The team is not yet at the same level as most of its other Rock Valley Conference rivals, but McFarland High School girls golf coach Chris Duerk has been pleased with the progress of players since the season began in mid-August.

The Spartans hosted their own nine-hole mini-meet Sept. 5 at Yahara Hills Golf Course and finished sixth out of nine schools. Carson Eccles and Emily Gates continued to play consistent golf.

Eccles notched three pars and two bogeys to end with a team-low 46. Her score tied for the second lowest among all competitors.

Gates overcame some rough moments to end with one par and five bogeys for a score of 49.

Duerk said consistency is helping Eccles and Gates attain lower scores.

“They are putting together strings of good holes,” Duerk said. “We put in a lot of work around the green with their short game, which has improved. They battle back and forth over who wants to be in the No. 1 spot.”

McFarland’s freshman tandem of Nikkia Kohn and Emily Schoeller continued to improve as both fired a 66. Duerk said Kohn knows her way around a golf course and is good at strategizing shots while Schoeller has progressed through her natural athletic ability.

McKenzie Rynes ended with a 79, but Duerk said she is only in her second year of playing golf and has made tremendous gains on the course.

“She is a softball player at heart. We had to break down her swing and change it from a softball swing to a golf swing,” Duerk said. “The improvement she has made from last year to this year is unbelievable. She has the strength, determination and know-how to improve at golf, and it’s showing.”

The Spartans finished with 227 team strokes as Cambridge took first place with 196 strokes. Beloit Turner followed with 211, and Lakeside Lutheran and Edgerton were tied with 219.

Duerk is hopeful his players can continue to lower their scores and help the team bypass the schools that traditionally finish ahead of them.

“If we play bogey golf, that’s great. I celebrate bogeys,” Duerk said.

McFarland’s next match is Monday with a conference mini-meet at Glen Erin Golf Club in Janesville. Tee off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Rock Valley mini-meet: Jefferson

Eccles had another consistent nine holes to end with a team-low 44 at the McFarland High School girls golf team finished sixth at the Sept. 3 Rock Valley Conference nine-hole mini-meet in Jefferson.

Eccles parred two holes and captured four bogeys to finish with the third lowest individual score. Gates overcame a couple of troublesome holes to finish with a birdie, a par and three bogeys for a 49. Schoeller scored a 59, Kohn a 67 and Rynes ended with a 72.

The Spartans ended with 219 team strokes. Cambridge took first with 191, Jefferson was second with 193 and Lakeside Lutheran finished third with 201.

Courtney Draeger of Jefferson had the lowest individual score with a 41, followed by Maya Heckmann of Lakeside Lutheran with 43.

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