Minnesota Golf Association

Herzog Edges Yoemans & McCauley at Red Wing; Edina Wins Team Title

May 8, 2018

By Mike Fermoyle (mikefermoyle@gmail.com) 

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.   


Red Wing Invitational

At Mississippi National Golf Links

Par 71, 5,208 yards

Final result

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

Osakis                                   Inc. 


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


6550 York Avenue South, Suite 211 • Edina, MN 55435 • (952) 927-4643 • (800) 642-4405 • Fax: (952) 927-9642
© 2014 Minnesota Golf Association. All Rights Reserved