Hallie Harding is heading to the state tournament.
The Watertown-Mayer junior golfer qualified for the June 1
1-12 event at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan by finishing in a tie for seventh place at the Section 5AA meet Monday at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. She earned the state tournament berth in a dramatic three-way playoff for the final two spots.
Harding’s two-day score of 181 — the first round was played on Thursday, May 30 — was good enough to tie her for seventh place with two other golfers. However, three of the six golfers that finished with a better score than Harding were from Providence Academy, the team champion, so those three golfers were already qualified for state.
The five highest scores for golfers not on the team champion also earn berths in the state tournament, meaning that of the three golfers tied at 181, only two could advance to state. On the first playoff hole, Hutchinson’s Londan Szymanski fired a remarkable eagle to claim one of the spots, while Harding and Maple Lake’s Tabitha Latzig both bogeyed, and moved on to another hole.
This time, Harding bogeyed and Latzig double-bogeyed, giving Harding the final state tournament berth.
“It was really exciting and plenty nerve racking for Hallie, but she really handled the pressure well,” Watertown-Mayer coach Tyler Finkelson said.
The top four teams and the next 12 best individual scores from the first round all advanced to the second round. Providence Academy (348), Litchfield (357), Breck (371) and Hutchinson (377) were the four teams that advanced to the second round. Watertown-Mayer shot a 406, which was good for sixth place at the 14-team meet.
However, Harding’s 90 in the first round was the top score among golfers whose teams didn’t advance, so she moved on to the second round, where she carded a 91. Harding was the only Royal golfer to advance to the second round.
Also for the Royals on Day 1, Tiffany Anderson shot a 103, Alli Lague shot a 106, Sarah Horlocker carded a 107, Lyndzi Durkin shot a 121 and Madeline Nolan shot a 130.
Contact Matt Bunke at email@example.com