MARION — Cedar Rapids Washington’s Emma Sorg experienced a slow start to the golf season.
The Warriors’ Blythe Heying built some confidence from some good early-season rounds.
They progressed throughout the season and earned a chance to play in the final event of the spring.
Sorg and Heying placed fourth and sixth at a Class 4A final regional Monday at Gardner Golf Course. The sophomore duo claimed individual berths to the state meet May 28-29 at Coldwater Links in Ames.
“It’s great,” Cedar Rapids Washington Coach Dennis Goettel said. “We haven’t had two players go for a long time.
“They’re great kids. They work hard at it.”
Sorg carded an 84 to secure a second straight trip to the state meet. She advanced a year ago as a freshman and wants to improve that performance.
“I want to represent my team and do a lot better than I did last year,” Sorg said. “I went in as a freshman and everyone was like, ‘It’s OK. … At least you made it as a freshman.’
“I want to go there and play well. Show everyone what I’m capable of.”
Heying carded a 95 to grab the final qualifying spot. She will get to make her state debut.
“I am thinking about going there and having fun,” Heying said. “I definitely want to do better than I did today.
“Just try my best and I think everything will work out.”
Goettel said Sorg has putted well recently. She was cool as a cucumber, matching her lowest 18-hole round of the season and coming in seven shots under this season’s average.
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“Today, I took it slow,” Sorg said. “I went back to yoga. I took a bunch of deep breaths and I meditated last night. I just took it one shot at a time.”
One of the biggest shots came early in the round. She posted a birdie on the No. 5 hole, but it paled to her 3 on the par-5 second hole. She chipped in from just off the green, which came after she heard a competitor had done the same but for a higher score.
“I was walking down the first tee and the girls said a player in front of us chipped in for par,” Sorg said. “I was like she did that at Airport too and she did it for an eagle. The next hole I chipped in for an eagle.”
Heying recorded a birdie on the par-4 10th. She has relied on her driver this year, but when that struggled she focused on her short game.
“That helped a lot,” Heying said. “My short game went really well today. Towards the end, my driving started catching back up.”
Heying is excited to accompany her teammate and get the chance to compete against the state’s best. She proved to herself she can play at that level.
“I think it will be really fun,” Heying said. “It will be nice.
“It shows our team that we got this. We can do this … if you practice anything can happen.”
Western Dubuque’s Hannah Fangmann shot 92, finishing fifth and advancing to the state meet.
Dubuque Senior’s Abby Marting fired a 79, topping teammate Breanna Felderman by four for medalist honors. The Rams won the team title with 375. Dubuque Hempstead was second at 381, edging Washington by two for the final team berth.
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