Girls shoot 199 at Conference Finals
Lady Pirates Shoot 199 at Drugan's in the Rain, edge Viroqua/Westby by 3 strokes.
Everyone knew the rain was coming, and everyone also knew the area needed a good soaking, but the CFC girls golfers hoped it would hold off until after the 18 hole conference finals were over. The coaches had been watching the radar all day and were trying to make sure all the girls were keeping the pace before the wind and rain came. The first 9 holes were played in stellar conditions, but the Western sky kept turning a funkier, darker shade of pink. Then it came: sheets of rain and 30 mph wind, a golfer's nightmare. The second 9 holes were played in Scotlandic conditions where having a golf club not slip out of your hands, and keeping oneself dry became paramount.
Elizabeth Olson and Rachel Laduke played like swashbuckling pirate studs on the frontside, and they needed to. With all conference points at stake and both on the bubble of getting Coulee Conference recognition, they carded a 45 and 47 respectively, two career bests. That was enough to guarantee both All-Conference Honorable Mention awards at the banquet afterwards. The team shot a ho-hum 220 as the others struggled a tad on the front 9, a score almost identical to their season average. Then something strange happened. It started to rain, not a downpour, but one of those Seattle-type, tiny drop, misty, saturating, all day shiver sort of rains.While the opponents complained and wished for the round to be over, the CFC girls, with their outdoorsy, rugged, duckhunterish type ways decided to step up. Everyone on the team proceeded to hit long spectacular tee shots, pound greens with high arcing shots, and sink 10 foot sidewinders.
Amber Cafferty came in with a 49, an improvement of 12 strokes. Sara Bjorge also shot 12 strokes less on the rainy back 9. Taylor Thoeny shot 15 better, and Halie Cowell used her sniper like chipping game to post a 52, a whopping 17 stroke improvement. While LaDuke and Olson lost a few strokes, the other girls led the team to a 199, only 5 shots off a team record set last year on the front 9 at Walnut Grove. The team needed every one of those strokes gained as they overtook rival V/Westby for a 3 shot victory.
Even with having her back 9 score jump to a 51, Rachel LaDuke came in with a 98 for the entire day, the lowest score ever recorded for 18 since the CFC girls broke away from their co-op with Arcadia 3 years ago. That record held for only a few minutes as Elizabeth Olson parred the last hole in a monsoon to come in with a 92. Olson finished 4th on the day out of 34 Coulee Conference Golfers, with LaDuke taking 10th. The team score of 421 tied last year's senior-led squad for the best 18 hole round ever. The team will all come back to play again next year and who knows how low they will be able to go after a full year of seasoning. GET shot a 368 to squeak by Arcadia by 5 strokes and become the first team other then Arcadia to win the conference since it was started in 2007. The girls are playing their best golf of the season and will be competing in the State Regionals Wednesday at Sparta. They will tee off with LA Crosse Aquinas and Neillsville in the 9 team event, and hope to move along into the State Sectionals at Madison the following week.