Minnesota Golf Association

Herzog Shoots 65 -- Again -- And Yoemans Has 68 as Wingers Win Red Wing Invite

May 14, 2019

By Mike Fermoyle (mikefermoyle@gmail.com)

RED WING -- One of the hardest things to do in golf is to follow a really low score with another one. At least, that's the theory. 

So far in the 2019 girls high school season, Leah Herzog hasn't been paying much attention to it. The Red Wing senior -- and University of Nebraska recruit -- has been shooting low scores in nearly every tournament she's played, and she followed her lowest score of the spring, a 65 on Monday at The Bridges GC in Winona, with another one on Tuesday. 

Herzog, who is the No. 1 player in the MGA state rankings, made seven birdies and one bogey at Mississippi National on the way to a 6-under-par 65. It was the eighth time in 12 competitive rounds this year that she has broken par, and it was good for a three-stroke victory over her teammate -- and second-ranked -- Sophia Yoemans in the Red Wing Invitational.

The field that turns up at Red Wing for this tournament is traditionally the strongest of the girls high school season. So it seemed fitting that they got the best day of the spring thus far (70 degrees and sunny).

This was the second year in a row that Herzog has won on the second Tuesday in May at Mississippi National. Last year, she shot 69, which gave her a one-stroke victory over Yoemans and Simley eighth-grader (then) Isabella McCauley. 

On Tuesday, the leaderboard had a familiar look. At the top, there was Herzog, having set a tournament record for the second consecutive day, and then Yoemans with a 68. McCauley matched her 70 from last year -- in more ways than one -- and that put her in tie for third, along with Kathryn VanArragon of Blaine.

Van Arragon, who won the state Class AAA championship last year as a seventh-grader, is currently No. 4 in the state rankings. McCauley is No. 5.

Red Wing won the team competition with a four-player total of 306. Wayzata was second with 317, and three-time defending AAA champ Edina finished third with a 321. 

McCauley's 70 could have been better. She hit 17 greens in regulation, but had only three one-putts all day, and she concluded her round with a three-putt from 30 feet at the 18th hole. 

"That was pretty much how I played last year, too," she said afterward. "You saw my three-putt at 18, and that kind of sums it up. I hit the ball really well, and I was hitting good putts, I thought. They just weren't going in. I think my alignment might be a little off."

Yoemans was the 2018 MGA Junior Girls Player of the Year -- and by a huge margin. She racked up 405 points, compared with 152.5 for runner-up Janice Kim of Edina, and 152.5 for Herzog, who was third on the list. (Kim was in the field Tuesday and finished ninth with a 77).

In 2017, Red Wing was in Minnesota's large-school class, AAA, and Yoemans tied for first at the state tournament, along with Joanna Kim, Janice's older sister. The Wingers dropped down to AA for 2018, and Yoemans won another state title, except that this time she shattered just about every scoring record in the books, as she shot 63-66--129 at The Ridges at Sand Creek. Actually, Herzog, who finished just ahead of Yoemans, matched the old record for lowest 36-hole score with a 137 (66-71), and she was 11 ahead of the next-best score -- until Yoemans completed her round.

Like McCauley, Yoemans hit 17 greens on Tuesday, and she was bogey free. (The Missouri recruit also won both of the long-drive contests, at No. 2 and No. 12, with a pair of 270-yard bombs.)

"I was happy with the way I played," she said. "But I made a couple of mistakes that cost me. On nine (a 436-yard par-5), I had 170 yards to the green, and I hit a bad iron shot. Then on 12 (433, par 5), I just missed the green, and was only about 12 feet from the hole in two, and I ended up making a par. That was depressing."

Nevertheless, Yoemans still managed to break par for the fifth time this spring. 

"I've been amazed at how well both Leah and Sophia have been playing," marvelled Mark Herzog, the Red Wing head coach, and Leah's father.

Basically, every tournament the Wingers have played in has turned into a kind of match play contest between Herzog and Yoemans.  

Herzog started quickly on Tuesday, hitting a wedge to within 8 feet at the 335-yard, par-4 first hole and converting the putt for a birdie. At the par-5 second (459 yards), she hit a 90-yard wedge shot to 15 feet, and made that putt, too. Her only bogey came at the 307-yard, par-4 fifth, but she bounced back with a birdie at the 129-yard, par-3 sixth. That was the result of a 9-iron to 10 feet.

She hit another wedge from right around 100 yards to 6 feet at the ninth, and made the putt to complete the front nine in 32 strokes. 

Herzog says that a big part of the reason for her consistently low scores this spring has been her short game. But she's also doing more damage on the par-5's.

"I'm hitting my driver about 10 yards farther," she noted, "and I'm hitting my 3-wood better this year, which helps. So I've been hitting more par-5's in two, or at least getting close in two."

That was what she did at the 438-yard, par-5 10th, just missing the green in two and then chipping to within a foot of the cup for her fifth birdie of the day. Birdie No. 6 came at the short 15th (271 yards, par 4), where she hit a wedge to a foot. And she capped things off by hitting a 260-yard drive at the 437-yard, par-5 18th and a 6-iron to the middle of the green. She missed her 25-foot putt for eagle by 6 inches, and tapped in from there for her 65.   


Red Wing Invitational 

At Mississippi National Golf Links

Par 71, 5,288 yards

Red Wing

Final resul

1. Red Wing                306

2. Wayzata                  317

3. Edina                      321

4. Elk River                334

5. Lake City                335

6. Simley                    346

7. Eden Prairie           430

Individual results 

1. Leah Herzog, Red Wing                    32-33--65

2. Sophia Yoemans, Red Wing              34-34--68

T3. Isabella McCauley, Simley               35-35--70

T3. Kathryn VanArragon Blaine              35-35--70

5. Amy Burnham, Wayzata                     39-35--74

T6. Melanie LeMiah, Wayzata                36-39--75

T6. Dasha Parker, Edina                        37-38--75

8. Reese McCauley, Simley                   39-37--76

9. Janice Kim Edina                                39-38--77

10. Abbey Filipiak, Elk River                   37-41--78

T11. Saachi Deshmukh, Wayzata          41-40--81

T11. Toni Baldwin, Elk River                   40-41--81

T13. Ava Wallerich, Lake City                 42-41--83

T13. Marah Rothgarn, Lake City             39-44--83

T15. Amy Terwilliger, Edina                     43-41--84 

T15. Jordana Windhorst-Knutsen, LC     42-42--84


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