WIRT COUNTY, W.Va. – Some of the best female high school golfers from around the state teed off at Mingo Bottom Golf Course in Wirt County on Tuesday, for the fourth annual Girls State Golf Invitational.
Thirteen local golfers from eight different high schools helped make up the field of 74 female high school golfers helped make up the field of more than 70 female high school golfers.
In the field was Bridgeport senior multi-sport athlete, Marra Johnson, who’s competed in the tournament all four years of its existence.
“It’s definitely really nice to be the starting group for this, because it’s nice that they finally got it started for all girls. But I’ve also come a long way from the first year, so it’s definitely going a lot better than it did four years ago,” she said.
Johnson shot an 83 on the day, which is her best score in her four years at the tournament.
“Very happy with the 83. Came back a lot stronger in the back half. I went 44, 39,” Johnson added. “I definitely had a bunch lip out, so I could’ve done a lot better, but I’m still very happy with the 83.”
Monongalia County was well represented, with six participants between Morgantown and University High Schools. That included juniors Aubrey Etsel (UHS) and Makenna Darr from MHS who placed 14th.
“It definitely helps that I’ve been here, because some holes are pretty slopey. So, knowing where to aim has helped me a lot,” said Etsel. “I danced basically my whole life, and I quit it to play golf, because my dad and my brother play it and I want to spend more time with my dad. And I’ve just been practicing ever since.”
“Well, it’s a great thing to see a lot of girls my age out golfing, because not a lot of girls do it. And the girls I played with today, they were really sweet. I loved playing with them,” Darr said. “The first time I played this course I shot about 120, and I finally broke 100 today. So, it’s gotten a lot easier once I’ve played it over the years.”
Johnson and Darr were two of seven local golfers to finish in the Top 20.
Along with the aforementioned golfers were those from Fairmont Senior, Ritchie County, Robert C. Byrd, Lincoln and Notre Dame. Irish senior, Kalie Minigh, shot a 99 to tie for 19th.
The highlight of her round was a birdie putt on 15, which kept her under 100.
“Oh, I was thrilled! I was happy – it was a birdie. I mean, I was very excited to get a birdie, because that was my first one of this year. So, very excited,” she said when asked about it.
Unfortunately, none of the local golfers shot well enough to be included in he all-tournament team. The cut line was just one shot, and one place, better than Johnson’s 83.
Full results from the one-day championship event can be found by clicking on this link.