Bowyer medals at state
Before the state golf tournament began, Lauren Bowyer acknowledged that her goal was to finish in the top eight, which is the medal cutoff.
After completing her round last Wednesday (June 15) at Pebble Creek Colf Course in Becker, Bowyer had to wait until all the golfers had completed their rounds to find out where she placed.
"I had an amazing time," the Minneota senior said, again noting she was hoping to finish in the top eight. "I'm happy with how I played."
A few minutes later, she was delighted when her name was called to receive her eighth-place medal.
"It was an amazing experience to even be on this pedestal to get to the Class A state tournament," she said. "However, knowing that I placed at the state tournament, it made the experience even more memorable for me. This is a moment in my life that I will never forget."
Bowyer was joined at the state tournament by two Minneota senior boys, Cole Myhre and Jackson Esping, who qualified through Section 3A.
Although the two boys didn't finish as high as they would like, they both moved up 20 places from where they sat after the first day.
Myhre improved by 10 strokes from the first day to the second. Esping improved by three strokes from his first round.
"It was nice to see that they played a lot better the second day," Minneota coach Walker Hennen said. "I'm sure they wanted to place higher, but to just make it to state is an accomplishment."
Emily Brandt of Legacy Christian Academy won the girls' state title with a 165, edging Kianna Johnson of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, who had a 166. Courtney Hershberger of Fillmore Central finished third with a 173.Legacy Christian Academy won the team title by seven strokes over defending champion Lac qui Parle Valley.
Bowyer finished 18th at the state meet a year ago with 186. This year, she shot 87-88 for a two-day total of 175, just two strokes out of third place.
"I'm very happy with that," said Bowyer, who signed a national letter of intent to play for the University of Minnesota-Crookston next year.
On Tuesday, the first day of the tournament, golfers had to deal with near a triple-digit temperature, accompanied with strong winds. On Wednesday, rain fell in the morning and the temperature dropped 25 degrees from the previous day.
"Lauren played solid," said Minneota coach Walker Hennen. "I'm sure there are a few balls she hit that she would like to have over, but she played consistent on two completely different days, weather-wise."
Bowyer shot a 46-41 for an 87 on the first day in the high winds, and nearly duplicated that score on the second day, finishing 46-42-88 on the final round.
"My drives weren't consistent the first day, but my irons were good," she said. "On the second day, my drives were good, but my irons weren't consistent."
That was evident when she started out the second day with two bogeys and two double bogeys, mostly because she was having trouble controlling her irons. After those first four holes, she played solid.
When asked what hole was her most memorable, she quickly referred to No. 10 in which she birdied in the first round.
"I hit a really good drive and then left myself an easy putt for a birdie," she said. "That was my best hole of the tournament."
Cole Witherau of New Life Academy won the boys' Class A title with a 146, one stroke ahead of Rylin Petry of Fertile-Beltrami, which won the team title by 30 strokes.
BOYS TEAM SCORES: (1) Fertile-Beltrami 632 (2) Duluth Marshall 662 (3) Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 680 (4) Lakeview 682 (5) United South Central 703 (6) Park Christian 707 (7) New Life Academy 714 (8) Rushford-Peterson 757
BOYS TOP 8 (medalists): (1) Cole Witherow, New Life Academy, 73-73-146 (2) Rylin Petry, Fertile-Beltrami, 75-72-147 (3) Noah Scullard-Bender, Duluth Marshall, 73-75-148 (4) Hunter Schmidt, Martin County West, 76-73-149 (5) tie, Tucker D'Allaird, Duluth Marshall, 79-75-154; Trevor Swonger, Underwood, 81-73-154; Tony Carlin, Fosston; 78-76-154 (8) tie, Jake Fishbaugher, Fillmore Central, 81-74-155; Gannon Walsh, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 75-80-155
GIRLS TEAM SCORES: (1) Legacy Christian 716 (2) Lac qui Parle Valley 723 (3) Park Christian 741 (4) Fillmore Central 778 (5) North Woods 791 (6) Fertile-Beltrami 828 (7) Murray County Central 867 (8) Southeast United 875
GIRLS TOP 8 (medalists): (1) Emily Brandt. Legacy Christian, 81-84-165 (2) Kianna Johnson, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, 85-81-166 (3) Courtney Hershberger, Fillmore Central, 91-82-173 (4) tie, Adysen Tysdal, Ottertail Central, 89-85-174; Alissa Maurer, Benson, 87-87-174; Madison Doeden, Park Christian, 88-86-174; Sarah Halvorson 87-87-174 (8) tie, Lauren Bowyer, Minneota, 87-88-175; Molly Halvorson, Lac qui Parle Valley, 86-89-175