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December 22, 2018
By: John Raffel

Area golf teams do well at finals


Eye on MHSAA Golf Finals

Shepherd, Freeland, Okemos finish high at state meet


John Raffel

Sports Scene


Various golf teams came very close to the top spot in state girls golf action the weekend of Oct. 19-20.

The weather featured rain, cold and wind. And some lightening. But teams like Shepherd, Okemos and Freeland all did well.

Shepherd just misses

Shepherd was second in Division 4 with a 750, some 20 strokes behind first-place Harbor Springs.

Morgan Yates with a 173 led the Shepherd attack.

“Morgan has been on fire this season,” Shepherd coach Julie Prout said. “She has been on top at every match. She played all summer, participated in golf events and has been very committed to improving her game.”

Freeland finishes third

Freeland was third in Division 3 with rounds of 349 and 361. Flint Powers was first at 659.
“I was extremely proud of our team this year,” Freeland coach Matthew Pumford said. “We had our highest finish in girls golf in school history, finishing third out of 16 teams. After tying Flint Powers in our regional we were pretty excited about the possibility of competing for the state title.  We got off to a very solid start and after the first day we were in a very good position being in second place.

“Despite losing some strokes on the greens, our senior captain Olivia Pumford, posted a very solid 79 to lead us within striking distance of Flint Powers. We posted a very good team score of 349 which was just two shots off our season low. Our second round was a bit of a struggle. We fought through a 75-minute rain delay and a 30-minute hail delay to finish the round with a team score of 361 which put us in third place overall, our highest in school history.”

Pumford was seventh with the 163 score. Lily Beyer second for Freeland at 171. Lydia Back was third with 96 and 90 for 186.

“Olivia Pumford has been solid for us all year,” Pumford said. “She has finished on the all tournament team in five events this year and finished seventh overall this year at states. It has been amazing to coach my daughter these past few years and I am very proud of her accomplishments on and off the course. I could not be more proud as a father to see what a tremendous golfer she has become but even a better person too and to me that is the ultimate lesson that golf teaches all of us that play. 

Lydia Back is our super sophomore and has really come into her own this year with tremendous work ethic and determination. She has steadily improved and it really showed with her personal best score coming during the last round of the finals.  Her future looks bright.”

As for next year, “we will be losing five seniors this year,” Pumford said. “We have Katie Lazarz (Junior) and Lydia Back (sophomore) returning with experience for next year.  We also have a couple JV players that show great promise as well. We’re looking forward to making a return trip soon.
“I'm very proud of our team for accomplishing something has never been done before in Freeland. It goes to show that hard work, determination and mental toughness really makes a difference.”

Okemos Solid

Okemos was third in Division 2 with 697. Okemos had a 697, led by Allison Cui (151), Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci (172), Rhea Shenoy (186), Jessi Hinterman (188) and Angelas Mothersell (209).

We were very pleased to finish third in D2,” Okemos girls golf coach Dan Stolz. “I thought our girls showed real toughness and determination to all post a better score on Saturday in the miserable conditions with two weather delays and it was extremely windy. We will have all five players back next year and hope to improve on our finish. Freshman Allison Cui shot an amazing 73 on day 2 to tie for first but lost in a playoff.”