Repeat Medalist Autore Leads as Islanders Start Next Championship Tradition

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 3, 2022

HYDE — The Cedarville girls golf team won the Upper Peninsula Division 3 championship last season, and DeTour took the top honor in 2017.

So it was only logical that the first-year cooperative program comprised of two schools would be a formidable favorite Thursday at Highland Golf Club.

True to expectation, Cedarville/DeTour fired a 420 to win by 43 strokes.

“I think we have a pretty good team,” said Islanders coach Jeff Autore. “We were defending champions from last year, and the girls played well all year. They worked and practiced hard.

“We’ve done well, and it started with the boys years ago. We’ve always had a good golf program. Once you get a tradition going, it draws players to your program. We also have a good junior high program. We have 14 kids there, too.”

Cedarville/DeTour golfThe Ontonagon girls took home the runner-up trophy, with Cooks Big Bay de Noc third. Ontonagon is a regular among the top two Finals finishers, most recently earning championships in 2018 and 2019.

“We’re very pleased with how everything went,” said Ontonagon coach Brady Guilbault. “We knew the Cedarville/DeTour girls would be tough.

“It’s a short season up here. We were waiting for the snow to melt and cold weather to go away. It was hard to get on the course. We were hitting a lot of foam balls in the school.”

Islanders senior Zoe Autore repeated as medalist, shooting a 99 and edging North Central senior Sarah Snyder by a single stroke. Cedarville/DeTour’s Lily Plowman took third with 104.

“Last year there was no pressure,” said Zoe Autore, who plans to continue her golf career at Albion College. “This year there was more pressure. It got kind of nerve-wracking at times. My drives were a little better today, but the course was wet and muddy. It probably wasn’t the way they wanted it to be. I didn’t get any roll (with the ball) – although it worked out good overall.”

This marked the first full round all year for Snyder, who played with a torn right ACL and will attend Northwest Wisconsin Technical School in Green Bay this fall.

“I just tried my best,” she said. “Even though this my first time golfing a full round this year, I didn’t let that affect me. I just tried to focus on my game and keeping the ball straight.”

Taylor Williams finished fourth individually, and Hayley Kohlman was sixth to round out

Cedarville/DeTour’s scoring. Madyson Pantti finished fifth to lead three top-10 individuals for runner-up Ontonagon. Macy Peterson was eighth individually as low scorer for Big Bay.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Cedarville/DeTour's Zoe Autore sends an approach during Thursday’s UPD3 Final at Highland Golf Club. (Middle) The Islanders hold up their championship trophy after winning by 43 strokes. (Photos by Todd Rose.)

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.

Click for full results.

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.)