The Watertown-Mayer girls’ golf team may have fallen a bit short this year in its quest for a Minnesota River Conference team title, but the Royals certainly had plenty of impressive showings as individuals.
There certainly was nothing wrong with the team’s finish, either. The Royals finished in third place in the conference with an overall score of 1,249, one spot better than they finished last year. That was behind conference champion Belle Plaine, which shot a 1,205, and Jordan, which finished at 1,206.
But the Royals did have two athletes finish in the top eight in the conference, both earning first-team all-conference honors. Those honors went to senior Hallie Harding, who earned first-team honors for the second year in a row after finishing in eighth place last year, and Tiffany Anderson, who earned first-team honors for the first time after being earning honorable-mention recognition last year.
Harding, at 61-over-par, finished in fifth place in the conference, but her highlight would come later, when she qualified for the state tournament with her two-day performance at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. Harding shot a two-day 181, including a 90 in the first round. She ended up tied for seventh, and finished second in a three-way playoff for the final two individual spots in the state tournament.
At the state tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek, Harding finished in a tie for 53rd place with a 27-hole total of 137.
“She was having a great second day at state, but unfortunately we only played nine holes because the day was shortened due to the weather,” Watertown-Mayer coach Tyler Finkelson said. “She did score an impressive 38 with a pair of birdies on the second day.”
Anderson, who finished in 11th place last year, improved to eighth place this year to also earn first-team all-conference honors. She finished with a score of 75-over-par.
“It was a great senior year for Tiffany, and I was really proud that she was recognized for her achievements,” Finkelson said.
Also for the Royals, Sarah Horlocker earned honorable-mention all-conference recognition, missing out on first-team recognition by just two strokes. Lyndzi Durkin, Madeline Nolan and Alli Lague also enjoyed solid seasons in the Royals’ varsity lineup.
“Sarah played consistently all year, and I definitely feel she will place in the top 8 girls next year in the MRC,” Finkelson said of Horlocker.
Four of the Royals’ regular varsity golfers graduated this year, so the Royals will be looking for some younger faces to step in next year. Durkin, Lague, Nolan and Anderson all graduated this year, but Horlocker and Harding will both be seniors next year.
“We will miss all of our seniors next year, as they were a great group of girls who showed great leadership to all of the younger girls on the team,” Finkelson said. “We will have some good talent to fill in for our departing seniors next year as we hope to compete for the MRC title.”
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]