PLEASANT HILL — Newton junior Rylee Heryford faced three golfers with 18-hole averages in the top five of Class 4A on Thursday during the Southeast Polk Invitational.
West Des Moines Valley’s Paige Hoffman is considered the favorite to win the 4A title later this spring, but Heryford played Hoffman shot-for-shot and medalist honors came down to the final hole.
Hoffman’s birdie on No. 18 locked up the top spot but Heryford set a new school record with a 1-under-par 70 at the par 71 Copper Creek Golf Club.
The runner-up finish for Heryford led Newton to third place as the team shot a 356 to edge the host Rams by four strokes.
“Rylee’s foursome was some of the best golf in the state, and it was fun to watch,” Newton girls golf coach Ashley Kahler said. “Her firing a 70 was awesome.”
Valley, the team favorite in 4A this spring, shot a 301 to win the tournament championship. Marshalltown (351) was the runner-up, five shots in front of the Cardinals.
Heryford’s round included 12 pars. She also claimed two birdies and one eagle and suffered a pair of bogeys, too.
Abby Price shot a 91 to finish 14th overall. Marin Pettigrew carded a season-best 94 and Bekah Vasseau’s 101 was the final counting score. Ella Price (104) had a non-counting score for the Cardinals.
“The girls are really playing some great golf right now,” Kahler said. “Abby had a great day and she even had one bad hole that she came back from, which showed her mental toughness and that was nice to see. We will put in a great week of practice and be ready for Finkbine.”
After Newton, the 12-team field included Southeast Polk (360), Ankeny (379), Dowling Catholic (383), Atlantic (397), Indianola (399), Norwalk (401), Urbandale (414), Des Moines East (466) and Des Moines Roosevelt (483).