MARION - Ali Lindo, M.J. Kamin and Taylor Utter like to play golf with each other.
The Metro trio earned the right to compete in one last varsity tournament together.
All three secured individual berths to the state meet at the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Class 5A regional meet Monday at Gardner Golf Course. Kamin posted an 83 for runner-up honors, placing one shot back of Ottumwa’s Whitney Dostal and earning her second straight state appearance. Utter carded an 86 to place third and Lindo tied Ottumwa’s Darby Patritto for fourth with 87.
The 5A state meet s May 28-29 at Lake Panorama National Resort in Panora.
Kamin suffered a slow start, but overcame it for a 3-over 39 on the back nine.
“I’m really happy with it,” Kamin said. “I didn’t have a great front nine. I was able to pull it out. It worked out well.”
The biggest problem early was mental, failing to produce good swings. She challenged herself and began hitting fairways after the turn. Kamin talked herself straight.
“It wasn’t easy,” Kamin said. “I said to myself you can worry about it and keep struggling or start making good swings and start getting pars.”
Par on a troublesome hole provided a late boost. The par-4, No. 15 hole at Gardner has caused problems for Kamin in the past, but she tamed it with a four this time. It played as one of the toughest holes for the round with players averaging more than a double-bogey on it Monday.
“I was happy with that,” Kamin said. “That propelled me the last few holes.”
Kamin qualified for state in 2012, finishing 12th in 4A. Now, with the addition of a fifth class, Kamin is focused on improving last year’s place.
“Anywhere in the top 10 I’d be happy,” Kamin said. “I just want to do better than last year.”
Utter and Lindo were able to cap their prep careers with a state meet appearance, playing in the same group Monday. The feat had special meaning for both.
Utter transferred to Prairie this year, and wanted to prove something to new coach Erik Columbus. The hard work paid off.
“I made a point to work extra hard this year,” Utter said. “I wanted to show my coach how dedicated I am.”
Lindo, one of the top Metro golfers who has earned Mississippi Valley Conference honors three times, was pleased to conclude her Kennedy with her first state experience.
“It was pretty great,” said Lindo, who will play next year at Catawba (N.C.) College. “It feels good to go to state for my last high school meet.”
Putter was important for Utter. She carded a birdie on the par-5 No. 6, but she avoided extra strokes in the final two holes to keep her spot in third place.
“I made some putts at the end,” Utter said. “The last two holes made par-par. I really needed that.”
Utter said playing with Lindo allowed her to relax a little more and dial in on her game. She was thrilled with the result, and became the first Prairie state qualifier in girls golf since 2009.
“I didn’t have high expectations,” Utter said. “I played the game the way I knew I could.”
Lindo was on edge a little more while the final scores were reported. She rebounded after a tough beginning. She was uncertain about her fate earlier in the round.
“I was worried after the front nine,” Lindo said. “I was able to rally.”
Like Utter, Lindo benefitted from her play on the green and improved on a back nine that normally is tougher. She tallied a few one-putts and drained a 30-foot putt on the par-5 11th for her lone birdie of the day.
“That gets you rolling,” Lindo said. “I was able to turn it around.”
The team race wasn’t compelling outside of the top two, which automatically qualifier for the state meet. West Des Moines Dowling won with 359 and Ottumwa was second with 362. Burlington was a distant third with 388.
Cedar Rapids Xavier competed in a 4A regional at Edmondson Golf Club in Oskaloosa. The Saints qualified for the state meet for the second time in three seasons, claiming the team title with 346 and beating runner-up Mount Pleasant by 41.
Maddie Bertsch and Grace Winker were the top two individuals with a 76 and 83, respectively. Megan Buitendorp and Sarah Waite, both of Washington (Iowa), were third and fourth, while Clear Creek Amana’s Gabi Scarpa tied for fifth to advance to state. The 4A state meet is at Ames Golf and Country Club.
CLASS 5A REGIONAL
(Gardner Golf Course, par 72)
Teams - 1. West Des Moines Dowling 359*, 2. Ottumwa 362*, 3. Burlington 388, 4. Iowa City West 404, 5. Muscatine 406**, 6. C.R. Prairie 406, 7. Marshalltown 411, 8. C.R. Washington 412, 9. C.R. Kennedy 415, 10. C.R. Jefferson 533.
*-State qualifying team
**-Won tiebreaker with best fifth golfer’s score.
State qualifiers - 1. Whitney Dostal (Ott), 82, 2. M.J. Kamin (CRW), 83, 3. Taylor Utter (CRP), 86, 4. (tie) Ali Lindo (CRK) and Darby Patritto (Ott), 87.
I.C. West (404): Tiffany Danger 91, Mackenzi Marsh 104, Avery Kout 104, Madyson Boardman 105, Allye Boardman 105
Prairie (406): Utter 86, Emily Machula 102, Kennedy Fisher 107, Emily Perrin 111
Washington (412): Kamin 83, Mady Goodwin 103, Kandis O’Donnell 112, Brett Visser 114
Kennedy (415): Lindo 87, Raemi Chavez 101, Morgan Schwab 108, Breanna Osterkamp 119
Jefferson (533): Emily Aukes 112, Cassidy Simpson 126, Hannah Hopkins 143, Alysha Lykkegaard 152
For complete results, visit www.ighsau.org