NEWTON — On one of the best days to play golf all spring, Newton’s girls hosted the Cardinal Invitational at Westwood Golf Course Friday. Ten teams, including three area ones, played some of their best individual games in the nine-hole event.
“It was a three team race, which I expected it to be,” Newton head coach Scott Enyart said. “Our girls played very well after a good week of practices. We wanted to get back to the 180 mark or below. We did that.”
Newton’s Cardinals combined for a team 176. Johnston was just one stroke better on the day, working the Westwood back nine holes for a winning 175. Ankeny Centennial finished third at 182. Westwood’s back nine is a Par 35.
Prairie City-Monroe, led by the Van Veen sisters, finished fourth with a 213. Colfax-Mingo’s Olivia Maggard and Skye Weber competed in the tournament also.
“I told Jessica Reynolds she’d be playing a in a fun group at the tournament,” Enyart said. “Two of the leading golfers for the entire state were playing here and Jessica played right with them.”
Top medalist honors went to Paige Van Dyk of South Tama, who leads the state with a 37 average for nine holes. Van Dyk won the Cardinal Invitational with a 1-under par 34 followed by Ankeny Centennial’s Karli Kerrigan with a 36. Kerrigan is fourth on that individual average list.
Allison Kretzinger led Johnston to the team title, placing third with a 38.
Reynolds tied her personal-best 9-hole average with a 41 for fourth place. Reynolds shot under her average of 44 on the back nine with three pars, one birdie and four bogies.
Also shooting under her season average was Newton’s Carrie Cunningham with a 42, placing fifth. Cunningham’s average is 45 for the season.
“That’s Carrie’s personal best. She hit the ball well and started with three straight pars,” Enyart said. “She’s worked on her chipping all week and it showed. Jessica parred No. 11, which is the trickiest hole on the course. Her birdie came on the Par 5 No. 16. She made a great chip shot.”
Madigan Hillyard played a steady game, shooting right at her average, 46, for the Cardinals. Hillyard parred No. 17 and No. 18 to close out her day on the course.
Also parring her final hole — No. 17 — was Shelbey Cochran, finishing with a 47. Madeline Wellik also carded a 47 for Newton. Jessie Smith came in with a 56.
“Madeline missed our 18-hole tournament earlier this week because she had to take an AP test. She’s had a good week of practice which included a birdie on No. 14 and an eagle on the Par 5 No. 16,” Enyart said. “So, she’s getting her game back. Shelbey struggled with two holes on the day, but bounced back to play well on the next hole.”
Enyart said he was pleased with how the Newton junior varsity, which finished fifth out of the 10 teams, performed. Scores for the Cardinal junior varsity were: Cydney Hillyard, 50, Emily Fitzgerald, 54, Olivia Maharry, 55, Abby Jolivette, 56, Amber Sorenson, 59, Kaitlyn Sorensen, 60.
PCM’s Cassidy and Kelsey Van Veen shot right on their averages, finishing with a 45 and a 46, respectively. Breanna Maher carded a 56 and Abby Van Hofften had a 66.
Maggard completed the nine holes with a 50 for Colfax-Mingo. Weber shot a 79.
“The Van Veen sisters played really well for PCM and Colfax-Mingo’s Maggard had two pars on the day. It was a great day for golf and our girls played our home course well,” Enyart said.
Newton heads to Oskloosa on Tuesday. The PCM squad is at Knoxville today and Colfax-Mingo’s girls are at Pleasantville today.