By Dan Hardenbrook
Conditions were less than ideal in Newberry last Wednesday for the second and final round of the 2021 EUP/SAC Conference Championships at the Newberry Country Club. Cooler than expected temperatures had golfers grabbing extra layers as they prepared to tee off in the last regular season contest of the season.
Staying warm wasn’t the only issue, as strong winds ripped through the NCC, making every shot a guessing game.
Golfers’ scores from Wednesday were combined with their scores from the first conference meet at the Munoscong Golf Course in Pickford. Each meet served as a dual conference competition with the EUP and SAC combining forces for competition.
Newberry, Engadine, Pickford, Cedarville, Brimley, Rudyard, and DeTour competed in the EUP, and the SAC featured Newberry, Rudyard, St. Ignace, and the Soo.
In Newberry, the boys got assigned to the front nine and the girls played the back nine. In the end, perseverance paid off, especially for Newberry’s top two golfers. Josh Magnusson was one of the few who pulled off a successful tee shot on hole one, and he carried that momentum. Magnusson finished the front nine with a score of 44. His round matched his score from Munoscong, giving him a final conference score of 88. That was good enough for runner-up in both the EUP and SAC. His performance earned him First Team All Conference honors in both leagues.
Brimley’s Justin Carrick was the medalist for the boys and Carson Bigger of St. Ignace won the SAC Title. Logan Depew kept his strong senior season going, earning a top-five finish with a 47 on Wednesday. His final combined total of 93 earned him First team All Conference in both leagues as well.
Senior Aiden McPherson carded a 49 and Kennedy Depew shot a 50 for the Indians, who finished the home event in second beating Brimley for the first time this year. The Indians boys finished third place overall in the league.
The sole Lady Indian golfer continues to show great improvement. Lola Depew, golfing in only her third event this season, scored an 82 on Wednesday.
Lola, who knocked 10 strokes off the score she achieved at her first conference meet, knows she did well, all things considered.
“The meet in Newberry had been my best one so far, considering I had been quarantined for two weeks in the beginning of the season, and it was only my third meet,” she said. “The weather was a little rough the day before, so some of the greens were fast and some of them not, but I liked being able to have a challenge on my home course.”
Lola weathers being the only member of the girls’ golf team well, too.
“Being the only girl on the team isn’t that bad when the rest of the team is two of your cousins, their friends, and your uncle,” she said. “At the meet in Newberry, I was on my last hole and all of the boys were done, so they rolled up on golf carts and cheered me on until I was finished. They were so excited for me that I had gone 10 strokes down since last time. It’s odd being the only girl, but there’s still the same sense of a team.”
Engadine was led by David Petrie, who carded one of the low rounds of the day shooting a 43. Petrie missed the first round of conference play and certainly would have been in the running for an All Conference spot with his performance. Luke Germain ended the day with a 55, Drew French followed up a first round 69 with an 11-shot improvement in Newberry, shooting a 58, and Zach Vallier chipped in with a 63.
The Lady Eagles were well represented in the girls competition. The day was all about impressive improvement. Sophia Gustafson shot a 53, which was 26 shots better than what she did in Pickford. Alyssa Feneley, who did not golf in the first conference meet, came in strong with a 54. Leah French continues her all-around strong school year shooting a 56 (a 10-shot improvement). Lauren King had an 18-shot improvement, shooting a 58, while Molly Burton debuted with a 71.
Leah French finished high enough to earn a girls First Team All EUP selection. Cedarville’s Lauren Miller earned top finisher medalist honors. St. Ignace’s Maizey Brown was top finisher, earning the medalist spot in the SAC.