St. Joseph will enter this weekend’s Division 2 girls golf state finals with some momentum.
The Bears not only won their fourth straight regional last Monday, but followed it up with another strong performance this Monday at Point O’Woods Golf & Country Club. They topped Marshall, a team they had regularly finished behind all season, and Kalamazoo Hackett.
St. Joseph will look for another strong performance in the state finals at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers East Course, where the Bears will play 18 holes today and 18 more Saturday.
“I was really pleased with how we played,” St. Joseph coach Ryan Walters said. “Point O’Woods is always a tough course, and the girls handled it pretty well.
“I think it was a good confidence booster. Finishing as well as we did, if we can shoot that well at Point O’Woods, we can shoot well at Forest Akers East, which shouldn’t play nearly as difficult.”
Walters said that there are three teams clearly above the rest in Division 2, which a large group of teams all behind them that are similar. A top-10 team finish is a goal for the Bears.
“We’ve done that six years in a row,” Walters said. “It’s the mark of a great season.”
Consistency has been a strength for St. Joseph. The Bears’ best 18-hole score is 364 and their worst is 384. The team’s average is 376, which Walters would like to see them outperform at least one of the two days.
“We’ve only done it once in eight years of state finals,” Walters said. “It’s usually bad weather, the course plays difficult, a lot of fans, kind of a different environment. If we could do that, it would be a very successful day or two.”
Maya Hunter has been St. Joseph’s best golfer this season, and Walters said a top-10 individual finish is possible for her. Leah Terry is the only senior in the lineup, which also includes Madison Jackson, Izzy Ugalde and Gracie Thomas.
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders