Detlefsen, Eastview take lead on the links
Lightning wins SSC season opener by 21 strokes
The first South Suburban Conference girls golf tournament of the season was last week, and it didn’t take long for a dominant team and individual to emerge.
Eastview won the team competition by 21 strokes at the April 18 tournament at Dwan Golf Course in Bloomington. The medalist was Eastview senior Sara Detlefsen, who shot a 2-over-par 70 and was 10 strokes ahead of second-place Erica Power of Apple Valley.
The Lightning’s top four scores, which made up the team total of 326, all were 87 or lower. Junior Madi Roe shot 84, senior Maddy Paulsen had an 85 and sophomore Kari Opatz turned in an 87. Senior Lydia Jorgenson and junior Whitney Hanson also played for the Eastview varsity.
“We played well in every respect,” Eastview coach Bob Boldus said. “The girls did an awesome job.”
Last weekend, Eastview went to the Hayfield Invitational at Oaks Country Club and won by a similarly wide margin. The Lightning shot 341 in the April 21 tourney and finished 28 strokes ahead of runner-up Rosemount.
Detlefsen again led the Lightning with a 75 (3 over) and again was 10 strokes ahead of second place. Paulsen and Rosemount’s Molly Flynn both shot 85, with Flynn winning the second-place award in a scorecard playoff. Opatz shot 88, and Roe and Jorgenson both shot 93.
With Detlefsen at the front of the lineup, Eastview is a threat to return to the state tournament after finishing sixth in Class 3A in 2010. Detlefsen, who has signed with Florida Gulf Coast University, tied for third at the 2009 state tournament and tied for second in 2010. She did not attempt to qualify for the 2011 state tournament because it conflicted with a national junior event she planned to play in Rochester.
“Sara is an outstanding player, and she’s pulling along the rest of the team,” Boldus said. “The rest of our girls want to play well enough to support her, and that’s given us a good team, not just a couple of good players.”
If there has been an across-the-board improvment, it’s been within 50 yards of the green, Boldus said. The players have become more proficient at saving strokes around the greens.
Their male counterparts might prefer to spend more time on the range hitting the driver, but “girls aren’t necessarily out there to hit the long ball all the time,” Boldus said. “The girls, if they get a little tired, might come to me and ask if they can go chip and putt. I’m like, ‘sure.’ ”
Paulsen, Roe and Opatz spent a lot of time playing last summer, although not necessarily in tournaments, Boldus said. The idea this spring is to give the players as much competitive experience as possible before the Section 3AAA tournament in late May and early June.
At the same time, “we don’t want to look toward the end of the season yet,” Boldus said. “We can learn something every time we play.”
Although Eastview has had an impressive start, other South Suburban teams maintain hope of catching the Lightning in the conference standings.
Power’s 80 at Dwan was a pleasant surprise for Apple Valley coach John Christiansen. Power went into the tourney as the Eagles’ No. 2 player.
“Erica had 28 putts in 18 holes. Her short game was exceptional that day,” Christiansen said.
Power and Lauren Kerr, the Eagles’ No. 1 player, are sophomores. Kerr qualified for the state tournament last year and finished 74th.
“Lauren played a lot of junior tournaments last summer, seven or eight of them,” Christiansen said. “Erica spent a lot of time at Crystal Lake (golf course). So they’ve both put in some time on their games.”
While Power was solid around the greens in the first SSC tournament, Kerr has picked up some distance.
“What I’ve noticed with Lauren is on a lot of holes it’s driver off the tee and 8- or 9-iron (on approach shots), where in years past – not necessarily last year – she might have hit hybrids,” said Christiansen.
Kerr shot 86 in the SSC opener and senior Maren Kleopfer had an 88. Junior Marie Breckner shot 95. Ninth-grader Rachel Harty and senior Megan Lentz also played in the first SSC tourney.
Several of the players have gotten help with their games from Matt Bilek, who coaches the Apple Valley boys team and also is head professional at Valleywood Golf Course.
With more girls working harder on their games, expectations are going up. Apple Valley finished fourth in the conference opener, and the coach said the players believed they should have been second. They were two strokes out of second place.
“This is the first year since I’ve been coach that we’ve had some expectations for finishing in the top half of the conference and being competitive,” Christiansen said.
Braun back to lead Wildcats
Although she didn’t have her best day in the conference opener, shooting an 89, Eagan junior Shelby Braun is expected to be one of the Wildcats’ top players. Braun was the only Eagan player to qualify for the 2011 state tournament and tied for 49th place.
Mallory Drenttel, also a junior, shot 84 at Dwan and finished fifth. Kara Bloom, a senior, shot 86 to finish eighth. Senior Ellie Rohlf shot 88. Juniors Erin Klukas and Jenny Westlund also played for the Wildcats.
Klukas’ score didn’t count toward the team total yet helped Eagan clinch second place. The Wildcats tied Prior Lake at 347, and tie was broken by using the fifth player’s score from each team. Klukas’ score was three strokes better than her Prior Lake counterpart.
Flynn returns for Irish
Flynn, a junior, tied for 32nd place in the 2011 state Class 3A tournament, and she will help lead the Irish again this season. She started her season with an 87 at the SSC opener. Monica McDonald, a ninth-grader, shot 88.
Sophomores Ashlee Humble and Molly Reber shot 94 and 98 to complete Rosemount’s 367 team score (sixth place) at the Dwan tourney. Senior Katie Peare and junior Robin Tousignant also played for the Irish.
Rosemount shot 369 at the Hayfield Invitational on April 21 to finish second to Eastview. Flynn shot 85 and won a scorecard playoff to finish second individually.