FAIRMONT — Maggy Totzke, Anika Haugen, Solveig Senf, Brynn Gustafson, Lauren Davis and Bailey Martinson combined shot-making and course management skills to guide Fairmont to a seventh-place showing at the 2021 Class AA state girls golf meet in Jordan.
The six smooth-swinging standouts penciled in a two-day total of 721 to edge Big South Conference rival St. Peter by three strokes to capture the Section 2 championship at the New Prague Golf Club to end the Cardinals’ eight-year absence from state team competition last spring.
With his entire state-qualifying lineup returning to the fairways intact in 2022, Fairmont head coach Brad Haugen has his sights set on an encore performance albeit from a different section.
“I’ll be honest — the move from Section 2 to 3 will be tough, but I believe our girls are worthy of the challenge,” said Brad Haugen, whose lineup will battle against a 17-team sectional field that features defending team champion Minnewaska Area. “Minnewaska returns five of its top six from last season, but did lose its No. 1 golfer to graduation.
“Great golf programs like Minnewaska, however, just reload with the next up-and-coming player, so I expect them to be just as competitive as in years past.”
Minnewaska Area carded a two-day team total of 732 to garner fourth place at last year’s Class AA state meet at Ridges at Sand Creek.
“One big positive about our return to Section 3 is the fact that our girls will be playing a course — Oakdale Golf Club — that they are familiar with and enjoy playing,” Brad Haugen said in reference to this year’s sectional competition May 25 and June 1 near Buffalo Lake.
The Cardinals had originally looked to take their first steps toward earning a spot in both the sectional final round and the state tournament by teeing off at 11 a.m. today in the 13-team Worthington Invitational, but the event was cancelled due to the weather and course conditions.
Prior to Friday’s late scratch of his team’s season-opener, Brad Haugen recognized a silver lining to getting an early meet under his players’ spikes.
“After looking at the forecast, I’m grateful Worthington bumped back the tee times from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” said Brad Haugen. “It’ll only be in the high 40s, but we’ve played in cold weather before.
“It should be a good test for us right out of the chute since defending Class A state champion Lac qui Parle Valley will be there, along with sectional opponents Jackson County Central and Marshall.”
Unfortunately, due to the event being cancelled, the Fairmont girls will now have to wait until Tuesday to hit from the tee box when they join the Cardinal boys in playing host to Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther in their home openers at 4:30 p.m. at Interlaken Golf Course in Fairmont.
Totzke, one of three seniors on Fairmont’s talent-laden lineup, returns on the heels of firing a two-day total of 182 to capture 33rd place at last year’s Class AA state meet.
Ironically, Totzke helped the Cardinals qualify for state by penciling in an identical total of 182 at the Section 2 Meet.
Anika Haugen, a junior, shared stately honors at the 42nd spot overall by shooting a two-day 186 after netting Fairmont’s No. 2 counting score of 180 during sectional play.
Senf, who’s also a junior, tied for 45th during the 2021 state competition with a 187 after pacing the Cardinals’ winning sectional ways with a two-round mark of 176.
Gustafson, who’s only a sophomore, produced the fourth and final counting totals for Fairmont at both the state and sectional meets. Gustafson placed 76th in Jordan with a 212 after firing a 185 during sectional action in New Prague.
Davis and Martinson, a pair of seniors, rounded out the Cardinals’ state and sectional performances. Davis tallied a 215 to place 77th at state on the heels of carding a 207 at the previous qualifying tournament. Martinson finished just one shot back of Davis at state with a 216 to net 78th. Martinson produced a 195 during sectional action in New Prague.
“The best news about this team — all six players contributed counting scores at one time or another throughout last season,” said Brad Haugen. “It’s nice to have a group of girls that’s able to have their teammates pick them up if they have an off day on the course.
“That’s what this sport is all about, and I expect they will all contribute again this season.”
Connor Anderson will serve as the Cardinals’ assistant for both boys and girls programs, causing Brad Haugen to deem the former Martin County West High School standout as a “hybrid” coach due to his versatility.