Ontonagon, Chassell Ace Rise in UPD3

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

June 1, 2018

GLADSTONE — Sometimes it pays for golfers to have short memories.

After struggling in Wednesday’s practice round at Irish Oaks Golf Course, Marli Hietila shook that off in time to earn medalist honors at Thursday’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Golf Finals.

The Chassell junior shot 88 for her first U.P. title on this warm and humid day, which included a brief downpour. 

“My driver helped me a lot today, and my chipping was good,” she said. “I had a couple rough holes, but it turned out pretty good. The downpour made it exciting. We were just starting a hole when it started pouring. The weather conditions could have been better, although it wasn’t too bad. I would have preferred to have it a little cooler.”

Ontonagon captured its first title in seven years with 433 strokes, followed by Crystal Falls Forest Park at 442, Big Bay de Noc 479, Cedarville 498 and Pickford with 501.

“We knew Forest Park would be one of the frontrunners,” said first-year Ontonagon coach Adam Spaulding. “They have their competition and good facilities in their area. Our girls are real good about helping each other out. They played very well today.”

Last year’s champion, Cedarville sophomore Lily Freel, was runner-up this time at 90. 

“I definitely didn’t play how I thought I would,” said Freel. “My practice round went real well. I know I can play like that, which makes this pretty disappointing. My shots weren’t as solid as I hoped, and I really struggled reading the greens and misjudged distances. My putting also let me down. Golf is so unpredictable. I consistently shot in the low 80s all year, but didn’t do it on the day it really counted.”

Freel was followed by Powers North Central junior Jadie Linder at 95. 

“This was the best I played all year,” said Linder. “My drives went real well, and my putting was better than usual. I didn’t have any expectations coming in and played pretty relaxed. Last year I took sixth in the Finals. I improved a lot from last year.”

Ontonagon’s leader was sophomore Hallie Bobula, who shot 103 and edged Carney-Nadeau eighth-grader Tessa Wagner on a tie-breaker for fourth place.

Also placing in the top 10 individually were Carney-Nadeau senior Breanna Bedgood at 104, Mackinac Island sophomore McKenna Horricks at 105, Ontonagon senior Kinsey Weisinger 106 and Forest Park senior Alina Soha and Rock Mid Peninsula eighth-grader Shaelyn Lampinen both firing 107.

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PHOTOS: (Top) Ontonagon’s Izabelle Lutz executes a chip Thursday at the U.P. Division 3 Golf Finals at Gladstone’s Irish Oaks Golf Course. (Middle) Chassell’s Marli Hietila shot 88 to capture girls medalist honors. (Photos by Mike Mattson.)

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

By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com

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.)