By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Scrambles for section playoff berths made for good prep golf on a warm fall afternoon Monday in Santa Rosa.
Analy, led by low scorer Khiana Schmuhl, won the Sonoma County League team title at Oakmont East to break a tie with Healdsburg and earn a spot in the North Coast Section finals. Healdsburg goes to the section qualifying tournament.
Over at Bennett Valley Golf Course, the North Bay League’s top foursome played a competitive round of 18 holes with low scorer Hailey Begert-Hellings of Maria Carrillo holding off Amanda Hauth of Windsor. Maria Carrillo had already secured the Pumas’ fifth straight league title and finals berth, with second-place Ukiah heading to the section qualifier, likely joined by at-large hopeful Windsor.
What made the NBL tournament particularly challenging was the addition of Windsor and Casa Grande to the field, replacing Piner and Elsie Allen, now in the SCL.
“It did upgrade the league. Maria Carrillo dominated. But the matches were pretty close at the top,” Ukiah coach Chris Philbrick said.
While league low scorer Begert-Hellings was the favorite Monday, she needed to play well to finish three shots ahead of Hauth.
Filling out the foursome were another pair of All-Empire players, Kara Curry of Santa Rosa and Emily Hulsman of Casa Grande.
“It was fun. There was some competition,” Begert-Hellings said.
In fading daylight following a long round on the east Santa Rosa course, Hulsman beat Curry by a shot in a one-hole playoff after the pair finished tied at the end of 18 holes.
“It was a pretty neat group. Those were pretty good scores today,” Cardinal Newman coach Mike Jonas said.
The result could mean Hulsman reaches the section qualifier. If Windsor gains an at-large entry to the same tournament, that opens spots for another two NBL individuals.
The league gets three players into the section qualifier or small school finals. Hayley Komrijn of Montgomery, is in the qualifier after finishing third overall Monday.
With Begert-Hellings and Hauth (likely) advancing with their teams, Megan McConnell of Cardinal Newman would go to the small school finals, and Hulsman would gain a spot in the qualifier.
The Sonoma County League finals marked the return of Analy to the top.
After splitting league matches with Healdsburg — both wins by the visiting team — Analy was better on Monday and gained the SCL automatic berth in the section finals.
“It was big for us,” Schmuhl said. “There was a lot of pressure today. We won and it was nice.”
Playing consistent, mostly error-free golf, Schmuhl was the medalist by seven shots Monday. Second was Olivia Bean of Healdsburg, followed by Analy’s Abby Sortino.
“There’s some decent players in the league. It could have gone to anyone,” Schmuhl said.
With both the Analy and Healdsburg teams advancing, three spots opened for individuals at the section qualifier. Megan Walls of Petaluma leads the group with Jordann Dagner of Sonoma Valley and Jane Weggenmann of El Molino.
“It was a great day for golf,” Healdsburg coach Jane Wann said. “Everyone had the opportunity on a day like today to shoot some great scores.”
At Bennett Valley Golf Course, Par 75
Medal Round (lowest scores)
1. Haley Begert (Maria Carrillo) 81 (automatically qualifies for Tournament of Champions)
2. Amanda Hauth (Windsor) 84
3. Hayley Komrij (Montgomery) 87
Potential golfers for qualifying round
of Tournament of Champions
1. Amanda Hauth (W) 84
2. Haley Komrij (M) 87
3. Mega McConnell (Cardinal Newman) 92
4. Emily Hulsman (Casa Grande) 94 (won playoff to win 4th place)
4. Kara Curry (SR) 94
6. Emma Dennett (Casa Grande) 104
7. Courtney Ludlow (Casa Grande) 107
7. Ashley Llamas (Windsor) 107
Notable: Maria Carrillo, as a team, automatically qualifies for the Tournament of Champions, to be held at Windsor Golf Club on Oct. 29. Ukiah and, if selected by the committee, Windsor, will go to Deer Valley on Oct. 22. The top 3 golfers from the above list, not with a team selected by the committee, will go to the qualifying round.
Final NBL Standings
1. Maria Carrillo 14-0
2. Ukiah 11-3
3. Windsor 10-4
4. Casa Grande 8-6
5. Cardinal Newman 7-7
6. Santa Rosa 3-11
7. Montgomery 2-12
8. Rancho Cotate 0-14
At Oakmont East, Par 63
Analy 470: Khiana Schmuhl 74, Abby Sortino 88, Doninique Matano 97, Taylor Ocacio 114, Madison Beckett 97.
Healdsburg 496: Olivia Bean 81, Jenna Schumacher 95, Amanda Pruitt 100, Kaitlyn Dooley 109, Keith Feith 111.
Sonoma Valley 530: Jordann Dagner 90, Allie Cogbill 108, Jacquie Peterson 94, Callie Hogan 116, Barbara Hodgkinson 112.
El Molino 541: Jane Weggenmann 96, Megan Simmons 107, Mariah Udell 114, Sierra McLarty 102, Olivia Farnochia 122.
Petaluma 557: Megan Walls 89, Meghan Decoite 122, Tara Thomas 116, Sage Libbey 105, Emily Cheda 125.
Piner inc.: Maddie Pitofsky 119, Kaity Kruger 129, Ana Stephenson 120.
Tournament Medalist: Khianna Schmuhl 74
2nd Place: Olivia Bean 81
3rd Place: Abby Sortino 88
4th Place: Megan Walls 89
Notable: Analy won the 18-hole tournament and automatically qualifies for the NCS tournament in Windsor. Healdsburg moves on as D1 qualifier Oct. 22 in Brentwood along with the three lowest scores not on a qualifying team (Megan Walls, Jordann Dagner and Jane Weggenmann).