Consistent Mustangs storm to D-3 girls golf title

HYDE – The Bark River-Harris girls reaped the benefits of a solid performance Thursday, earning the runner-up trophy in the Upper Peninsula Division 3 Golf Finals at Highland Golf Club.

“I’m very proud of the girls,” said BR-H coach Scott Farnsworth. “They’ve worked extremely hard and done well all year. I hope they play golf all summer and keep improving their game.”

Munising gained its first title with 416 strokes, followed by BR-H 435, Forest Park 444, defending champion Cedarville 447, DeTour 474 and Ontonagon 482.

“I think our consistency is what got us here,” said Munising coach Bette Immel. “We have four seniors who’ve played four years of varsity golf. This is a great way for them to end their careers.”

St. Ignace sophomore Margo Brown earned medalist honors at 90, including a 43 on the back nine on this sunny and warm day.

“I double-bogeyed the first three holes,” said Brown, the Saints’ lone representative. “After that, I told myself to shake it off and I relaxed a little. I hit with my irons pretty good and putted pretty well.”

Munising sophomore Carla Nottmeier, an exchange student from Germany, was runner-up with 93.

“On the front nine, I felt I wasn’t doing well with my driving,” said Nottmeier. “I didn’t get the distance I wanted, but that got better on the back nine. I started to relax a little more and hitting the ball a little farther. It’s a great feeling for us to win as a team.”

BR-H junior Savanna Stenberg took third at 94, followed by DeTour eighth-grader Madison Wilkie 95 and Forest Park junior Lexi Gussert and Munising senior Molly Mattson 99.

Gussert, who came in as defending champion, already has offers to play basketball at several major colleges including reigning NCAA Division 1 national champion Connecticut, where she’ll be visiting in the near future.

Stenberg hit 49 on the front nine and improved to 45 on the back nine.

“I started real bad on the front nine,” said Stenberg. “I was having a problem with chipping. My short game improved on the back nine, which was a big boost. I wanted to shoot a 42 on the back nine and hoped to finish in the high 80s. I know I could have done better, but I’m still pleased with my score. I had the home course advantage, which was pretty helpful because I knew where every obstacle was on the course.”

This marked the second straight runner-up finish for the Broncos, who placed second in D-2 a year ago.

“Savannah shot a great round,” said Farnsworth. “The girls all come from families who play golf. They have a golf background and understand the terminology. A lot of it is course management and knowing what to do. There was a lot of rough out there today. If you didn’t stay on the fairway, it added strokes in a hurry.”

Also among the top area golfers were BR-H freshman Hannah Starnes and Big Bay de Noc junior Cassidy Cayemberg at 105 and Mid Peninsula sophomore Hunter Branstrom with 107.

“We have a young team this year,” said Stenberg, who placed fourth in D-2 last season. “I think we’ll be better next year. We’re all coming back and we have some incoming freshmen who are pretty good.”

Munising senior Katie Immel also shot 107, with classmates Eve Gendron (117) and Emily DesJardins (120).

“Our four seniors are awesome kids,” said coach Immel. “Their cumulative GPA is about 3.8 and they’re great ambassadors to our community. They’re close friends and they’re all like my daughters.

“We were pleased to have Emily on the team this year. She tore her Achilles tendon in the first basketball game last year and didn’t think she’d be able to play golf. But the doctors cleared her shortly before the season. I think this really means a lot to her.”

Ontonagon’s leaders were junior Abby Domitrovich (108), senior Ashley Crowe (112) and sophomore Erin Majurin (123).

Junior Sarah Zielinski-Sauter paced Watersmeet at 128.