Leah Herzog Birdies the Last Hole to Edge Her Cousin and Win Resorters Title
August 4, 2019
ALEXANDRIA -- Leah Herzog hadn't played the 18th hole at Alexandria Golf Club since the qualifying round for the 98th Resorters, but she played it well when she needed to on Saturday afternoon. The result was a 1-up victory over her cousin Maddie Herzog in the match for the championship of the Women's Division.
A year ago, Leah lost to her sister Stephanie in the Resorters final. So Stephanie Herzog was the No. 1 seed this year, but she was upset by No. 8 seed Amanda Woodhull, 1 up, in the quarterfinals.
Leah (No. 5) and Maddie (No. 3), on the other hand, were never really threatened on their way to the title match. Leah played Woodhull in the semifinals and avenged her sister's loss 7&6. Maddie came through the semis with a 6&5 dismissal of (No. 10) Alexis Guggisberg.
In the final, they made seven birdies between them and were a combined 2 under par.
Leah, the 2019 Minnesota Ms. Golf (the top female senior high school golfer in the state) from Red Wing (she was 40 under par during the high school season) took the lead right off the bat with a birdie at the first hole. Maddie, a North Dakota State sophomore-to-be from Detroit Lakes, replied with a birdie at the third hole, and she went 1 up by winning the fifth hole with a par. But Leah birdied the seventh and ninth holes for a front-nine 34 and a 1-up advantage.
There was only one 2-up lead in the match. That came about when Leah won the 11th hole with a par -- but it didn't last long. Maddie won the par-5 12th with a birdie and the par-3 13th with a par to level things. Leah regained the lead with a birdie on the other par-5 on the back nine, No. 14.
Both finalists hit their tee shots over the green at the par-3 17th. Maddie got her ball up and down, and Leah didn't. As a result, they went to the 18th tee all square.
At the 18th, Leah hit her drive about 30 yards short of the hole at the 280-yard par-4, and she hit her pitch to 4 feet. Maddie was just short of the green in two. Thinking that she probably needed to hole her chi shot for a birdie, she knocked it just over the green. Still out, she missed the chip for par and conceded the birdie -- and the match -- to Leah.
In the Women's Executive Flight, Betsy Aldrich and Alexandria native Jodi (Krafka) Sullivan played each other in the championship match for the third year in a row. Aldrich won in 2017, and Krafka won last year. Aldrich, who won the MGA Senior Women's Match Play Championship earlier this summer, won her rubber match with Krafka on Saturday, 3&2. She took control of the match by making consecutive birdies at the 11th and 12th holes.
There was also another Herzog claiming a title at this year's Resorters. Steve Herzog, who is Leah's and Maddie's uncle, has won six championships in various flights, beginning with a triumph in the Championship Flight in 1984, when he outlasted his brother Pat and won on the 22nd hole. This year, he won the Men's Senior Division, beating the two-time defending champ Chris Haugen 4&2 in the final. Herzog was 3 up at the turn, added to his lead with a birdie at the 14th and closed Haugen out with a par at the 16th.
The 98th Resorters
At Alexandria Golf Club
Round of 16
Stephanie Herzog (1) def. Kyla Nygaard (16)
Amanda Woodhull (8) def. Lauren Contreras (9) 3&2
Amanda Bigger (4) def. Amy Jacobson (13) 4&2
Leah Herzog (5) def. Elise Stockmoe (12) 5&3
Alejandra Arellano (2) def. Taylor Thoreson (15) 8&7
Alexis Guggisberg (10) def. Lauren Stockmoe (7)
Madison Herzog (3) def. Caitlin Cummings (14) 4&2
Alayna Eldred (6) def. Clara O'Connor (11) 1 up
Woodhull (8) def. S. Herzog (1) 1 up
L. Herzog (5) def. Bigger (4) 5&3
Guggisberg (10) def. Arellano (2) 6&5
M. Herzog (3) def. Eldred (6) 4&3
Leah Herzog (5) def. Woodhull (8) 7&6
Madison Herzog (3) def. Guggisberg 6&5
Leah Herzog (5) def. Madison Herzog (3) 1 up