Minnesota Golf Association

Fending Off a Late Surge, Yoemans and Fessler Claim MGA Mixed Team Championship

July 2, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  HASTINGS, Minn. – Last month during the final round of the Minnesota State Class AA Championship, Sophia Yoemans knocked in her putt on the 36th hole to capture both the individual title and sealed the team championship for Red Wing.
Yoemans delivered again Tuesday, sticking her tee shot inside of four feet at the par-3 15th hole, leaving partner Trey Fessler to curl in their birdie putt as the two would hang on to win the 29th Minnesota Golf Association Mixed Amateur Team Championship at Hastings Golf Club.
“This is really cool for me because it’s my first MGA win,” Fessler said Tuesday. “It’s also nice having one of the best players in the state as your partner. It was fun to watch her play for the last two days. We’ve played practice rounds together, but never played in a tournament together. I felt like we kept each other loose and we went out and had fun."
“It’s exciting—it’s really a fun event,” Yoemans added after her win Tuesday.
The three-time individual champion Yoemans and Fessler combined to shoot 7-under par 65 in a standard four-ball format Monday to take a one-shot advantage over the team of Taylor Ledwein and Justin Burleson. But Yoemans and Fessler would stumble out of the gate early Tuesday when the format switched to a Modified Chapman alternate shot.
Despite the format change, both Yoemans and Fessler figured a 67 during the final round should be enough to put themselves on top of the leaderboard.
“Going into the round, we thought 67 would get it done,” Yoemans said. “We didn’t know how the format was going to work out—it was close. We bogeyed one, then made some pars without really any chances at birdies. The [format change] was interesting to say the least. We got it rolling after we got the swing of things.”
“With the slow start after the first few holes, we both agreed that 67 was the number to get. We shot our number and we won,” Fessler said.
Taking a bogey on the opening hole Tuesday, Yoemans and Fessler fell into a share of the lead with Ledwein and Burleson. Fessler’s approach at the third stopped within four feet of the cup, leaving Yoemans with a short birdie chance to get back to even par for the round before Fessler’s approach at the par-5 seventh rolled to five feet. Yoemans sank the eagle putt and the two moved to 9-under for the tournament.
“That’s what jumpstarted us,” Fessler said. “We started hitting better drives and better approaches after that.”
Fessler sank back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th holes to regain the lead at 11-under par. Yoemans’ tee shot at the 15th spun back to within three feet of the cup, but left a downhill breaker of a birdie chance for Fessler. Playing a foot of break, Fessler’s putt fell to give the pairing a one-shot lead at 12-under par. They would card consecutive pars over the final three holes to claim the championship with a final-round 67, edging Red Wing golfers Leah Herzog and Cecil Belisle.
Fessler wrapped up his senior season for St. Michael-Albertville High School with a second-place finish at the Class AAA championship last month, one shot behind medalist Brock Winter. He will head to Arizona this fall to play collegiate golf at Mesa Community College.
Yoemans became the only golfer in state history to win individual championships in multiple classes, winning the Class AAA title in 2017 and back-to-back titles in Class AA in 2018 and 2019. The 2019 Ms. Golf finalist will play college golf at the University of Missouri beginning this fall.
Despite a furious charge on the final day and pulling to within one shot of the lead, Herzog and Belisle came up one shot short to finish alone in second place at 11-under 133.
The two carded four birdies through seven holes to begin the final round Tuesday before taking a bogey at the par-4 eighth. Herzog and Belisle combined for five birdies over their first seven holes on the back nine to jump up the leaderboard into second.
Ledwein and Burleson carded a 3-under 69 Tuesday to finish in a tie for third place with the team of recent MGA Women’s Match Play champion and Gopher golfer Grace Kellar and partner Harrison Cooper, as well as the pairing of Alexis Thomas and Van Holmgren, all finishing at 9-under 135.

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