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Girls golfers fourth in section, Flynn qualifies for state

Rosemount's Hailey Johnson approaches her ball during last week's section meet.

Rosemount girls golf coach Barry Wallin lamented his team's late swoon when the Irish missed a chance at winning the Lake Conference championship after a poor showing at the conference tournament.

The struggles came at a bad time, but if Wallin had begun to worry as Rosemount headed to the section championships last week, he wasn't showing it.

Wallin said he knew his girls would be ready for the section tournament.

The Irish were ready. Rosemount shot a season-low 344 at Phalen on the first day of the tournament. They followed with a 372 at Bunker Hills, a much tougher course, on the second day to finish with a combined 716, good for fourth place as a team.

Eastview was a runaway team winner with a score of 677. Woodbury finished second with a 706 and Eagan was third after shooting a combined 715.

"We were able to finish pretty strong," Wallin said.

Ninth-grader Molly Flynn became the youngest Rosemount girls golfer to qualify for the state tournament by placing in a tie for fourth with a 169. Flynn shot an 83 at Phalen and carded an 86 at Bunker Hills.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet that I am going," Flynn said. "I think it makes me feel good about myself and proud of all that I put into it.

"I think it helps that I've played (the state tournament course) another time. And I think it helps that I had a lot of shots I could have taken off, maybe spent one more second on a putt, take some more time lining them up, too."

Flynn will participate in next week's tournament at Bunker Hills, the same site as the second day of sections. She has drawn an 8:06 tee time for the first day of the tournament.

"It will feel almost like the final day of sections felt," Wallin said of Flynn's first trip to state. "There will be a lot of people around like there were on Friday and Molly had a nice gallery with her on Friday. That's nothing new. That's one reason we do the second day of sections up there -- so they get a real good feel of what state feels like. It's no big deal because they've done it before."

After the winning team's golfers are excluded, the top five remaining individuals from the section tournament advance. Flynn was second in that final grouping.

Junior Betsy Wallin fell just short of advancing. Wallin shot a combined 176, two strokes away from the final qualifying spot. She finished in a tie for ninth individually at sections.

Wallin shot an 83 at Phalen.

Emily Holtz carded an 89 at Phalen on the way to a combined 183, placing her 15th overall.

"To have three in the top 15 in the section is a good, strong way to go out," coach Wallin said.

Emily Anderson finished with an 89 on the first day at Phalen and followed with a 99 at Bunker Hills. Hailey Johnson shot a 99 on the second day to figure into the scoring.