MHSAA Div. 3 girls golf: Consistency propels Munising to title by 19 strokes

HYDE – Munising gained its first Upper Peninsula girls golf title by nearly 20 strokes with a solid top-to-bottom performance at the Highland Golf Club on Thursday.

The Mustangs claimed the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals title in a field of 18 schools, 10 of which fielded full teams.

Led by Carla Nottmeier’s 93, they totaled 416, 19 strokes better than runner-up Bark River-Harris.

“I think our consistency is what got us here,” said Munising coach Bette Immel. “We have four seniors who’ve played four years of varsity golf. This is a great way for them to end their careers.”

Baraga was one player short of fielding a full team.

St. Ignace sophomore Margo Brown earned medalist honors at 90, including a 43 on the back nine on this sunny and warm day.

“I double-bogeyed the first three holes,” said Brown, the Saints’ lone representative. “After that, I told myself to shake it off and I relaxed a little. I hit with my irons pretty good and putted pretty well.”

Munising sophomore Carla Nottmeier, an exchange student from Germany, was runner-up with 93.

“On the front nine, I felt I wasn’t doing well with my driving,” said Nottmeier. “I didn’t get the distance I wanted, but that got better on the back nine. I started to relax a little more and hitting the ball a little farther. It’s a great feeling for us to win as a team.”

BR-H junior Savanna Stenberg took third at 94, followed by DeTour eighth-grader Madison Wilkie with 95 and Forest Park junior Lexi Gussert and Munising senior Molly Mattson each with 99.

Gussert, who came in as defending champion, already has offers to play basketball at several major colleges including reigning NCAA Division 1 national champion Connecticut, where she’ll be visiting in the near future.

Munising’s scoring was rounded out by senior Katie Immel with 107, as classmates Eve Gendron shot 117 and Emily DesJardins 120.

“Our four seniors are awesome kids,” Bette Immel said. “Their cumulative (grade-point average) is about 3.8 and they’re great ambassadors to our community. They’re close friends and they’re all like my daughters.

“We were pleased to have Emily on the team this year. She tore her Achilles tendon in the first basketball game last year and didn’t think she’d be able to play golf. But the doctors cleared her shortly before the season. I think this really means a lot to her.”

Bark River-Harris coach Scott Farnsworth was happy with his runner-up result.

“I’m very proud of the girls,” he said. “They’ve worked extremely hard and done well all year. I hope they play golf all summer and keep improving their game.”

Forest Park was third in the team race with 444, followed by defending champion Cedarville with 447, DeTour 474 and Ontonagon 482.

This marked the second straight runner-up finish for the Broncos, who placed second in Division 2 a year ago.