Brown, Bark River-Harris Repeat in UPD3

By John Vrancic
Special for

May 28, 2015

ESCANABA — St. Ignace High School was represented by just one golfer at Thursday’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Girls Final. 

Senior Margo Brown, however, represented her school admirably by earning medalist honors with an 83 at the Escanaba Country Club.

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Brown, who will play basketball at Ferris State University next winter. “It was a little windy, but it wasn’t that big a thing. I like this course. It’s pretty open and it’s in pretty good shape. I think the rain we got last (Wednesday) night helped a little.” 

This marked the third consecutive year Brown was crowned individual champion. She also won Division 3 in 2013 and captured the Division 2 title a year ago.

Bark River-Harris retained its team title with 439 strokes. Crystal Falls Forest Park went home with the runner-up trophy for the second straight year with 457, and third-place Engadine had 464 on this sunny and mild day. 

“That’s a very tough task, especially in D-3 with so many good teams,” said BR-H coach Scott Farnsworth. “All of the girls improved through the season. They put a lot of time and effort into their game. I don’t put any pressure on the kids. I just stress working hard in practice. Many of the girls play during the summer. For the most part, they know and understand the game. They do the work. I just offer them guidance.”

Forest Park coach Harold Payne was pleased with the runner-up finish. 

“This was absolutely a solid performance by our girls,” he said. “I’m very proud of their performance today. We have one senior who has played for a year. Our junior (Annie Taylor) who placed fifth today means a lot to our team. She keeps improving every year and our two freshmen have come a long way. Both of our freshmen hadn’t played much golf before this year. We’re very pleased, especially for having only four girls. All of them did what they were supposed to do. Our (Skyline Central) conference represents itself well.”

BR-H junior Hannah Starnes and DeTour sophomore Madison Wilke shared the individual runner-up spot at 92.

Brown stated with a double-bogey on No. 1 and finished with a 43 on the front nine. She followed with 40 on the back. 

“When you have a bad hole, you’ve got to shake it off and do better on the next hole,” she said. “My irons were pretty good. My drives were decent, and I started making good putts. On the back nine I was ready to go. Number 10 was a pretty good hole. After Number 10, I knew I was going to have a pretty good back nine.” 

Starnes improved by two strokes from a year ago on this course.

“The first nine holes were pretty rough, but the back nine went better,” she said. “My swing felt a lot smoother once I got into a rhythm. My second shot got better this year. I struggled with my woods last year, but I worked on that extensively and feel more comfortable with my whole game.”

Wilke added a stroke to last year’s score. 

“I had a lot of bad shots,” said Wilke. “It was a lot of different things at different times, although I’m pleased to come out of here as a runner-up. I think everyone was nervous today.”

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PHOTOS: (Top) St. Ignace's Margo Brown watches a shot on hole No. 6 at Escanaba Country Club on Thursday. (Middle) Bark River-Harris' Hannah Starnes sizes up a shot on No. 3. (Photos by Keith Shelton.)

Potent Pair Lead Cedarville/DeTour Girls to Repeat; Ontonagon Ace Paces Field

By Jason Juno
Special for

June 1, 2023

HYDE – Cedarville and DeTour have been golfing together for just two years as a co-op – and they already have two Upper Peninsula Girls Golf Finals titles.

The Islanders repeated in Division 3 with a score of 420 on Thursday at Highland Golf Club near Escanaba. That was eight strokes better than runner-up Big Bay de Noc and 16 fewer than third-place Ontonagon.

“It’s nice,” Islanders coach Jeff Autore said. “These girls worked hard. They knew they had a chance to be defending champions. We knew we had a pretty good chance coming in. This was our goal. The girls knew it, they were determined. This is why we practice in the rain and in the snow and in the cold.

Ontonagon’s Emmy Bobula tees off during her championship round.“We expected this and we worked hard for this, and they deserve it.”

For Hayley Kohlmann, who shot a 94, and Taylor Williams, who carded a 107, it was their third-straight team title. Cedarville also won as a standalone team in 2021. 

“They’ve had a pretty good run,” Autore said. “And then we co-opped with DeTour, and Lily Plowman has been our best player all year long. She finished in the top five last year.”

Plowman also shot a 94 on Thursday. She and Kohlmann were two of just three golfers in the field to shoot under 100.

The other was medalist Emmy Bobula of Ontonagon; she shot a 90. All three were over 100 at last year’s Final, held at the same course.

Bobula shot a 113 last year.

“So I really improved this season a lot,” she said. “It was crazy, that was my PR (personal record), so yeah, pretty bonkers.”

It was definitely a good time for such a good performance. She likes playing in tournaments and doesn’t get nervous for them. There’s no bigger tournament than this one for U.P. high school golfers.

Mackinac Island’s Isabella Nitzschke hits out of a tough spot beside a tree. “It’s crazy, it’s kind of surreal,” Bobula said. “I shed a few tears because it’s my senior season. It feels pretty good.”

Her coach Jim Jessup said Bobula wanted to have a big year – and she did.

“She’s a senior, she had drive, she wanted to do things this year and she did them,” Jessup said.

It all started for her Thursday off the tee.

“Probably my drives really saved me,” she said. “I had good drives today, which is probably the best thing and chipping, I did pretty well in chipping today actually.”

Ontonagon’s Madyson Pantti shot a 102 and Camryn Pederson of Big Bay de Noc a 105.

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PHOTOS (Top) Cedarville/DeTour’s Lily Plowman hits out of the sand during Thursday’s UPD3 Final. (Middle) Ontonagon’s Emmy Bobula tees off during her championship round. (Below) Mackinac Island’s Isabella Nitzschke hits out of a tough spot beside a tree. (Photos by Jason Juno.)