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Leah Herzog, Red Wing, Is Ms. Golf; Connor Glynn, Waconia, Is Mr. Golf


INDEPENDENCE, Minn. (June 10, 2019) -- A year ago, Leah Herzog, who was then a junior at Red Wing, set a scoring record in the girls Class AA portion of the state high school tournament by shooting a 6-under-par 66 in the first round at Ridges at Sand Creek. Roughly 15 minutes later, her teammate -- and best friend -- Sophia Yoemans, also a junior, broke the record with a 63. Herzog added a 71 on the second day of the tournament and wound up with what would have been a girls AA record score of 137. Except that Yoemans shattered every state tournament record (boys or girls) by shooting 66 for a 36-hole total of 129.

This year, Yoemans has put together what would have been the best season in the history of Minnesota girls golf. She concluded the Wingers' regular season schedule with five consecutive rounds in the 60's, including a course-record 67 at Cannon Golf Club, and followed that up by shooting 71-70--141 (3 under) at Cannon GC in the Section 1AA tournament. For 17 rounds, she was 27 under par and has an average of 70.1 strokes per round going into this year's state tournament, which begins Tuesday at three sites (Class A at Pebble Creek in Becker, Class AA at Ridges, and AAA at Bunker Hills GC in Coon Rapids).

But this time, in a reversal of roles, it was Herzog who did even better. She started her senior year with a pair of 68's, and in the final two weeks of the regular season, she shot 65, 65, 71, 61, 67, 72. In the section tournament, she came from one stroke behind with a second-round 68 to win with a 140. She set six course records along the way -- and for the season, she's 41 under par!

Her average is 69.4. (Most high school averages throw out a player's highest score, or scores, which tends to reduce the average by a stroke or two. There are no throw-outs in either of the Red Wing girls' averages.)

As a result, Herzog was named Minnesota's Ms. Golf for 2019 on Sunday night during the Mr. and Ms. Minnesota Golf Banquet at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence.

The Mr. and Ms. Minnesota Golf awards are given annually to state's top seniors.

Herzog's older sister Stephanie, who is now at the University of Iowa, won the Ms. Golf Award two years ago.

Connor Glynn of Waconia was named Mr. Golf. He got some attention last year when he tied the state record for all-time lowest score with a 63, and he has been ranked among the top five players in the state consistently throughout his junior and senior seasons. His grade-point average is 3.98, and his average on the golf course this season is 71.2 strokes per round. Two weeks ago, he won what is generally regarded as the toughtest section in the state, 2AAA, with a 36-hole score of 68-72--140 at Ridges.

It was the second consecutive section title for the University of Minnesota recruit, and he also beat another strong field last summer to win the WinCraft/McArthur AJGA Championship in Waukesha, Wis.

The other finalists for Mr. Golf were Matt Armstrong (Eden Prairie), Cecil Belisle (Red Wing), Muzzy Donohue (St. Thomas Academy), Trey Fessler (St. Michael-Albertville), Will Frazier (Eastview), Caleb VanArragon (Blaine) and Brock Winter (Stillwater).

In addition to Herzog and Yoemans, the other Ms. Golf finalists were Emily Doeden (Park Christian), Melanie LeMinh (Wayzata), Madi McGinty (Minnewaska), Dasha Parker (Edina), Jessica Smith (Lakeville South) and Molly Stevens (Northfield).

Herzog had the low score in 10 of the rounds Red Wing played this spring. Yoemans had the low score six times, and they tied once. No one beat them both in any round, and only three players have finished ahead of either of them all season. Stevens has done it twice, finishing second to Herzog (and ahead of Yoemans) once and second to Yoemans (and ahead of Herzog) once. Parker slipped into second behind Yoemans and ahead of Herzog in a tournament at Emerald Greens.

"It's been amazing what they've done," marvelled Mark Herzog, the Red Wing coach and also Leah's father. "We didn't exactly have the best conditions to get ready for the season. So I thought the girls might start off a little bit slowly. But they didn't. They were playing great golf right from the start of our schedule, and they've never let up. It's been fun to watch."

Leah, who signed with Nebraska last fall, says part of her success this spring has been the result of an extra 20 yards that she's getting from her driver and improved wedge play. But she also credits her older sister and Yoemans (a Missouri recruit) for raising the standards she's had for her golf game and making her a tougher competitor.

"I've always known that when I played against them I was going to have to play really well if I wanted to beat them," she noted Sunday night. "If I'm under par and I'm playing against my sister or Sophie, I know that I need to keep making birdies. You just can't let up."

About the Ms. and Mr. Minnesota Golf Award

The annual award was created in 2016 to recognize the outstanding male and female high school senior golfer based on their performance on the golf course, academic achievement and strength of character. Finalists are chosen by a committee of high school coaches and amateur golf representatives.


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