K.I. SAWYER - Munising coach Bette Immel may wish that her team had more chances to practice outside and play this spring, but the Mustangs looked like they were in mid-season form at a meet held at Red Fox Run Golf Club on Wednesday.
Munising won the boys title by 21 strokes over runner-up Negaunee, and though its girls victory was a foregone conclusion as the only school to field a full team, the Mustangs were dominant with the five lowest scores posted at the meet.
"This was our boys' second meet and third for the girls," Immel said. "The other meets were held last week in Manistique.
Molly Mattson of Munising chips to the second green during a four-team high school golf meet held at Red Fox Run Golf Club at K.I. Sawyer Wednesday afternoon. Mattson shot 50 to finish runner-up for medalist honors to teammate Carla Nottmeier. (Journal photo by Steve Brownlee)
"I'm excited with these scores. When I look at our two best (boys) golfers and I see how they played last year, this is how they should be progressing."
Those two are sophomore Tyler Tweedale and senior Michael Mannisto, each of whom shot 42. That was one stroke behind the 41 posted by medalist Tanner Uren of Negaunee, who was playing in his first high school meet ever.
"I haven't been on the course yet this year before today," he said, agreeing that keeping the ball in play on the fairways was a key to his solid round.
at Red Fox Run Golf Club, K.I. Sawyer
MUNISING (172) - Tyler Tweedale, 42; Michael Mannisto, 42; Gage Webster, 44; Colin Immel, 44.
NEGAUNEE (193) - Tanner Uren, 41; Austin Tadgerson, 46; Mike Wilber, 52; John Molise, 54.
GWINN (203) - Alex Morse, 45; Matt Moilanen, 46; Dylan Marpoe, 47; Phillip Robinson, 65.
ISHPEMING (219) - Cody Kugler, 43; Matt Kilberg, 46; Jon Tapio, 54; Brayden Nelson, 76.
MUNISING (200) - Carla Nottmeier, 45; Molly Mattson, 50; Katie Immel, 51; Eve Gendron, 54.
NEGAUNEE (no team score) - Arianna Erva, 61; Mallory Erva, 63; Giuliana Silvestre, 81.
ISHPEMING (no team score) - Lorissa Juntti, 81; Ashley Bertucci, 86.
Uren apparently scrambled well as evidenced by his ninth and final hole Wednesday. Admitting that his short game is a work in progress, Uren chipped twice from just off the green, moving the ball about a foot each time. But after getting it on the putting surface off to the side of the hole with a severe incline to deal with, he nearly curled in a long putt that was reminiscent of some of Tiger Woods' best.
"That just goes to show how athletically talented he is," said Gwinn coach Shaun Clark. "The toughest thing now is developing a touch.
"You can practice hitting into a net and putting, but gauging distance once you're on the course, that's something that you really can't practice on indoors."
On the girls side, German exchange student Carla Nottmeier shot 45 for Munising, five strokes ahead of teammate Molly Mattson. The Mustangs also got 51 from Katie Immel and 54 from Eve Gendron.
They didn't even have to use a 60 posted by Megan Murray, which was a stroke better than any of the girls from the other schools.
Ishpeming and Negaunee have yet to practice on a live hole with Wawonowin Country Club west of Ishpeming only set to open today at the earliest.
"We were finally able to hit some range balls on Monday," Ishpeming coach Tom Graves said. "So this is our first time playing golf (on Wednesday).
"But we can build on that. I tell our golfers, how you hit the ball now and how you hit it this summer are two different things. The guys, especially, I tell them to keep their egos in the bag. Just hit with the clubs you're comfortable hitting."
Negaunee coach Roger Johnson didn't have a number of his best boys available to play Wednesday, instead getting them ready to play today at an Escanaba invitational.
"I think we'll have a strong team this year," he said.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.