MARQUETTE - Avery Rochester and Jordan Frazier of Marquette Senior High School not only had to battle Marquette Invitational golf opponents Wednesday, but miserable weather conditions as well.
"It was hard to concentrate with the wind and the cold," Rochester said after a tourney that also included constant drizzle and some fog. "Your grips are wet and your gloves are wet. It was hard to get a decent shot off.
"I could feel water sloshing around in my shoes."
Avery Rochester of Marquette Senior High School follows through on a tee shot at the 10th hole Wednesday during the Marquette Invitational on the Heritage Course at the Marquette Golf Club. She captured top honors in the girls meet with a plus-3 score. (Journal photo by Craig Remsburg)
Frazier echoed her sentiments.
"Battling through the conditions was the hardest part today," he said. "It was miserable out there. When I finished the first hole, I was walking in puddles in my shoes it was so wet."
Nevertheless, both Rochester and Frazier claimed medalist honors, the former with a plus-3 score and the latter with a 6-over-par 77.
The girls meet was reduced to nine holes due to the poor conditions and a sparse team field, MSHS golf coach Ben Smith said.
Since not all girls played the same holes, scores were determined in relation to par.
Rochester was six better than teammate and runner-up Sydney Higgins (plus-9), with Maddy Anderla of Menominee taking third (plus-19).
"I definitely could have played better if the weather wasn't so bad," Rochester said. "It was hard to putt. The greens were wet and when you hit the ball, it would just stop."
Smith noted Rochester didn't lose a meet last year and is undefeated thus far this season.
"She has the drive and competitive nature to battle every time out," he said.
Gladstone captured the girls' team title behind plus-21 scores by Gabby Movalson and Summer DeMeuse. The Braves and Menominee tied with a plus-92, but Gladstone had a fifth golfer for a tiebreaker and the Maroons didn't.
"They were very challenging conditions, but the girls persevered," Gladstone head coach Dane Quigley said. "We were very consistent today."
Tia Platteborze of Westwood finished eighth with a plus-24 as her team came in third with a plus-119.
Frazier, meanwhile, beat teammate and second place finisher Scott Frazier (no relation) by three strokes for his third win of the season.
Marquette's Mike McGee came in third with an 81 as the defending champion Redmen captured the team title.
"I switched putters and didn't have a three-putt hole today," Jordan Frazier said. "You had to use a club up with the wetness and dense air, though.
"I'm definitely happy with my game. A 77 (38-39) today is not something to complain about."
Smith said the medalist, who came to Marquette from the Las Vegas area to play for the Marquette Electricians Midget AAA hockey team this past season, is playing well of late.
"A 77 is a solid, score any other day, but in these weather conditions, it's really nice," the coach said. "He's not super familiar with our (home) course, but he did a good job managing it today."
Smith added he has a "capable" group of golfers.
"Our top five all finished in the top 10 (in the meet)," he said. "It's nice to see those numbers (a 321 total). We played well today."
Kingsford placed second with a 347, with Gladstone taking third with a 358.
Also finishing in the top 10 locally were Brett Specker of Marquette (83, fifth); Cody Kugler of Ishpeming (83, eighth); Brock Smith of Marquette (86, ninth); and Alex Morse of Gwinn (87, 10th.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.