West Liberty High School’s girls golf team didn’t have one of their better days Thursday, April 22, at the Hawk Invite at Kalona Golf & Country Club hosted by Mid-Prairie High School.
The Comets didn’t have a golfer under 100 for the 18-hole course and finished ninth in the 10 team field, scoring a 479, nine strokes ahead of Iowa City Regina but 118 strokes behind first place Liberty, finishing with a 361 behind the two top performers of the day.
Bella Pettersen and Nelly Maurus finished in the top spots in the tourney, courting scores of 76 and 81 for the day while teammate Allison Colony finished with a 98 for sixth place honors overall. Pettersen scored a 37 on the opening nine while Maurus finished with the same score on the back nine.
Liberty’s team finished 43 strokes ahead of second place Williamsburg while West Branch finished in third with a 406 mark, followed by Tipton, Durant, Fairfield, Wilton and the hosts.
West Liberty’s top golfer was Lindsey Laughlin, the senior scoring a 49 on the back nine to finish at 102 while Aly Harned was one stroke back despite a 47 on the back nine.
Madison Kleier was the third best golfer for the Comets in the outing, finishing at 136, while Cassie Aleman marked a 138 score and Mylei Henderson finished at 140.
West Liberty coach James Laughlin said he was surprised with the performance because the weather was “fantastic,” sunny, no wind and temperatures in the low 60’s.
“I was hoping for a good day of golf,” the coach said. “The first round we struggled a little, only Aly and Lindsey had played there before so I was expecting the other three to struggle on the front nine.”
The coach said the Kalona course “is a tough course to play any time, but especially your first time.”
He said he was “very proud” to see improvement on the back nine by the entire team. “I think it shows that once you play there, you can improve.” He said it was “great” to see his top two golfers shoot in the 40's on the back nine. “Hopefully, they can continue to improve and shoot low scores,” he said.
The coach complimented Harned for producing “a great birdie” on the par four hole #4 on the back nine.