earned medalist honors with a 37 and Veenendall was second with 41 while Vangsness placed third with 45.
The Tigers had five players in the top ten with Nolan, Ritzer and Harris all tying for fifth with rounds of 51 and Stevens tying for tenth at 55. Central’s McHenry tied for fourth with a 48, Wehausen tied for fifth with 49 and Holme tied for ninth with 54 to give the Panthers four of the top ten scores while Pesha led Somerset with an eighth place score of 53.
Midway through the conference season just four points separate Salay, Veenendall and Vangsness in the race for Player of the Year honors with Salay on top with 38 points, Veenendall second with 37 and Vangsness third with 34.
The conference teams will be back in action Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Bristol Ridge in Somerset before visiting Prescott’s home course Clifton Highlands Monday, Sept. 14.
Hudson dominates BRC match at Troy Burne
Hudson’s girls’ golf team took full advantage of hosting a 9-hole Big Rivers Conference match on its home course at Troy Burne Thursday.
The Raiders finished 34 strokes ahead of second place River Falls to take early control in the BRC title race with a team score of 165. Hudson swept the top four individual spots with Olivia Grothaus shooting a 39 to place first, Paige Hillman second with 40, Maddy Berg third with 42 and Makayla Shilts tying River Falls’ Jaden Woiwode for fourth with 44.
Hudson’s Lauren Parker and River Falls’ Mahlia McCane tied for eighth place with scores of 49 each, while River Falls’ Mekenna Xiong, Rachel Randleman and Jenna Bergmanis all tied for ninth with 53s.
The Raiders and Wildcats return to action when Menomonie hosts a BRC match at Spring Valley Golf Course Tuesday, Sept. 8 before visiting Turtleback in Rice Lake Thursday, Sept. 10.