Comet girls battle high winds in tough opener at West Branch

Harned plays well in opening match


Struggling in 30-mile-per-hour winds and gusts up to 40-miles-an-hour, the opening match for Coach James Laughlin’s West Liberty High School girls golf team lost their opening match of the season to hosting River Valley Conference rival West Branch Monday at Cedar Edge Golf Course.

Although Aly Harned matched West Branch’s best golfer, Savannah Sexton, with a low score of 55 and two other Comets were in the thick of the match, the entire team couldn’t put it all together as the girls lost by 17 strokes, 252 to 235.

Coach Laughlin said his team “battled some tough conditions with the wind,” noting it played havoc on both teams in trying to come through with descent marks in their opening day of play on a 65 degree day.

Harned pared her first hole, a 300-yard par 4, to begin her year and never hit that mark again, although having single bogies on her final two holes. A score of 11 on a tough 460-yard par five on hole number four cost her top honors.

Comets Lindsey Laughlin and Emily Bierman finished just behind at 61 and 62 respectively, Laughlin playing consistent bogie golf while finshed strong after marking a pair of 10’s on holes four and six.

Madison Klier helped the Comet scoring with a 74 although nearly paring hole number three while Nellie Stagg shot a 79, nearly paring hole number nine before finishing with a 13.

West Branch saw some consistent golf from their team including a 58 from Alex Poppen, a pair of 61’s from Sophia Kouba and Rylan Drueker, a 62 from Melanie Lamont and a 64 from Abby Westcott.

Meylei Henderson also shot a 73 for the Comets junior varsity team including paring the fifth hole.

The Comets travel to Anamosa for a multi-team tournament on Tuesday, April 6, beginning at 9 a.m. before hosting their first home meet on April 12 against Iowa City Regina beginning at 4 p.m. at West Liberty Golf & Country Club.