DeTour's Wilkie, Cedarville Rise to Top
By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com
June 2, 2016
ESCANABA — The third try was the charm for DeTour junior Madison Wilkie on Thursday as she earned the Upper Peninsula Division 3 girls golf championship for the first time.
Wilkie, who was runner-up the past two years, fired an 85 at the Escanaba Country Club on this sunny and mild day.
“I think today I was a lot less nervous,” she said. “I’ve been here before and played quite a few rounds on this course. Being familiar with the course helps a lot.”
Wilkie became the first DeTour golfer to be crowned U.P. champion since 2007, when Erin Worden captured the Division 3 title.
Cedarville claimed the team championship for the first time in four years with 402 strokes, followed by DeTour with 434, Munising 460 and two-time reigning champion Bark River-Harris 465.
Wilkie started with a 45 on the front nine, then lowered her score to 40 on the back.
‘I could have done better on the front nine,” she added. “Before we got on the back nine, I told myself I could play a lot better. I started hitting my shots more solid. I was getting better contact with my irons, especially on my approach shots. My tee shots were pretty consistent.”
Cedarville senior Annie Eberts was runner-up at 89. DeTour junior Kaalin Crawford placed third with a 94.
“This is the third time I played here for the Finals,” said Eberts, who shot 97 the past two years. “In the past when a hole didn’t go my way, I would get mad and that’s the worst thing you can do. I stayed calm this time. When a hole didn’t go my way, I just focused on the next hole. I practiced a lot this year. I wanted to end on a good note and help our team. We all worked hard, did our responsibilities and pulled our weight. Madison is a very good player and deserves to be champion. She works hard at her game, too.”
The golfers were greeted by temperatures in the mid 60s and a gentle breeze from the south.
“It was a beautiful day to play,” said Crawford. “You just had to pay attention to the wind. I thought the greens were in perfect shape, and my short game was working pretty good. Taking second as a team will definitely motivate us for next year.”
All four DeTour golfers are juniors.
“The girls played well all year,” said DeTour coach Keli Kelly. “Madison had been close the past couple years and finally sealed the deal today. Us and Cedarville had been the main competition in our area all season. This is a tribute to the girls and all the hard work they do.”
Cedarville has three juniors and an eighth-grader, with Eberts its lone graduate.
“The biggest key is all the girls performed better than in previous meets,” said Cedarville coach Dewey Lopes. “Annie plays real well. She was in a slump earlier, but came through big-time. Our eighth-grader (Lily Freel) also did well under pressure. We’ll graduate Annie. Everybody else will be back, but she’ll be hard to replace.”
Chassell freshman Marli Hietala took fourth at 97, followed by Freel at 98 and Cedarville junior Elissa Griffin at 100.
Junior Bailey Downs was Munising’s leader in seventh (101) and BR-H senior Hannah Starnes was eighth (103).
“I’m very proud of our girls,” said Bark River-Harris coach Scott Farnsworth. “They’ve worked very hard all year. Golf is one of those sports in which every day is different and each year the competition changes. Cedarville and DeTour are very strong teams. There’s pretty good competition all the way around in D-3.”
Painesdale-Jeffers junior Julia Nordstrom in ninth (106) and Big Bay de Noc junior Ariel Cousineau (108) rounded out the top 10 individual placers.
PHOTOS: (Top) DeTour's Madison Wilkie tees off on No. 10 at Escanaba Country Club during Thursday's Final. Wilkie, a junior, was the tournament's medalist with an 85. (Middle) Cedarville's Lily Freel watches her putt catch the lip of the hole on No. 6. Freel, an eighth grader, took fifth overall with a 98. (Photos by Amanda Chaperon.)
Manistique Celebrates 2nd-Straight Finals Medalist, 1st Team Title Since 2015
By Jason Juno
Special for Second Half
May 31, 2023
NORWAY – After finishing runner-up to her teammate by one stroke last year, it was Nora Cunningham’s turn to be an Upper Peninsula Finals champion.
But more important to her was the fact that she and Macy Green, last year’s UP Division 2 medalist, led Manistique to a team championship Wednesday at Oak Crest.
“It feels really good,” Cunningham said of her individual achievement. “Above all, though, I think the team win definitely feels the best. Last year we ended up good individually, but the team win was our ultimate goal, so it was nice to get that this year.”
Manistique finished with a score of 455 for its first UP Finals title since 2015, and after the Emeralds finished fifth last spring. Bark River-Harris was runner-up with a 501.
Cunningham – who tied for second individually in 2022 – shot a 101 this time to finish three strokes ahead of Bark River-Harris’ Ava McDonough. Green and Manistique teammate Maddy Maline both carded 107s.
Oak Crest played tougher than it looked, Cunningham said. There’s a lot of trees, and she lost balls in the rough. She had a couple of rough holes, carding an 8 and a 9, but kept them to a minimum.
“I think I had really consistent drives, and then I just tried to take it hole by hole and not get too frustrated,” she said. “I had some rough holes, but I just bounced back from them.”
Her game is even better than it was last year.
“Nora has added an extreme amount of distance off the tee,” Manistique coach Tim Noble said. “She’s really hitting drives past most everyone else. And it’s allowed her short game to flourish because she doesn't have to hit those mid irons like she used to.”
It had to be a happy ride back to Manistique after a hot day on the golf course. The boys team also won the UPD2 title, and the Emeralds’ Ryan McEvers was medalist.
Pretty much all the hardware went to Manistique.
“It is excellent that we both have the U.P. title, really good for the town of Manistique,” Noble said. “One of our better sports; we usually do pretty well in golf.”
He said he knew a team sweep was possible, but he had more confidence in the girls thanks to Cunningham and Green, who had great days both last year and this year.
“It’s nice to see Nora and Macy really have some success,” Noble said. “Macy picked it up as a sophomore, she learned to golf (after being a really good softball player). Nora’s going for college golf. It’s nice to see her go out on top.”
Cunningham signed to golf at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.
Bark River-Harris’ Ella Boney and West Iron County’s Kya Dallavalle both finished with 115s to round out the top five.
PHOTOS (Top) Manistique’s Nora Cunningham tees off during her round Wednesday at Oak Crest. (Middle) Bark River-Harris’ Ella Boney hits out of the sand during her UPD2 Final round. (Below) Macy Green tees off for the Emeralds. (Photos by Jason Juno.)