Minnesota Golf Association

Munneke and Federley Combine for a 63 to Jump in Front at MGA Mixed Team

July 21, 2020

By Nick Hunter
  HASTINGS, Minn. – Posting the second-lowest score in the past 11 championships Tuesday, the twosome of Megan Munneke and Dayton Federley cruised to the opening-round lead at the 30th Minnesota Golf Association Mixed Amateur Team Championship at Hastings Golf Club.
Playing their first 11 holes in 8-under par, Munneke and Federley were on pace to at least flirt with the tournament record of 12-under par 60, before cooling off down the stretch to finish the first round of play with a three-stroke lead at 9-under 63.
“[Munneke] and I are very competitive and we came into this with an open mind,” Federley said, playing tournament golf for the first time with Munneke, who doubles as his girlfriend. “We just tried to enjoy it and I haven’t played competitive golf in a long time, so it was fun to share this moment together.
“We got off to a nice start, getting the wheels under us a little bit. It was solid play tee to green. We didn’t leave much out there—there were a few putts out there that we burned the edge and whatnot, but overall, we were really solid. I’d say [today] was a win—we’re still talking and we made it 18 holes.”
A brief weather delay forced players off the course for 40 minutes early in the round Tuesday. When Munneke and Federley resumed play on the third hole, Munneke sank her eagle putt from six feet to quickly move the twosome below par.
“I think the rain delay helped us—we were a little shaky at first,” Munneke, a Champlin Park, Minn., native said Tuesday. “We got to talk and settle down a little bit, so it really helped. We made a lot of good putts today and ended up making a lot of good up-and-downs.”
Following their eagle at the third, Munneke and Federley each carded a pair of birdies over the next six holes, including Munneke’s near ace at the par-3 ninth, to put the team on top of the leaderboard at 6-under as they headed to the inward nine.
Getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the 10th, Munneke moved her team to 7-under before Federley got involved by sinking his birdie look at the 11th. The two would string together five consecutive pars before Federley sank an 8-footer for birdie on the final hole to give the pair a three-stroke lead over the team of Olivia Herrick and Trey Fessler with a 63.
When the final round begins Wednesday, the format shifts from Four-Ball to an alternate shot, something the first-round leaders are eagerly anticipating.
“I think it’s going to be even more fun.” said the Osseo High School graduate Federley. “We don’t get to play, and I don’t think many people get to play that format very often. [Munneke] is a good driver of the ball, so I'll let her keep ripping driver everywhere and I’ll try to get her in good position.”
Cassie Deeg and Dominic Kieffer posted a 12-under 60 during the final round of the 2014 championship at Emerald Greens Golf Club to set the tournament record and claim their first of two consecutive titles before Max Tylke and Alexandra Stewart fired a 60 during the first round of action at the 2017 tournament at Chaska Town Course, where they’d go on to win by six shots.
Herrick, a two-time winner of the event, and Fessler, who’s half of the defending champion team from a year ago, would card three birdies over their first seven holes before taking a bogey at the par-4 eighth hole, turning in 2-under.
The two traded birdies to begin their final nine holes Tuesday to quickly jump to 4-under for the tournament before running into trouble yet again with a bogey at the 13th. They answered with back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th holes before Fessler sank his birdie chance on the final hole to put the pair into second place with a round of 6-under 66, three shots off the lead.
Herrick won with Ben Freeman in 2010 at Owatonna Country Club before teaming up with Trent Peterson to claim the 2016 title at Valleywood Golf Course. Fessler paired with Sophia Yoemans at last year’s championship, carding a 12-under 132 to earn a one-stroke victory at Hastings Golf Club.
Emily and Andrew Israelson, the third brother and sister combo to win the event when they claimed the title in 2018 at Forest Hills Golf Club, posted a 4-under 68 Tuesday and will begin the final round tied for third with the team of Maddie Herzog and Nate Deziel, five shots off the lead.
In the Senior Division, Charles Cavanagh and partner Jane Grove combined for a 1-over 73 Tuesday to share the opening-round lead with Randy and Ranee Jacobus. The twosome of Betsy Aldrich and Mark Knutson will begin the final round one shot back following an opening-round 74.  
The final round of the 30th MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship gets underway at 8 a.m. Wednesday at Hastings Golf Club.

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