Manistique Emeralds sweep team, individual honors in MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 2 girls golf

NORWAY — After finishing runner-up to her teammate by a single stroke last year, it was Nora Cunningham’s turn to be an Upper Peninsula Finals golf champion.

But more important to her was the fact that she and Macy Green, last year’s MHSAA U.P. Finals Division 2 girls medalist, led Manistique to the team championship Wednesday at Oak Crest Golf Club.

“It feels really good,” Cunningham said of her individual achievement. “Above all, though, I think the team win definitely feels the best. Last year we ended up good individually, but the team win was our ultimate goal, so it was nice to get that this year.”

Manistique finished with a score of 455 for its first U.P. Finals title since 2015 after the Emeralds finished fifth last spring. Bark River-Harris was runner-up with 501.

Cunningham — who tied for second individually in 2022 — shot 101 this time to finish three strokes ahead of Bark River-Harris’ Ava McDonough with 104. Green and Manistique teammate Maddy Maline both carded 107s to tie for third.

Manistique’s Macy Green tees off during the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 2 girls golf at Oak Crest Golf Club in Norway on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Jason Juno)

Oak Crest played tougher than it looked, Cunningham said. There’s a lot of trees, and she lost balls in the rough. She had a couple of rough holes, carding scores of 8 and 9, but kept them to a minimum.

“I think I had really consistent drives, and then I just tried to take it hole by hole and not get too frustrated,” she said. “I had some rough holes, but I just bounced back from them.”

Her game is even better than it was last year.

“Nora has added an extreme amount of distance off the tee,” Manistique coach Tim Noble said. “She’s really hitting drives past most everyone else. And it’s allowed her short game to flourish because she doesn’t have to hit those mid irons like she used to.”

It had to be a happy ride back to Manistique after a hot day on the golf course. The boys team also won their Division 2 title as the Emeralds’ Ryan McEvers was medalist.

“It is excellent that we both have the U.P. title, really good for the town of Manistique,” Noble said. “One of our better sports; we usually do pretty well in golf.”

He said he knew a team sweep was possible, but he had more confidence in the girls thanks to Cunningham and Green, who had great days both this year and last.

“It’s nice to see Nora and Macy really have some success,” Noble said. “Macy picked it up as a sophomore, she learned to golf (after being a really good softball player). Nora’s going for college golf. It’s nice to see her go out on top.”

Cunningham has signed to golf at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

Manistique also got 140 from Clara Cunningham and 160 from fifth scorer Jolynn Zellar.

Munising was fourth with 533 as Jolie Ake had 126, Cassidy Britton 132, Sabryna Smith 135 and Jalien Hancock 140.

Jason Juno is the sports editor of the Daily Globe of Ironwood. He wrote this account of the U.P. finals for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s website at www.mhsaa.com.


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