MHS girls’ golfers can’t overcome a slow start

A slow start was enough to doom the Marshalltown girls golf team on Tuesday in the home opener.

Between the six varsity golfers, the Bobcats only carded a five or better twice on the first four holes and never recovered in their 193-208 loss to West Des Moines Valley at the par-36 American Legion Golf Course.

“We got off to a slow start and had some rough holes early on,” MHS coach Lucas Johnson said. “Most of the girls will look at one or two holes they wish they could have back.”

The Bobcats got a strong performance from No. 4 golfer Madison Sogge, who fired a 47 and was two strokes off medalist honors. Sogge had a four or a five on seven of the nine holes, including a par on the No. 4 par four.

“Madison played a consistent round of golf,” Johnson said. “As a junior and team captain, we’ll be looking to her to continue her strong play.”

The other three scores for the Bobcats were Niccole Wolken’s 51, Ashley Harris’ 52 and Kallie Davis’ 58. Katie Lynch, playing in the No. 2 position, also carded a 60, while Shelby Brennecke fired a 66.

“After five weeks of practice, it was good to finally play against a real opponent,” Johnson said. “Though they would have liked to shoot lower scores, I was pleased to hear them after the meet anxious to get back to practice tomorrow and continue working on parts of their games they know they can improve.”

Wolken carded an eight, seven and an eight on her first three holes before finishing strong on the final six. In those final six holes, she never scored worse than a five and birdied the No. 8 par four.

Harris, a state qualifier last year as a freshman, also started slow but finished on a high note. After writing down a nine on the fourth hole, Harris finished five over for the final five holes.

Medalist honors went to Valley’s Dani Duerschmidt, who fired a 45. The Tigers’ No. 5 Sonja Shah also finished under 50 after shooting a 46. Their other two scores were Laney Vanscoy’s 51 and Bailey Zoss’ 51.

This was the season opener for the Bobcats as the first couple of tournaments were postponed due to inclement weather. The golfers played in cold, windy conditions Tuesday.

“Being our first competition of the year, this provides us with an early benchmark to set goals against as we look forward to the rest of the season,” Johnson said. “We’re capable of shooting under 200 as a team for a nine-hole meet. I think that is an attainable goal for the early part of the season.”

The Bobcats will next play in the Hawkette Invitational at Otter Creek in Ankeny on Thursday. Tee time is set for 9 a.m. The next home contest will be Tuesday against Fort Dodge.