WHS, Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda split opening golf meet
WORTHINGTON -- For Payton Marquardt, the first shot said a lot about how his round was going to go.
Marquardt, a senior for the Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda golf team, put his tee shot on the first hole right down the middle.
“It felt good right off the bat,” Marquardt said. “The first drive was right where I wanted it to be. That gave me a confidence boost.”
From there, he overcame the elements to fire a 41 as the Coyotes boys golf team earned a victory over Worthington 176-185 Thursday afternoon.
“I just feel like I used my irons really well,” Marquardt said. “I put them right where I needed them to be. I wasn’t overly aggressive, I just kind of played it safe and it seemed to work out. A few of my drives I sliced a little bit too much. Other than that, I thought I did pretty well.”
On the girls side, the Trojans had a 222 compared to HL-O/F’s 260.
“A win is always a good thing,” WHS girls head coach Paul Barduson said. “We now know some things that we can work on. Today was a good start to the year, and hopefully we can keep improving our scores.”
Worthington’s Maggie Putnam was the medalist with a 53. It was the first time she earned medalist honors in her career.
“I think I did OK, the weather was pretty bad, so it was hard. I just stayed focused,” Putnam said. “I think my long shots were better. My short game needs some work still.”
Putnam, who is one of the top returners, has moved up into the No. 2 role this season.
“It’s pretty scary being No. 2 because I have to golf with better golfers this year,” she said.
HL-O/F’s Corry Renneke took medalist honors for the boys with a 39.
“I played short of the pin and just made putts,” Renneke said. “You just had to play your game and don’t let the weather bother you. If you hit a bad shot, just go to the next one and play that.”
Renneke and Marquardt each qualified for state last year. And each are off to a good start this season.
“We just work on our short game and try to keep the short game going,” Renneke said. “That’s what saves meets.”
The temperature hovered around 40 degrees on an overcast day. However, the conditions really deteriorated once the rain began.
“The first few holes were not bad and then the rain and drizzle started around Hole 5,” Marquardt said. “Then it was a little tougher. But it wasn’t bad.”
Tyler Madison had a 45 for HL-O/F and Joe Fischer finished with a 51.
For the Trojans, Nick Weg and Preston Thavixay each had a 44, while Preston Anderson scored a 48 and Logan Powers and Lucas Boever each had a 49.
“Getting out on the course is huge. We need to get out and practice our short game, not into the nets, but onto greens and get distance control worked on. It’s a progression,” WHS boys head coach John Koller said. “We should improve from here. There’s plenty of things to work on in practice. Honestly, the short game is where we have to improve. If you have a reasonable long game and a solid short game, you can get a lot of pars.”
Worthington’s Bailey Weg had a 56. Lilly Mahlberg and Kendall Nixon, who were each playing in their first varsity meet, scored a 56 and 57, respectively.
“Maggie should be very proud, it was her first medalist of her career, so that’s awesome for her,” Barduson said. “You have 56 and 57 from two girls who have never played varsity, that’s a good start to their careers as well.”
HL-O/F was led by Elly Bang, who had a 55. Meakin Bang fired a 61.