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Golfers look impressive

Wildcat junior Kacey Simone chips onto the sixth green at the River Falls Golf Club during the Cats' dual match with New Richmond last Wednesday. The Cats defeated the Tigers in the 9-hole match, 187-192. Bob Burrows photo

The Wildcat girls' golf team got off to a strong start in its first two-stroke play tournaments of the season, taking second at both the 11-team Eau Claire North Invitational at Mill Run Golf Course last Monday and the 12-team Eau Claire Memorial Invitational this past Monday at Hillcrest Golf and Country Club.

In between, the Cats sandwiched in a five-stroke victory over New Richmond in a 9-hole dual match last Wednesday at the River Falls Golf Club.

"I was very pleased with our team effort," co-head coach Jane Wakefield said after the Cats' second place finish at Mill Run. "After the scramble last week, I was curious to see how we would fare in stroke play. A second place out of 11 teams is quite respectable. The course was tough and they had just opened the front nine on Saturday afternoon and they had not cut the rough for three days due to storms."

Eau Claire Regis took first with a team score of 363 while the Wildcats were 11 strokes back in second place with 374. Hayward was third with 376 followed by Eau Claire Memorial with 381 and Rice lake with 391.

Mari Pechacek tied for sixth overall with a score of 90 while Halle Hauer contributed a round of 94.

"Mari had a nice round, very consistent and she bounced back from a seven with a two on the following hole," Wakefield noted. "That always helps, and the other girls seemed to recover well."

Wakefield said Hauer's 94 was respectable, considering a tough break she suffered in the bunker on the 14th hole.

"Her ball was resting against a rock, which prevented her from moving it, not to mention that it was towards the front of the lip which was quite steep," the coach said. "I think she lost three strokes right there just getting out. I look for good things coming from her this season."

Kayla Swanson and Kacey Simone each posted scores of 95 for the Wildcats while Elise Heiman came in with 103.

"Kayla and Kacey played pretty steady," Wakefield said. "Elise had a tough day, but I think she has the potential to stay right up there. I see these five young ladies holding their own throughout the season."

In Wednesday's dual against New Richmond, Pechacek led the Cats with a 44 and Hauer carded 45 while Swanson finished with 47, Heiman 51 and Simone 52.

"Kacey had a tough day, but that is what I like about this group. If one struggles, someone else picks up the slack. I think that is a sign of a good team," Wakefield said.

This past Monday at the Eau Claire Memorial Invite, Swanson fired a season-low 85 and Hauer added a sore of 90 as the Cats finished second with a total team score of 365. Onalaska was first with 345.

Swanson finished fourth in the overall standings while Hauer tied for sixth. Pechacek and Simone rounded out the Wildcats' team scoring with rounds of 95 each, while Heiman came in with a 103.

The Cats will compete at the New Richmond Invitational Wednesday before opening the Big Rivers Conference season with a home match Tuesday, Aug 31, at 3:34 p.m. at the River Falls Golf Club.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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