Emeralds’ Hoholik is medalist

MANISTIQUE – It was cold, windy, and the Indian Lake Golf Course still had wet areas spread out across the course on Thursday at the Mid-Peninsula Conference Meet. To sum it up, it was typical Upper Peninsula golf conditions that golfers across the area have had to deal with this season.

With the prep golf season nearing its end, at this point, the weather doesn’t even faze the golfers. Especially Manistique’s Hailey Hoholik, who claimed the girls medalist honors with a 91- 23 strokes better than the next girl.

“I’m used to playing in these types of conditions because it’s Michigan,” she said about the weather. “There’s really been nothing else. It’s not going to be 80 degrees every day you’re out there, so I’m used to it.”

For Manistique head coach Deb Taylor, seeing her golfer – who also happens to be her niece – take home medalist honors was enough for her to become emotional. So much so, that she became teary eyed as she announced Hoholik’s name and presented her with the medal.

“I’m so proud of her,” Taylor said about Hoholik. “She has been doing so good this year. She has been hitting the ball straight and consistent. I’m very proud of her.”

Hoholik and the Emeralds finished second in the team scores, with a total of 498. Iron Mountain took home the Mid-Peninsula Conference title, shooting a 477, as Kathyrn Brown (114) and Cassie Feira (114) finished second and third to lead the Mountaineers. Marti Pikola finished (122) fifth and Lexi Verrette (127) came in sixth, giving Iron Mountain four finishers in the top six.

Lauren Farley rounded out the top five after she managed to shoot a 116, which was good enough for fourth.

Westwood finished third (535) and Ishpeming (619) took home fourth place, of the schools who fielded full teams in the girls division.

On the boys side, it was Norway claiming the conference title, as the Knights shot a total of 359, while second place Negaunee finished 10 strokes behind with a 369.

Similar to Hoholik, Norway wasn’t fazed by the frigid weather conditions.

“I don’t think we know how to play in nice weather,” Norway head coach Ben Leiker jokingly said. “At the start, the weather was typical for this spring. It was cold and it was super windy, and conditions were wet, so this was a very tough golf course. As you can see by all the inflated scores, it was a tough round of golf.

“I thought if we played decent, we could win this. We’ve won a few tournaments this year and we’ve known the teams that we played here.”

Norway’s Austin Hansen (79) claimed medalist honors, after he managed to be the only person to break 80.

“He had a phenomenal round,” Leiker said about Hansen. “To shoot a 79 today in very tough conditions is a great round of golf.”

In addition to Hansen, the Knights placed three golfers in the top seven. Justin Anderson (89) came in fifth and Bryce Kelly (90) finished in seventh.

Austin Blomquist from Iron Mountain (83) was the boys runner-up, and was followed by Negaunee’s Dave Renaldi (85) and Westwood’s Connor Mason (89), who took home third and fourth place respectively.

Iron Mountain managed to finish third in the team scores (372), while Manistique (376) and Westwood (376) tied.

With the conference meet now over, the teams set their sights on the Division II U.P. Finals, which will take place on May 29 at the George Young Golf Club in Iron River.