The Newton girls golf team has had a rough season. This is not to say they have played poorly, actually it’s quite the contrary — six different girls have shot in the 40s. However, the nature of the weather has kept practice time to a minimum as well as canceled several meets, which could have helped the team improve and hone its skills. As anybody who has played golf regularly knows, the more practice, the better.
Despite these obstacles of climactic resistance, the team has made it to the state tournament following a second place finish at regional competition, which took place at the team’s home course on Monday. The Cards had a team score of 376, edging out Vinton-Shellsburg by six strokes to keep their season alive. Grinnell won the meet with a 353.
“This just proves what we have been talking about all year,” Newton coach Scott Enyart said. “We have a really deep team, and our depth came through for us today. This was a true team effort.”
Sophomore Shelby Cochran led the team with a personal-best 18-hole score of 92. She was the epitome of consistency, shooting a 46 on both nines.
“Shelby struck the ball extremely well today,” Enyart said. “She was very consistent with her play. It was really a fantastic round.”
Second on the team was freshman Jessica Reynolds’ 93. The round marked several personal bests for Reynolds: It was her first round under 100, it included a personal-best nine hole round of 42 on the back and she was able to par the three most difficult holes on the golf course (five, six and 14).
“Jessica did a really great job of being resilient today,” Enyart said. “She started plus-7 through her first seven holes, but she hit a rough patch on holes seven, eight and nine. She sort of righted the ship, though and played holes 10-17 five over par. She was really on fire on the back.”
The remaining two counting rounds for the Cards included a 94 from junior Madigan Hillyard. Hillyard shot a 48 on the front nine and a 46 on the back. She also had a huge putt on the par-3 third hole. She was on the fringe with about a 25-foot putt for birdie, which she drained.
The final counting score for Newton was a 97 that belonged to junior Madeline Wellik. Wellik has been one of the most consistent Cardinal golfers all season, and she held true to form yet again on Tuesday. She shot a 49 on the front and a 48 on the back nine.
“They all played really well on a tough, windy day,” Enyart said. “I’m really proud of the girls to be able to keep this season going.”
To cap off the scores for Newton, junior Carrie Cunningham shot a 106 and senior Bailey Kellogg shot a 110.
The state tournament begins on May 28 at Ames Golf and Country Club.