Wednesday was a perfect day for golf – not including the 25 mph winds – and a perfect day for a high school golf regional. And while it wasn’t a perfect finish for the local participants at Lake Forest Golf Club, it was still pretty impressive as one team and one player advanced to the state finals.
So, yeah, pretty good.
For the third year in a row, the Pioneer girls’ golf team is headed to the state finals in East Lansing. Pioneer finished third at Wednesday’s Regional with a score of 349 to qualify for the state finals on Friday, Oct. 16 at Forest Akers East. This year’s final is a one-day event unlike previous years when it was two days.
The Regional at Lake Forest, hosted by Skyline, featured the two top ranked teams in the state and they both landed at the top of the scorecard. Plymouth fired a Regional best 326 with three players breaking 80 and Northville took second with a 330.
The first three teams at each Regional qualify for the state finals.
Skyline had a strong round with a 373 to finish fourth. But Adie Maki qualified for the state meet when she fired a 79, the top score from a player not from Plymouth or Northville, and tied for the fourth best score of the day. The top three players from teams that don’t qualify also earn a trip to the state finals.
Novi was fifth with a 409 followed by Salem (415), Huron (421), Saline (433), Bedford (440), Monroe (441) and Canton (452).
Pioneer had three players break 90 with senior Amaya Melendez (83), sophomore Mackenzie Rooney (84) and freshman Alex Ellender (87). Junior Hayley Marchand fired a 95 and senior Jillian Giordano carded a 96.
Pioneer Coach Bill Lyle learned one thing on Wednesday – that his team can play with the very best in the state. In fact, Pioneer led the tournament after 12 holes.
“I’m very proud of how they played,” he said. “It was a good day considering it was October in Michigan. It was windy and the course played hard but we were ready and played very well on the front nine. We did what we had to do on the back.”
Skyline was led Maki, whose 79 earned her a trip to Forest Akers East. Riya Patchava shot a 97, Lia Tomilo shot a 98, Grace Hescheles carded a 99 and Alison Marshal had a 108.
Skyline Coach Ashley Mantha was pleased with how her Eagles played against an elite field. “We played eight strokes better than our season average and the girls showed up,” she said. “So proud of Adie and how the team played and grinded though adversity today.”
The River Rats had a decent round, finishing ahead of five schools including Saline. They were led by Lydia Miteza (94), Allison Mi (108), Victoria Underwood (109), Aida Baidel (110) and Aico Miao (111).