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Yoemans and Herzog Back in Front, But Gossen Carries Minnewaska Girls into Lead at Class AA Tourney


JORDAN, Minn. – It was one year ago when Leah Herzog broke the Minnesota State High School Class AA Tournament record only to have teammate Sophia Yoemans shatter it less than 15 minutes later.

On Tuesday at Ridges at Sand Creek there were no records that fell, however Yoemans once again paced the field by shooting 3-under par 69, while Herzog sits on her heels in a tie for second place with Jacqueline Gossen, four shots back.

Yoemans rallied during the final nine holes in cold and wet conditions in Jordan, carding four birdies against one bogey to post the only score below par in both the boys’ and girls’ championships as Yoemans is in search of her third consecutive individual title.

“Last year was really different—we had perfect conditions and today we had a lot of rain, wind and the course was so much different. It was like a trampoline out there, even when it was raining. You’d hit a drive and it would roll forever,” Yoemans said. “I wasn’t really thinking about last year, just trying to come back from my front nine.

“I hit the ball really well. I started out kind of hot with two birdies, but on the back nine I turned it around with three straight birdies. I hit my driver really well and my putting was streaky—I made some long ones but missed a lot of 10-footers.”

Yoemans started quickly by getting up-and-down at the first before wedging her approach to eight feet at the second. Her troubles with the flat iron began at the third when she missed her 8-foot birdie chance and lipped out her par putt at the fourth. Following a three-putt bogey at the fourth, the 2018 Minnesota Golf Association Junior Girls’ Player of the Year fell back to even par for the round.

The University of Missouri commit had an easy up-and-down for birdie at the 10th and followed it by sinking her birdie look from eight feet at the 11th. Helped by a sharp iron game Tuesday, Yoemans carded her third consecutive birdie at the 12th, sticking her approach inside of four feet. She would bogey 13, but answered by reaching the par-5 16th in two and two-putting for birdie to finish with the lead at 69.

Playing varsity golf for the Wingers since seventh grade, Yoemans looks to close out her high school career Wednesday with her second straight Class AA individual title after claiming the Class AAA crown in 2017.

“It’s the last hurrah and my last high school event—my sixth year and 12th state tournament round, so I just hope to play my best. I know I can on this course because I left so many shots out there.”

Behind Gossen’s round of 73 Tuesday, Minnewaska-Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa jumped out to the early lead by posting a team score of 313 and will enter the final round six shots clear of the 2015 champions from Red Wing and 12 shots better than the three-time Class AA defending champions from Detroit Lakes, winners of six of the last seven Class AA team titles.

“Coming in we knew that we would have to play well for two days because this is long from over,” Bluejackets head coach Tony Janu emphasized Tuesday. “[Red Wing and Detroit Lakes] are two very good teams, but if we play tomorrow like we did today, we’ll win. And if we don’t, we won’t. It’s that simple. They both had a couple of key players a little bit off today.

“We got a great round from our second player Jacqueline Gossen today. She’s had it in her, but she hasn’t put it all together. I feel good about where we’re at because the other girls did leave some shots out there today. We stressed in our practice rounds that so many teams lose tournaments by three-putting and our big thing was to keep the ball by the hole and they did a good job of that today. We need to stay grounded and try not to have any expectations. It’s going to be hard for [Gossen] after shooting 73, but just try to play shot for shot and have fun.”

Minnewaska claimed three straight Class AA team titles following the switch to three classes beginning in 2008. Minnewaska merged with Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa prior to the start of the 2019, leaving little time for the Bluejackets to find an identity and build team chemistry.

“We combined this season [with Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa] so this is our first year with our new logo and our new team, so we had zero expectations. We didn’t know where we were going to be at, but we knew we had some players,” Janu said. “As the season went on, we progressively got better and our expectations got a little higher and the girls really wanted to get here.”

The final round of the 2019 Minnesota State High School Class AA Girls Tournament gets underway at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek.




5,136 YARDS, PAR 72


1. Minnewaska-BBE – 313

2. Red Wing – 319

3. Detroit Lakes – 325

4. Jordan – 351

5. International Falls – 357

6. Visitation – 376

7. Albany – 383

8. Providence Academy – 399


1. Sophia Yoemans, Red Wing, 36-33—69

T2. Leah Herzog, Red Wing, 36-37—73

T2. Jacqueline Gossen, Minnewaska-BBE, 36-37—73

4. Anna Cihak, Detroit Lakes, 35-40—75

5. Bergen Senf, Fairmont, 38-38—76

T6. Anna Tollefson, LaCrescent, 37-40—77

T6. McKenna Mallow, Detroit Lakes, 36-41—77

T6. Ava Wallerich, Lake City, 41-36—77

T9. Shelby Busker, Detroit Lakes, 37-41—78

T9. Madi McGinty, Minnewaska-BBE, 37-41—78

T9. Claire Orcutt, St. Clair-Loyola, 41-37—78

For complete tournament results go to:


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