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Golfers on fire in first week

River Falls’ Sydney Brunholzl follows through on her tee shot on the par-3, 15th hole at Badlands Golf Course last Thursday during a 9-hole Big Rivers Conference match hosted by Hudson. Brunholzl led the Wildcats with a score of 41 to help the Cats take first in the final team standings, four strokes better than Eau Claire North. (River Falls Journal photos by Bob Burrows)

 If depth and consistency are keys to a successful season, the Wildcat girls’ golf team is off to a great start.

Three different Wildcats took turns posting the team’s low score as the Cats took first place in all three of their events last week, including the Big Rivers Conference opener last Thursday at Badlands.

The Cats opened the season by winning the ten-team Eau Claire Memorial Invitational last Monday, 14 strokes ahead of second place Eau Claire North behind Rachel Meyer’s third place score of 84.

At New Richmond last Wednesday, the Cats’ top five players all finished within four shots of each other, paced by Halle Hauer’s round of 88, as they edged the host Tigers by four strokes for first place.

Thursday Sydney Brunholzl led the way with a 9-hole score of 41 as they topped Eau Claire North by four strokes at the first BRC meet of the season at Badlands in Hudson.

“The girls have had a great start to the season,” head coach Melissa Moser said. “Their scores have been improving with each match and the dedication from them is amazing.”

Moser returns to the Wildcats as head coach this season after a two-year absence. The Cats shared the Big Rivers Conference title with Eau Claire Memorial her last year in 2010 and the team has won two straight undisputed BRC titles since then, under Deb Meyer in 2011 and Paul Meyer in 2012.

Moser said this year’s team has its sights set high once again.

“They have their eyes set on state and with the combination of their abilities and attitudes they have a great chance,” she said.

In the season opener last Monday at Mill Run Golf Course in Eau Claire, River Falls ran away from the rest of the field to post a total team score of 347, 16 strokes ahead of Eau Claire North’s 361.

Just five strokes separated the Cats’ top four players. Meyer’s 84 left her in third place in the individual standings and Brunholzl and Hauer tied for fifth with scores of 87, while Maddie Wagner carded an 89. Abby James finished with a round of 92.

The gap was even closer Wednesday at New Richmond as just four shots separated all five Wildcats. Hauer tied for fifth with an 88 and Meyer, Brunholzl, and Wagner all fired 89s while James finished with a 92.

River Falls finished with a first place score of 355 while New Richmond was second with 359 and Eau Claire North finished third with 368.

Thursday at the BRC opener hosted by Hudson at Badlands, Brunholzl carded a 41, just one stroke behind medalist Kaitlyn Alvarez of Eau Claire North, and Hauer and Meyer tied for third with 43 while Meyer came in with 45 and James finished with a 47.

River Falls finished with a team total of 172 while Eau Claire North was second with 176 and Hudson took third with 204.

The Wildcats are off this week and continue the BRC portion of their schedule with a 9-hole match at Rice Lake Thursday, Sept. 5.

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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