FHS golfers finish 9th at state meet; Schneider, Watkins top 10
The Frankenmuth varsity girls’ golf team battled some of the state’s best programs and the elements at last weekend’s MHSAA Division 4 State Finals Tournament.
The Lady Eagles finished in ninth place with a score of 802 for the two-day, 36-hole tournament held October 17-18 at The Meadows Golf Course at Allendale’s Grand Valley State University.
FHS was actually third place among the public schools as Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central won with a score of 690. Harbor Springs was second (723), followed by parochial schools Macomb Lutheran North (728), Grand Rapids West Catholic (741), Grand Rapid NorthPointe Christian (750), Maple City Glen Lake (752, public), Livonia Lady Wood (763) and Flint Powers Catholic (771).
Fellow Tri-Valley Conference school Freeland finished 11th with an 829.
𠇊s it often happens, the weather at the state finals was the most arduous of the year. Golf deep in the heart of fall can be a physical and mental test for golfers,” FHS Coach Matt Vaughn said. “That combined with a challenging course at The Meadows made these state finals a true test for all competitors. Both days were windy, cold and very wet.”
‘Muth did place two golfers among the top 10. Junior Shayna Schneider fired an 88-78 for a two-day score of 167 and sophomore Meg Watkins came in the clubhouse with an 83-85 for 168.
Maple City Glen Lake’s Nichole Cox was the D-4 medalist, carding an 83-76 for a 36-hole score of 159.
“Oddly enough, the poor weather plays directly into the strengths of Shayna. She has a history of doing well in challenging conditions. This was true on day two when she fired a third-place 78, a personal best,” Vaughn pointed out. “This course has a lot of trouble to get into and Shayna managed to avoid almost all of it.”
Schneider birdied holes 16 and 17 on day two.
“Meg did not feel confident with her swing and her putting fell short of her expectations. However, she relied on strong work off the tee and managed a second-place finish on day one with an 83,” Vaughn pointed out. “This marks the second consecutive season Meg has finished in the top 10 at state and with two more years in her high school career, this bodes well for her future.”
Watkins managed a birdie on Friday.
Sophomore Hannah Turk earned a spot on the team with her strong play at the regional. Turk scored 119 and 111 for a two-day total if 230.
“Hannah hits a high ball which usually means disaster in strong winds but she succeeded in playing the wind to her advantage. She was able to stay out of trouble and keep her head and emotions in control, contributing a strong score to help the team,” the coach said.
Senior Abby Vaughn carded a 126 on day one but made adjustments to score 112 on day two for a 238.
A disastrous fifth hole on Friday could have shredded Vaughn’s confidence.
“With a lot more golf in front of her, she managed to isolate those feelings and pull out the rest of the day. It was a score she did not like. Her 112 on day two reflected continued improvement in the more challenging weather conditions,” Vaughn noted.
Senior Carly McMartin and junior Ann Curtis shared a competition slot with McMartin playing Friday and Curtis on Saturday.
“This was Carly’s second state finals appearance. She relied on the strength of her game which is iron play to navigate the long set up of the course,” Vaughn said, as McMartin registered a 127.
On Saturday, Curtis tackled the conditions and shot a personal tourney best of 121.
𠇊nn focused on not letting one or two bad shots affect the results of a hole and was trying to string two pars together on her way to her personal best. This was good experience for Ann . . . she enjoyed the day,” Vaughn stated.
Frankenmuth finished the season as the TVC champions, edging out Freeland.