Chips edged by Cardinals, prepare for regionals

 Lily Sandstedt chips onto the green of the eighth hole of the Manistee Golf and Country Club. Sandstedt shot an 18-hole score of 105. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Lily Sandstedt chips onto the green of the eighth hole of the Manistee Golf and Country Club. Sandstedt shot an 18-hole score of 105. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee golf hosted Big Rapids at the Manistee Golf and Country Club and fell to the Cardinals by six strokes. Big Rapids finished with an 18-hole score of 415 whereas the Chippewas scored a 421.

“Well we lost by six strokes but I was happy with our score as a team going against Big Rapids, who has had a history of being really good,” said Manistee head coach Bridget Warnke. “We saw them at invitationals and they beat us up kind of bad. … I don’t think (Big Rapids’ head coach Mark Posey) brought all of his top players but he did have his top two there and my girls shot comparable to them.”

Tiffany Elo led the Chippewas with a 99. Katie Huber finished with 100, Lily Sandstedt scored a 105 and Marial Rahn recorded a 117. Sara Thompson finished with a 121 and Trista Arnold shot a 122 that did not factor into the team score.

Due to a conflict with PSAT testing, the regional tournament at Grayling has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday, which will give the Manistee players a much-needed day of rest.

“We have another day to practice — which is good — and then kind of a rest in between rounds,” Warnke said. “Otherwise we were going to be playing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with the practice round, so I think this is going to work out a lot better for us.”

Warnke said the chipping was noticeably improved from when the Chippewas competed against Leland last Thursday. However, with regionals around the corner, the players are hoping to fine-tune their short games to be in top form when they next compete.

“The girls said they still want to work on some putting and chipping,” Warnke said. “I think we’re just going to work on that (Tuesday) and focus with my five girls that are going to regionals instead of all the team.

“This was the last match for all the girls,” Warnke continued. “I had my new girls playing 18 holes. I told them that this was their point where they are going to compare this year to next year. I have some girls that really have a lot of potential for next year, so that looks good.”

Though the players competed in fair weather, Sunday’s heavy rains left the course wet and challenging. This could play into the Chippewas’ favor, as Warnke expects them to be competing in similar conditions come Thursday.

“It was soggy,” Warnke said. “Very soggy. … I think that is even a good thing. I know the Grayling Country Club — I’ve heard it is very comparable to our course as far as moisture-holding. Again, that was a good thing. We’re probably practicing under the same conditions that we’re going to play in because it looks like it is going to be soggy the next couple days again.”

Warnke is hopeful that the team could move on to the state competition should they play at a similar level to how they shot Monday. 

“I think we’re going to be in good shape,” Warnke said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we do.”

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