It was somewhat of a longshot that Osceola Chieftain senior golfer Madi Link would be able to qualify for the State meet in Madison. She had already qualified for the Sectional meet by getting the lowest score of an individual not on a qualifying team at the Regional meet. The competition is even more intense at the Sectional meet and Link gave it a good run but in the end could not advance to State. Link’s score the Sectionals held at Pheasant Hills in Hammond was a 106.
“I had my best round all year driving the ball off the tee and putting so I am very happy with that,” Link said. “Other parts of my game let me down but I feel really good on how I finished the day and season. Overall I am very happy that I decided to participate in golf four years ago. It has helped me build a tremendous amount of confidence in myself and my game. I’m very appreciative to my coaches and family who have helped me achieve my goals.”
“Watching Madi, our captain of the golf team and a senior make it to Sectionals was just what you hope for as a coach for your players,” Osceola coach Lisa Richert said. “Madi has had a great four years of golf and has been a leader in so many ways. Sectionals was all about celebrating her. She has worked hard to develop great skills and has the most consistent drive and distance with her driver that I have seen in a long time. She brought her driver, putter and her mental toughness to finish 16th overall and remained competitive the whole day. I think she would credit her swing coach, her dad, many other coaches and her dedication to practicing with a purpose, which have helped her develop an awesome golf game.”
The top two teams at Sectionals advanced to State which included Prescott with a team score of 390 and St. Croix Central with a 395 total. Holly Carlson of Ellsworth, Kieman Smith of Northwestern and Somerset’s Haley Myers qualified for State as individuals. Middle Border conference teams did very well at Sectionals with Ellsworth and Somerset having the third and fourth best team scores respectively.
“Coach Pam Kaiser and I feel like we have had a great season,” Richert said. “We had a season of new golfers, mixed weather, great mindsets, dedication, friendships, goals and fun. The list is long. Every practice was full of laughs, hard work and skill building. Every match goals we made, clubs were swung, and putts tapped in. We may have come up short overall this year but our mindsets are great and we are ready for more.”
The future looks bright for the Osceola golf team as Link was the only senior on the team. The Chieftains will return the rest of their varsity golfers from this season. The 2019 roster was small and Richert is hopeful of adding several prospects for the 2020 season.
“Next year the only golfer who will be leaving us is Madi,” Richert summarized. “As we wish her well in her next adventures in life no matter where it takes her we are just as excited to see the girls on the golf team continue working on their skills and their mental toughness for the game.”
“Golf is a very rewarding sport and I hope that more girls decide to give it a try in the years to come,” Link said.