Panther girls win Section 1, return to state tourney
It’s a good thing Farmington didn’t pay much attention to the state rankings.
If they had, the message to the Tiger boys might have been that they need not even show up at the Class 3A, Section 1 golf tournament. Before Farmington played at sections last week, it had never been higher than 48th in the Minnesota Golf Association all-enrollment class state rankings – and that was in early April.
Next week the Tigers will be easy to spot at the state tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids, earning the trip after winning the Section 1 championship by three strokes. Farmington, which qualified for state for the third time, will tee it up in the Class 3A tourney Tuesday, June 15, and Wednesday, June 16.
By the way, Farmington zoomed up this week’s MGA state rankings, moving from 56th to 14th.
Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Northfield all were top-20 teams when the first round of the Section 1 tournament started June 1 at Jewel Golf Club in Lake City. By the time the tournament ended June 2, all three were looking up at Farmington. The Tigers, led by section individual runner-up Kyler Schwamb, scored 599 over the two days, three strokes ahead of Lakeville North and seven ahead of 2019 section champion Lakeville South. Northfield finished fourth.
Northfield junior Nate Stevens, the state’s top-ranked player, lit up the Jewel with rounds of 67 and 64 for an 11-under-par total of 131. Schwamb, a sophomore, finished at 4-under 137 after shooting 69 and 68. The only other player under par was Lakeville North senior Owen Mickschl, who finished third with 71-70–141.
Lakeville North led Farmington by two strokes and Northfield by four after one round of the team competition. Farmington, however, had a strong second day with Schwamb shooting 68, eighth-grader Cale Thompson and senior Hogan Reuter both turning in 74s, and sophomore Zach Rouleau shooting 80. Matt Bell, a senior, also shot 80 even though it wasn’t used for the team total. Junior Will Bassett had an 81 on the final day. Lakeville South matched Farmington’s second-day team score of 296, but the Cougars had too much ground to make up after falling nine strokes off the lead in the first round.
Farmington’s Thompson had a two-day total of 152 to tie for 10th place individually. Reuter and Rouleau tied for 14th at 156, Bell tied for 27th at 160 and Bassett was 37th at 169.
Lakeville North’s Mickschl qualified individually for state by finishing third in Section 1. The top five individuals who aren’t members of the team champion also go to state; that group includes Lakeville South junior Hogan Ordal, who shot 76-71–147 to tie for fifth place.
Alex Bradley of Lakeville South was seventh at 148, missing a state berth by one stroke. Senior John Langlois, who tied for third at the 2019 state Class 3A tourney, could not recover from an opening-round 82 at sections and tied for 12th place.
Section 1 girls: It’s the Panthers again
Lakeville North survived a race to the finish with Lakeville South to win the Class 3A, Section 1 girls golf championship and qualify for the state tournament for the sixth time in school history.
The Panthers also had the medalist in the Section 1 tourney that concluded June 3 at Cannon Golf Club in Cannon Falls. Senior Emma Welch shot 73-74–147 to win by nine strokes.
Lakeville North, which finished sixth in the 2019 Class 3A tournament, will play at state June 15-16 at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids. The Panthers go into state at No. 6 in the Minnesota Golf Association all-class state rankings; Welch is ranked fifth individually.
The Lakeville schools were the only realistic contenders for the section team championship. Third-place Rochester John Marshall finished 79 strokes behind Lakeville North, which had a two-day score of 680.
Lakeville South, seeking its first-ever section team championship, proved difficult for North to shake. The Cougars trailed by five strokes after the first round but turned in the lowest team score in the second round.
Also on North’s state-qualifying team are Ashley King (tied for fifth, 174), Julia Sabetti (seventh, 176), Dani Duffey (tied for 12th, 184), Brooke Bennett (20th, 192) and Skye Vetter (27th, 207). All are seniors.
Three Lakeville South players qualified to compete individually at the state meet. Ninth-grader Jovie Ordal shot two rounds of 78 for a 156 total and second place in the section. Kelsi Mauzy, a sophomore, was third with 88-83–171. Sophomore Quinn Benolkin tied for fifth with 82-92–174.
Ordal is 17th in the MGA’s state individual rankings.