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Girls' Golf: Rosemount picks up where they left off last season

Junior Jaydn Smith marks her ball and reads the green before her putt. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Freshman Nidhi Sunkam is one of Rosemount's most improved golfers this season. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Junior Renee Boldus tees off on the Silver course at Emerald Greens. Boldus has been solid for the Irish varsity this season. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

In many ways, Rosemount girls' golf head coach Barry Wallin is a lucky man. When the weather did not cooperate this April, he said that Rosemount had the room and facilities to allow the Irish girl golfers to practice both their short game and get full-swing practice in. When the weather did improve, their arrangement with Emerald Greens Golf Course (where Wallin works as the PGA Professional) gave them an edge that few other teams have, including access to several practice areas like driving ranges, practice greens and practice holes, some of which are just for them. Wallin raved about all that Emerald Greens has done for his team, and he credits the early season work inside, as well as what they are able to do now with practice outside, for the great start to the season the team has had.

Tournaments so far

The team started their season with a fourth-place finish at the MN Girls Golf Preview at the end of April at Bunker Hills Golf Club with a total score of 357 the first day and 352 on day two. Senior Sydney Regalado led the team with an 80 and a 79. Freshman Nidhi Sunkam, who Wallin said has really improved, shot an 89 and 84. Junior Renee Boldus was consistent with a 97 and 94 and senior Megan Shandorf was slightly similar with a 91 and 95. Senior Callie Johnson shot a 105 and 112.

In the first South Suburban Conference tournament of the year, held at Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee, Rosemount took third with a score of 357 and was just a few points out of second. Three players scored in the 80s, Regalado (86), Sunkam (87) and Boldus (86). Shandorf shot an 98, while Johnson came in with a 102 and senior Kaylin Engelmann a 109.

On Saturday, May 5, the Irish hosted their annual Irish Invite at Emerald Greens, which consisted of nine teams. They took fourth with a score of 347 behind winner Edina (305), Lakeville North (325) and Red Wing (336). Regalado took sixth individually with a three-over-par 75. Shandorf shot an 88, Sunkam an 89 and senior Megan Simonet was the last scorer with a 95. Engelman had a 101 and Johnson an 103.

Last week, Rosemount had their second SSC tournament, and also hosted the Dakota County Girls Golf Championships at Emerald Greens on Saturday, May 12. The SSC meet was held at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville. Rosemount finished fourth with a score of 369, which was a tie with Eastview, but they lost the tiebreaker. Regalado tied for eighth in the individual standings with a score of 87. Sunkam shot an 89, Shandorf a 95 and Boldus a 98. Engelmann added a 108 and Simonet a 120.

Rosemount's latest tournament was the second they have hosted this year at Emerald Greens, the Dakota County Girls Golf Championships. They finished just three points out of first place with a score of 359. Baldus led the team with an 85 while Sunkam and sophomore Sam Sable each had a 91. Shandorf shot a 92, and Engelmann a 106.

Wallin headed to the Hall of Fame

Wallin also received tremendous news this season in the form of his induction by the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association into its Hall of Fame. He is joined by former Fairmont boys' golf coach Dan Kehrberg and Detroit Lakes boys' golf coach Bob Gordon. Wallin will be inducted at the class AAA state tournament banquet on June 11 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Park.

Wallin has been the Rosemount girls' golf coach for 28 years, and in that time has won two Section 3AAA tournament championships, has had 22 girls qualify for the state tournament and guided 17 golfers to collegiate golf. He is a three-time Section Girls Golf Coach of the Year (2009, 2014, 2017) and a two-time Minnesota State High School Girls Golf Coach of the Year (2009 and 2014).

Even more important is the role Wallin has been in promoting girls' golf. According to the press release sent out by the coaches association:

"Coach Wallin created the Rosemount Girls Golf Futures Club in 1997 to promote girls golf in the Rosemount area, and is co-founder of the Summer Fun Golf Camps, which currently serve over 350 youth every summer at Emerald Greens Golf Course. Coach Wallin also created a fundraising program for local boys and girls high school golf programs (The Dakota County Golf Coaches Discount Card) that, to date, has helped raise more than $240,000 for participating schools' golf programs."

"It was totally unexpected," Wallin said about being notified of his induction. "I had to read the email a couple of times, I thought maybe a couple of my buddies were setting me up. It's one of those life moments that you know, you'll remember for a long time."

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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