Things played out pretty much like they were set up for during the A-4 District Girls Golf Tournament at Lake Maloney on Monday at North Platte. In the team race,
Norfolk came into the District as the favorite, followed by Millard North and North Platte.
Norfolk came away with the District crown with a team-low score of 351, Millard North was second with a 373 and in third were the Lady Bulldogs with a 374. Lincoln Southwest finished out of the money in fourth with a 393.
Norfolk coach Jerry Cover wasn’t so sure as the competition began.
“We started off kind of shaky on the front side — I was kind of concerned there, but the girls really put it together on the back.
“We shot just about three or four strokes over our average is all. We didn’t get a chance to practice on the golf course — it’s a windy day — districts, so with all those situations, I’m obviously pleased with the outcome.”
Winning the individual title was Lincoln Southwest’s Ellie Wiltfong, as she won a three-hole playoff with Lincoln North Star’s Emma Jacoby, and Sydney Roenfeldt and Jenna Weber of Norfolk.
Southwest coach Jim Danson had nothing but praise for his prize student.
“Ellie played awfully well all day long,” said Danson. “I’m so proud of her. She worked so hard to get into the position she is in today.
“You start, obviously with summer golf. She put in so much time and effort and her work ethic really came through today.
“What a great playoff. Emma played awfully well too. I’m proud of both of those girls. It was a great moment.”
Wiltfong struggled early in the competition.
“It started out rough,” Wiltfong said. “I started out with a couple three-putts and that was hard to start with. But I came back on the back [nine] and made a lot of improvements.
“Played smarter — got the first initial putt closer to the hole — maybe more positive thinking on the back. It just helped a lot to be positive and have a better outlook of the events and think I’ve worked hard to get here.”
Roenfeldt and Weber dropped out after the second playoff hole, setting up a dual between Wiltfong and Jacoby. Wiltfong made her putt on No. 3 while Jacoby’s just missed the cup, giving the win to Wiltfong.
Wiltfong headed into uncharted waters as she began the playoff.
“It made me really nervous,” the Southwest junior said. “I’ve never been in a playoff with anybody other than my teammates. So that was really nerve-racking, but I just prayed my way through it. That helped a lot just knowing whatever happened was meant to be.
I’ve put in a ton of hard work. Some of the days over the summer I was out on the course for a good five or six hours, especially working on chipping and putting.
“I’ve been practicing with girls that are playing in college this year. It helped a lot playing with people that are better and just trying to play up to their level.”
North Platte’s Tessa Burford and Jenae States led the Lady Bulldogs cause, medaling in fifth and sixth respectively.
Burford shot an 86 and States an 87. States took the early lead in the competition by shooting a low front-nine score of 38 — the only score under 40. Wiltfong’s 39 on the back was the only other sub-forty on the day.
“Jenae birdied 5, 6 and 7 on her way to the 38,” said North Platte coach Jim Orcutt. “That was just phenomenal.
“Tessa eagled No. 7 but had a triple bogey on No. 9 and still shot a 40 [on the front]. It was a personal best for both of them.”
Shooting a 92 on the day was Jordyn Pearson.
“Jordyn was steady all day,” Orcutt said. “She was steady off the tee, but had 41 putts. Five of them lipped out.
“Those three have shown what experience is all about. They have been varsity golfers for three years. That has really helped.
“Tournament play in the past and during the summer contributed to getting one of their seasonal goals today.”
Also scoring for the Lady Bulldogs was Erin Green with a 109 in the fourth position.
“After the front, I tried to impress upon them to just go out and play nine holes,” Orcutt said. “I told them you’re going to have some good and some bad, but don’t get shook up.
“The sign of a good golfer is after you have a bad hole, you come back and don’t press.”
Cover said the Lady Panthers will look for the home course advantage during the state competition.
[Lincoln] Pius and Grand Island are heads above everybody else, and then I think Lincoln East and ourselves [which are the three and four seeds]. We’re there, you play the game, I think we have an outside shot.
“We’re going to have to play extremely well and get some help from those other two teams. You play them out and we’re at home — so we’re never going to say never.”
Team scores: 1. Norfolk, 351; 2. Millard North, 373; 3. North Platte, 374; 4. Lincoln Southwest, 393; 5. Lincoln Northeast, 406; 6. Lincoln North Star, 444; 7. South Sioux City, 530; 8. Omaha Northwest, 587.
Medalists: 1. Ellie Wiltfong, LSE, 85; 2. Emma Jacoby, Lincoln NS, 85; 3. Sydney Roenfeldt, Nor, 85; 4. Jenna Weber, Nor, 85; 5. Tessa Burford, NP, 86; 6. Jenae States, NP, 87; 7. McKenzie Essley, Nor, 88; 8. Morgan Wiemers, MN, 89; 9. Monica Irwin, MN, 90; 10. Mattie McIntosh, LNE, 91.