JORDAN, Minn. – The Minnesota State High School girls’ golf tournament saw not one, but two records fall Tuesday as the Class AA tournament began at Ridges at Sand Creek. Red Wing High School’s Leah Herzog posted a 6-under par 66 to set a new mark briefly before teammate Sophia Yoemans fired a 9-under par 63 a short time later.
The depth of the roster from the Detroit Lakes girls proved vital Tuesday as the Lakers paced the field in the team competition, shooting a team score of 321 to take the opening round lead despite the blistering start by Red Wing’s top two players.
Detroit Lakes, winner of five of the last six team titles, will enter Wednesday’s final round with a five-stroke advantage over Marshall high school and an eight-stroke lead over Red Wing.
“It’s hard to chase down [Yoemans and Herzog], but our third and fourth players saved us,” Detroit Lakes head coach Kris Smith said following the first round Tuesday. “[Depth] with either win or lose us a championship. We’re going for three in a row and we’ll have to stub our toe tomorrow, but the last round of state—a lot of things have happened. We were even with nine holes to go with Lake City last year and won the championship. We could easily be in that position tomorrow.
Yoemans, the state’s top-ranked player entering the tournament this week, fired a career-best 67 earlier this season and started the championship Tuesday by rolling in six birdies over her front nine Tuesday before adding three more during the outward nine to post tournament-record 63, leading teammate Herzog by three shots ahead of Wednesday’s final round.
“Obviously 63 is pretty solid,” a jovial Yoemans said following her round Tuesday. “All the par-5’s here are pretty getable for me and I was hitting solid drives and was accurate with the long irons and hybrids, so that was helpful to get on the green and two-putt for par.
“My wedges were great and I left myself with some makeable birdie putts and knocked a few of those in. I was most happy with my iron play. There were a couple of pins where even though I didn’t hit great shots, I left it in the right spots—I had good misses.”