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Prep golf: Perfect weather, imperfect scores in Worthington

WORTHINGTON -- The weather was perfect. But fast and hard greens, and perhaps a lack of practice time led to unimpressive scores Monday in a Luverne-Worthington high school golf meet at GreatLIFE in Worthington. The WHS boys won their outing agai...

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Anneke Weg of the Worthington High School girls golf team reacts Monday afternoon after a near-miss on the far edge of the 18th green in a match against the Luverne Cardinals. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)
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WORTHINGTON -- The weather was perfect. But fast and hard greens, and perhaps a lack of practice time led to unimpressive scores Monday in a Luverne-Worthington high school golf meet at GreatLIFE in Worthington.

The WHS boys won their outing against the Cardinals, 176-192, and the Cardinal girls edged their counterparts 220-222. There were few impressive performances, however.

“It was mainly the greens for both teams today,” said Trojans girls head coach Paul Barduson. “It just caught us by surprise, I think. We haven’t had a practice for a long time, and now we’re going to get a chance to clean up some things.”

A late winter pushed back everyone’s spring golf season, resulting in the squeezing of events into a constricting time frame -- and fewer actual practices. Worthington was very busy last week, playing competitive golf as recently as Saturday before taking on Luverne.

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“We’ve had one practice (since getting onto the golf course),” said WHS boys head coach John Koller. “We really need to work with our short game. Inside of 100 yards we need to tighten things up.”

Boys medalist on Monday was Worthington’s Nick Weg, with a 39. Teammates Jacob Prunty (43), Lucas Boever (44) and Ben Koepsell (50) rounded out the team scoring. For Luverne, Coy Gonnerman recorded a 44, followed by teammates Carter Stemper (45), Jack Golla (48) and Carter Loosbrock (55).

Hannah VerSteeg of Luverne was girls’ medalist with a 48. Samantha Pierce followed with a 52 while Anna Huisman and Brynn Thier both carded 60.

For Worthington, Anneke Weg struck a 49, Bailey Weg a 52, Claire Ludes a 60 and Maggie Putnam a 61.

Anneke Weg, who will continue her golf career at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall after completing her senior season, has been experimenting early in the 2018 campaign with a new swinging approach. Her natural ball flight is a fade, she explained on Monday, so she’d been trying to hit more of a draw.

Before Monday, she returned to her former strategy and her scores showed signs of improving.

“I’m just bringing it back to the basics,” she said.

Even that didn’t help her much on Monday, however.

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“I wasn’t hitting the ball the way I wanted to. Simply stated, my swing was off. I wasn’t in tempo,” she said in the clubhouse.

One subject that brings a smile to the WHS senior, however, is the promise showed this year by her little sister, sophomore Bailey.

Bailey earned her first medalist honors at an April 30 meet, and she was only three strokes off her sister’s score on Monday.

“I’m happy for her. She’s always been a good golfer,” said Anneke. “I’m glad for her. I hope she goes far.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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