Minnesota Golf Association

Yoemans and Fessler Shoot 65 to Grab First-Round Lead at MGA Mixed Team in Hastings

July 1, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  HASTINGS, Minn. – Sinking her short birdie chance on the final hole Monday, Sophia Yoemans helped her and teammate Trey Fessler to a round of 7-under par 65 to lead the Minnesota Golf Association Mixed Amateur Team Championship following the opening round at Hastings Golf Club.
Yoemans and Fessler will begin Tuesday’s final round with a one-stroke advantage over the twosome of Taylor Ledwein and Justin Burleson, who carded a bogey-free round of 66.
“[Yoemans] was playing really well. I was struggling off the tee,” Fessler said after the first round Monday. “Surprisingly, the two holes I made birdie on, I was in the trees. I had some good punches, but my wedges were spot on most of the day. Inside of 70-80 yards, I don’t think I missed a wedge.”
“We started out pretty hot—four birdies in a row and then kind of slowed down a little,” Yoemans said.
Beginning the first round on the 10th tee Monday, Yoemans landed her second shot on the fringe and just missed her eagle putt, tapping in for birdie before Fessler rolled in back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th, wedging his approaches in tight to quickly move the pair to 3-under for the day.
Yoemans buried her birdie chance from 10 feet at the 13th and added another birdie at the 16th as the two jumped into the lead through nine holes at 5-under.
“I wanted to double that,” Fessler said of turning with five birdies on the scorecard through nine holes. “We both struggled with driving on the back. Personally, I couldn’t find a fairway. We scrapped it around pretty well.”
Both Yoemans and Fessler carded birdie at the second hole, but would take a step back with a bogey at the fifth. They bounced back with a birdie at the seventh hole before Yoemans hit her tee shot at the par-3 ninth to three feet, converting her birdie look to put the twosome at 7-under 65 and into the lead.
A standard four-ball format during Monday’s opening round switches to a Modified Chapman alternate shot format for the final round Tuesday.
“I’m digging it,” Fessler said of the change. “My wedges today were good and [Yoemans] puts it 100 yards out in the middle of the fairway.”
Burleson and Ledwein each carded birdies on the same three holes during their front nine Monday, and combined for three more birdies over the final nine holes to finish the opening day of competition one shot off the lead.
“We both played pretty good,” Burleson said Monday. “We made no bogeys. I bogeyed one and [Ledwein] covered it. She made one on the last hole and I covered that. Other than that it was pretty solid. There’s a handful of holes, especially the back nine, where the ladies’ tees are a pretty big advantage, and a lot of doglegs. If I could find the fairway, she could cut a lot off. We were able to take advantage of that.”
Burleson rolled in a 12-footer at the third and Ledwein rolled in her birdie opportunity from 12 feet at the seventh. Ledwein stuck her approach to four feet at the eight, but Burleson stole the glory by sinking his birdie look from 10 feet as the two turned at 3-under.
Getting up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 10th, Burleson moved the two to 4-under before Ledwein took over, draining two lengthy birdie putts at the 14th and 16th holes to put the pair into the clubhouse with a 6-under 66.
“I switched putters yesterday and it was a good move,” Ledwein said Monday.
Also looking forward to the format change Tuesday, Burleson said he was “jacked up” anticipating hitting Ledwein’s second shots.
“I’m ready to wedge it to death out here. She drives it great, 240 or 250, so that’ll put me in wedge territory for just about every hole. We’re looking forward to it. It’ll fit us well because we both hit our irons well.”
Fresh off his win at the MGA Players’ Championship Wednesday, Andrew Israelson and partner Maddie Herzog posted a 5-under par 67 Monday and will begin the final round two shots off the lead in third place.
Israelson won the tournament a year ago, playing with his sister, Emily, to become the third brother and sister combo to claim the championship. The two fired a final-round 68 to beat the twosome of Olivia Herrick and Trent Peterson by four strokes at Forest Hills Golf Club.
The final round of the 29th MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship gets underway at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday at Hastings Golf Club.


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