STATE GOLF: SWC’s Emaleigh Vreeman finishes 2nd at state golfBECKER — There is no person harder on Southwest Christian’s Emaleigh Vreeman than Emaleigh Vreeman.
BECKER — There is no person harder on Southwest Christian’s Emaleigh Vreeman than Emaleigh Vreeman.
When Vreeman qualified for the state tournament with an 85, which was good enough for a second-place finish at the section meet, she said she played “horrible.”
Vreeman showed herself Wednesday, finishing tied for second place at the Class A state golf tournament in Becker. Finally, Vreeman gave herself some credit.
“After the way I played today, I feel great,” Vreeman said. “I’ve gone to state three times and I’ve improved each time I’ve gone.
“I saw the placing from Day 1 and I knew I needed to do something to get into the top 10. I told myself I just needed six strokes and I went into Day 2 with a positive head.
Vreeman shot 10 strokes better on Day 2 to move from tied for 11th into the runner-up tie with Lewiston-Altura’s Kaitlyn Hennessy and five strokes behind the state champion Rachel Gray, of Legacy Christian Academy, finishing with a 166 over the two-day tournament.
Like any golfer, it was the sight of a nicely hit drive that got Vreeman going.
“I hit 40s on the first nines in Day 1 and Day 2, but my first drive on the second nine in Day 1, I lost my straight ball,” Vreeman said. “Today, I went and I hit my drive straight down the middle.
“After I made my putt for birdie on that hole from 15 feet, I knew things were going well. It was a confidence booster.”
Vreeman’s 38 on her second nine holes was the second-best score on nine holes for any golfer in both days of the tournament.
“Every golfer has bad holes in them,” Vreeman said. “One bad hole doesn’t screw me up for the entire round.”
It was a decade ago when Vreeman swung her clubs for the first time. Now, after three trips to state, she’s ending her high school career with a second-place medal swinging around her neck.
“It’s kind of bittersweet, but it feels great to know that all my hard work paid off finally,” Vreeman said.
Fulda’s Tessa Kramer finished in a tie for 23rd, finishing the two-day tournament with a 182, while Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Abby Herding made a big jump on Day 2, shooting a 94 in her second round, after dropping a 106 on Day 2, to finish in a tie for 48th.
Benson and Lesnar finish 14th
Being named to the All-State AA girls’ golf team is not the only thing Jackson County Central’s Kaylee Benson and Worthington’s Kate Lesnar share in common. Both Lesnar and Benson finished with 164s over the two-day Class AA state golf tournament in Jordan to finish in a tie for 14th.
Benson shot an 84 on Day 2 to finish with a 164 and end her fifth trip to the state tournament and her high school golfing career.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet and I feel like I have another year,” Benson said. “It obviously didn’t end as well as I wanted it to, but I gave it my all.
“I just went out there and played and it wasn’t where my expectations were.”
Lesnar jumped from 22 to 14 in the standings by improving her Day 1 score by four strokes on Day 2.
“I played amazing today,” Lesnar said. “Everything about my game was really solid.
“My drives were straight and long, my irons were straight and my putting was good. Everything was on today.”
The Worthington junior came with expectations of finishing in the top 25, but with a finish in the top 15, Lesnar is eyeing a medal for her senior season.
“It’s really cool to see that I can actually compete with the best golfers in the state,” Lesnar said. “I knew I had a chance to do good this year, but I didn’t think I could be top 15.
“I’m excited for next year to see how well I can improve.”
WHS coach Ron Wood sees nothing wrong with a medal for Lesnar.
“We exceeded our goals,” Wood said. “This sets the stage for her senior year.
“Our goal now is to get in the top eight and medal. We’re only five strokes separated from the top eight and it’s not an unattainable goal. “I want to see her average a 39.”
Wood not only is confident in Lesnar, but in both the girls’ and boys’ Trojan teams for next season’s campaign.
“Next year should be the year for the boys’ and girls’ golf teams,” Wood said. “The girls have to get a second golfer to golf in the high 80s to go along with Kate’s 80 and the boys have everybody returning.
“Both teams should be highly competitive.”
MCC boys finish in fourth place
The Murray County Central boys’ golf team finished as the fourth best team in the state in Class A, shooting a 668 in the two-day state golf tournament in Becker.
The Rebels finished one stroke behind Dawson-Boyd, who took third place, five strokes behind runner-up Wabasha-Kellogg and 23 strokes behind state champion Legacy Christian Academy.
MCC’s Ben Loosbrock led the way, shooting a 161 to tie for 19th overall for the Rebels. Adam Christensen finished in a tie at 39 in the standings with a 168, Grant Everson was tied for 41st with a 170 and Devin Erickson and Devin Ryan each finished with a 171 to end tied for 41st overall, while Cole DeGreeff finished with a 211 for the Rebels.
Walzak leads way in Class A boys
Mountain Lake Christian’s Aaron Walzak finished in a tie for third place with a two-day score of 151 in the Class A golf tournament in Becker.
Dana Madson, of Westbrook-Walnut Grove, and Monte DeKam, of Southwest Christian, finished with 165s to come in tied at 29 in the standings and Fulda’s Todd Peterson finished the tournament in 81st with a 196.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy may be reached at 376-7328.