On Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Thursday, Sept. 9, the Prescott girls golf team won its third and fourth consecutive Middle Border Conference golf meets at Pheasant Hills Golf Course and Clifton Highlands …
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Thursday, Sept. 9, the Prescott girls golf team won its third and fourth consecutive Middle Border Conference golf meets at Pheasant Hills Golf Course and Clifton Highlands Golf Course respectively, keeping them in first place in the conference standings.
The Tuesday afternoon golf meet at Pheasant Hills Golf Course in Hammond proved to be more of the same for Prescott girls golf. Junior standout Ava Salay began her round on the second hole at Pheasant Hills. Salay appeared to pick up right where she had left off at the previous conference meet. She hit her opening tee shot down the middle of the fairway, putting her in a great position off the tee on the 402-yard par five.
Salay’s second shot from the fairway missed just left of the green. Her third shot was an uphill chip to a middle-right pin location. Her chip was nearly perfect, as she nearly holed it and had only a few inches remaining for her birdie putt.
Going to the third hole, a 235-yard short par four, Salay was already one under for the match. Her tee shot on the third hole found the right greenside bunker with a middle-right pin location. Her bunker shot gave her a good look at birdie. She had approximately six feet left and managed to make the putt, moving to two under par for the match. After the match, Salay described getting off to a hot start by making birdie on the first two holes of the meet.
“I think I was just really confident starting this round,” Salay said. “I really like this course and my game works well on this course. Going into the meet I had confidence and I think that showed on the first couple of holes and throughout the round.”
Throughout the remaining seven holes of the nine-hole meet at Pheasant Hills, Salay found herself with several par putts ranging in length from four to six feet. She made all of them except for one; her lone bogey of the match was on the ninth hole, which moved her score back to one under par. Salay’s good showing on the greens contributed to her overall score of 35 (1), which was the winning score for the meet.
“I think I’m a really solid short game player,” Salay said after the meet. “I think I chip the ball really well and I putt well. I think that’s what sets me apart.”
Salay set herself apart at the Pheasant Hills meet where she won by four shots over secondplace finisher Ava Pesha from Somerset who shot 39. Salay’s four-shot victory was her second consecutive conference meet victory as an individual and the third consecutive team victory for the Cardinals girls golf team. Salay described her expectations for each meet and what her mentality is going into conference matches.
“I don’t know that I expect to win because I don’t think you can expect that,” Salay said. “I do expect to play well, and I think if I play that well every round then I think I’ll win. I just expect to play as well as I can.”
Although Salay led the charge for the Prescott girls golf team, the other players competed at a high level too. Of the top seven scores for the Sept. 7 meet, Prescott players accounted for five of them. Those scores include Salay’s 35, Maddie Reiter’s 40, Rhi Stutz’s 43, Liz Rohl’s 45 and Jessica Heinsch’s 45.
Prescott’s total team score of 163, which consists of the best four scores from the team for the meet, was good enough to take first place by 17 shots. St. Croix Central finished in second place with a total score of 180, led by Sally Vangsness’ 41.
Clifton Highlands Golf Course
The second conference meet of the week was on Thursday, Sept. 9, at Clifton Highlands Golf Course in Prescott. Prescott’s total team score of 173 again put them in the victory column. St. Croix Central again finished second, with a total team score of 189.
Salay and Vangsness tied for first place at the meet as individuals, as both players shot 40. The 16-shot victory for Prescott keeps head coach Chad Salay’s team in the driver seat of the Middle Border Conference standings.
The Clifton Highlands team victory also secured Prescott’s fourth consecutive conference meet victory. Prescott has a total of 40 points as a team in the conference standings. That figure is the maximum amount of points that a team could have, as they’ve won every conference meet thus far.
St. Croix Central remains in second place with 36 points as a team consisting of four second- place finishes as a team. There are three conference meets remaining before the Middle Border Conference Championship, which is slated for 9 a.m. Sept. 22 at the Krooked Kreek Golf Course in Osceola.
The next conference match is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Ellsworth Country Club. Tee times are slated for 4 p.m.
Middle Border, Big Rivers girls golf results
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Thursday, Sept. 9, and Friday, Sept. 10, girls golf action continued throughout western Wisconsin with two Middle Border Conference matches and a Big Rivers Conference match for various local girls’ golf teams including Ellsworth, Prescott and River Falls.
The first Middle Border Conference meet of the week was on Tuesday afternoon at Pheasant Hills Golf Course in Hammond. Team results include Prescott’s 163, Saint Croix Central’s 180, Somerset’s 189, Osceola’s 225, Ellsworth’s 225, Amery’s 231 and Baldwin-Woodville’s 232.
Ellsworth’s leading scorer for the match was Shelby Lawler who shot a 51. Just behind her was Kayley Bayer’s 52, Aaliyah Huppert’s 56, Katie Gillespie’s 66 and Gabby McChane’s 70.
Prescott’s winning score was led by Ava Salay who shot 35 (-1). Following her was a solid lineup that included Maddie Reiter’s 40, Rhi Stutz’s 43, Liz Rohl’s 45, Jessica Heinsch’s 45, and Mabel Rohl’s 53.
The Clifton Highlands meet was on Thursday, Sept. 9, and featured more of the same results, which included another Prescott team victory. Prescott’s winning score of 173 featured Salay’s 40, Heinsch’s 43, Liz Rohl’s 44, Stutz’s 46, Reiter’s 47 and Mabel Rohl’s 50.
Ellsworth had a strong showing as well, finishing third in the meet with the leading score coming from Bayer who shot 54. Following her was Gillespie with a 55, Lawler’s 56, Huppert’s 61 and McChane’s 74 for a total team score of 226.
The next Middle Border Conference golf meet is at Ellsworth Country Club on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.
The River Falls girls’ golf team was also in action last week, as they competed in a conference meet on Friday, Sept. 10, at the Turtleback Golf Course in Rice Lake. River Falls finished in third place out of eight competing teams, trailing only Hudson and New Richmond. River Falls finished with a total of 30 points at the meet, which missed out on second place by five points and first place by 10 points.
The third-place finish is a familiar place for the Wildcats, as it was their fifth consecutive third-place finish in conference play behind the two aforementioned schools. The leading score for the Wildcats golfers was senior Mekinnah Xiong who shot a 44. Mahlia McCane shot a 46 and Jenna Bergmanis shot a 47. The final two RFHS golfers, Molly Schmidt and Aili Lassi shot 52 and 53 respectively.
The next meet for the RFHS girls golf team is on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. It’s a Big Rivers Conference meet at Lake Wissota Golf Course in Chippewa Falls.
Photo by Reagan Hoverman