MARION – Maddie Bertsch devoted extra time to her golf game in the offseason.
In addition to playing basketball, Bertsch dedicated more time than ever before to indoor practice. The hard work is paying dividends.
Bertsch fired a 3-over-par 75 for medalist honors, helping Cedar Rapids Xavier capture the team title at the CRANDIC girls golf meet Wednesday at Gardner Golf Course. Bertsch finished eight strokes ahead of the field, while the Saints scored 341, beating runner-up Linn-Mar by 35.
Bertsch, a junior, produced a solid round, shooting 1-over 37 on the front and a 2-over 38 on the back at a challenging course. She was pleased with her total.
“It helped because when one part of my game was bad the other stayed pretty good,” Bertsch said. “My chipping was really (good) today, so that helped my game a lot.”
The ability to avoid emotional highs and lows on the course has added to success. She is never content with her god shots and she refocuses quickly after bad ones.
“She’s somebody that doesn’t like to be told she has a good shot, because in her mind ,when she looks at a shot, there’s always room for improvement,” Xavier Coach Julie Kadlec said. “On the other hand, if she does have a bad shot, she tries to make up for it in the next shot. It makes the next shot better.”
She rode the momentum of shooting 1-under on the five holes, leading to the turn. Bertsch pulled to even overall with an eagle on the par-5 No. 11. After her tee shot landed in the rough, the approach landed about 30 feet from the cup and she drained the following putt. Bertsch has two eagles in as many days, scoring one Tuesday at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City.
“It was awesome,” Bertsch said. “I didn’t think it was going in. It just kept turning and went right in.”
The eagle put Bertsch at ease, but she said she didn’t dwell on it. Bertsch moved on and closed the round with two pars, finishing ahead of Cedar Rapids Washington’s runner-up M.J. Kamin, who carded an 83.
“I got a little conservative,” Bertsch said. “I stayed focused and tried to hit my shots well.”
Bertsch, a member of Xavier’s state champion basketball team last winter, tries to balance her love of golf and basketball. Bertsch is starting to entertain ideas of golfing in college. She expects more golf in the offseason.
“I get out two to three times a week. I play in a lot of summer tournaments,” Bertsch said. “I’m going to try to do more this year.”
The Saints demonstrated strong balance, placing five golfers in the top seven. Similar to Bertsch, extra work, including on weekends, has led to success.
“It’s a nice payoff for the girls,” Kadlec said. “I’m excited for them. They work hard and don’t get many days off.”
Xavier’s Hailey Sojka and Lisa Olberding each shot 88, tying for third. Grace Winker and Kara Zwanziger tied for the team’s fourth-best score with a 90. Kadlec noted that Sojka and Olberding had strong performances.
“We’ve been talking as a team that it’s not fair to put all the weight on one or two girls,” Kadlec said. “It’s nice because everybody thinks of themselves as an integral part of the team. They all have a job to do.”
Linn-Mar’s Katie Harding also posted an 88 to tie for third. Harding had seven pars, including six on the front nine where she shot 41. The all-Mississippi Valley Conference golfer has had a strong week.
“She’s capable,” Linn-Mar Coach Steve Kahler said. “She is making the most of her opportunity.”
It is an opportunity that has been hampered by back injury. She was limited, but focused on her short game.
“Maybe that’s what helped her, too,” said Kahler, complimenting her round at Monday’s MVC Super Meet. “She’s spent a lot more time chipping and putting.”
The Lions received a 91 from Jordan Postma and Lauren Coughlin added 94. Emma Lorenz rounded out the scoring, pushing Linn-Mar ahead of third-place Iowa City West at 383. Kahler is seeing most of his team playing to their potential.
“Most of the girls are playing close to what their averages are right now,” Kahler said. “That’s all you can ask for from them.”
Cedar Rapids Prairie was fourth with 404. The Hawks were led by Taylor Utter’s 91, which tied Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Ali Lindo, West’s Tiffany Danger and Postma for eighth.
(Gardner Golf Course, par 72)
Teams - 1. C.R. Xavier 341, 2. Linn-Mar 376, 3. Iowa City West 383, 4. C.R. Prairie 404, 5. Iowa City High 414, 6. C.R. Kennedy 421*, 7. C.R. Washington 421, 8. Marion 479, 9. C.R. Jefferson 487
*-Kennedy won tiebreaker with best fifth score.
Individuals - 1. Maddie Bertsch (CRX), 75, 2. M.J. Kamin (CRW), 83, 3. (tie) Katie Harding (LM), Hailey Sojka (CRX) and Lisa Olberding (CRX), 88, 6. (tie) Grace Winker (CRX) and Kara Zwanziger (CRX), 90, 8. (tie) Ali Lindo (CRK), Tiffany Danger (ICW), Jordan Postma (LM) and Taylor Utter (CRP), 91.
XAVIER (341): Bertsch 75, Sojka 88, Olberding 88, Winker 90, Zwanziger 90
LINN-MAR (376): Harding 88, Postma 91, Lauren Coughlin 94, Emma Lorenz 103
I.C. WEST (383): Danger 91, Madyson Boardman 94, Allye Boardman 98, Olivia Ewing 100
PRAIRIE (404): Utter 91, Emily Machula 100, Emily Perrin 102, Mallory Bennett 111
CITY HIGH (414): Emily Koepnick 95, Sarah Overton 95, Emmalie Bohnsack 105, Addie Bockensteadt 119
KENNEDY (421): Lindo 91, Raemi Chavez 98, Amanda Wiedemeier 116, Morgan Schwab 116, Val Davidson 119
WASHINGTON (421): Kamin 83, Kandis O’Donnell 103, Brett Visser 108, Anna Rohde 127
MARION (479): Ashley Reed 99, Ashley Ohl 109, Haley Shaffer 132, Anna Martinson 130
JEFFERSON (487): Emily Aukes 105, Lyndsey Lykkegaard 118, Cassidy Simpson 130, Hannah Hopkins 134