Herzog Edges Yoemans & McCauley at Red Wing; Edina Wins Team Title
May 8, 2018
By Mike Fermoyle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
RED WING -- Eight years before she won the 2003 U.S. Women's Open, Hilary Lunke -- at the time she was Hilary Homeyer -- played in the Red Wing Invitational. Katie Detlefsen, who set a record by winning four state high school championships, also played in the best prep tournament of the spring. So did Kate Smith, who broke Detlefsen's record by winning five state titles. There are four Minnesota women playing in NCAA Regionals this week -- Sarah Burnham (Michigan State), Kenzie Neisen (Oklahoma State), plus two from North Dakota State: Natalie Roth and Emma Groom. They, too, played in the Red Wing Invitational.
Considering its venerable history, you could argue that the weather gods were simply showing their respect on Tuesday afternoon at Mississippi National Golf Links as they held off the rain until the 2018 edition of the Red Wing Invitational was almost completed. Most of the leaders played two or three holes in what was essentially a drizzle, which then turned into a soaking rain as the medals were being awarded. Weather gods can be kept on hold for only so long.
The top eight gilrs in the MGA Individual Rankings were in the field at Red Wing this year, and they were as good as advertised. Red Wing junior Leah Herzog, who is No. 2 in the rankings, shot a 2-under-par 69 to grab medalist honors. She nipped her teammate Sophia Yoemans, also a junior and the No. 1 player in the state, and Simley eighth-grader Isabella McCauley (No. 6) by a stroke. No. 3 Megan Welch of Lakeville North was the highest finisher among the seniors. She took fourth with a 71.
Then came Northfield's Molly Stevens, currently No. 15 but about to move up, presumably. She hit every green on the back nine in regulation and birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to post a 72, good for fifth place.
Edina's Joanna Kim, who tied Yoemans for the state Class AAA individual championship last year, is No. 4 in this week's rankings. She shot 74 on Tuesday, which gave her a share of sixth, along with No. 7 Maddie Herzog of Detroit Lakes (a cousin of Leah Herzog's).
This is the third time that a Winger has won the Red Wing tournament. Mary Vajgrt did it in 1992, and Katie Kesti in 2010. (Vajgrt is now a doctor, practicing family medicine and sports medicine in Kalamazoo, Mich.)
A year ago, Leah's older sister Stephanie (the 2018 Minnesota Ms. Golf) nearly claimed the crown. She shot 69 but lost to Edina's Grace Kellar in a playoff.
On Tuesday, the younger Herzog sister parred the first eight holes at Mississippi National, then secured her first birdie of the day by hitting a wedge to a foot and a half at the ninth. Leah missed a 4-footer for birdie at the par-5 10th, and then three-putted the par-3 11th for her only bogey of the day. But she bounced back by hitting a driver and a 3-wood to the edge of the green at the 470-yard, par-5 12th and chipping to within 4 feet, then making the putt for a birdie.
"Getting up and down for my birdie on the 12th got me going again," Herzog said afterward.
She followed the birdie at the 12th with another birdie at the 250-yard, par-4 13th, driving the green and two-putting.
At the 16th, she had a 4-footer for birdie, but she got a little too ambitious on her slippery downhill putt and had a longer one (5 feet) coming back for par. She made it, and made a 7-footer for a two-putt par on another treacherous green at the 17th.
Herzog had a chance to shoot 68, but she three-putted for par from the fringe at the par-5 18th.
It was her second outright victory of the young season, and she tied Yoemans for first in another tournament. She finished second and third in the tournaments she didn't win.
Yoemans has two outright victories, as well, including one last week when she won with a 67.
In the team competition Tuesday, Edina won again -- easily. The three-time defending state Class AAA champion Hornets demonstrated their depth by placing four individuals in the top 14. Right behind Joanna Kim (T6) was Janice Kim, tied with Edina teammate Emily Kratz (and Alayna Eldred of Osakis) for eighth with a 75. And Kendall Olsen tied for 13th with a 79.
All of which added up to a 303 for the state's No. 1 team -- and a 14-stroke victory over No. 4 Lakeville North. Two-time defending state AA champ Detroit Lakes (No. 3) was another nine shots back at 326, just ahead of the host Wingers (No. 2) at 327.
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF
Red Wing Invitational
At Mississippi National Golf Links
Par 71, 5,208 yards
1. Edina 303
2. Lakeville North 317
3. Detroit Lakes 326
4. Red Wing 327
5. Rosville 333
6. Northfield 338
7. Wayzata 339
8. Eden Prairie 350
9. Elk River 359
10. Simley 364
11. Legacy Christian Acad. 382
1. Leah Herzog, Red Wing 34-35--69
T2. Isabella McCauley, Simley 35-35--70
T2. Sophia Yoemans, Red Wing 35-35--70
4. Megan Welch, Lakeville North 33-38--71
5. Molly Stevens, Northfield 38-34--72
T6. Joanna Kim, Edina 36-38--74
T6. Maddie Herzog, Detroit Lakes 35-39--74
T8. Janice Kim, Edina 39-36--75
T8. Alayna Eldred, Osakis 37-38--75
T8. Emily Kratz, Edina 36-39--75
T11. Shelby Busker, Detroit Lakes 38-38--76
T11. Emma Welch, Lakeville North 37-39--76
T13. Lexi Dirkes, Osakis 41-38--79
T13. Kendall Olsen, Edina 38-41--79
T15. Sophie Gray, Legacy Christian 40-40--80
T15. Ananya Shah, Wayzata 39-41--80