As the weather struggles to warm up, high school golfers are back it, with visions of breakthrough seasons. Here are four metro golfers who raised their games last year and are poised for a strong 2014 season.
Emily Romanow: ‘Just so confident’
Emily Romanow didn’t make the Edina girls’ golf team when she tried out in eighth grade. That proved to be the motivation she needed to launch a successful high school golf career.
Romanow, now a senior captain for the Hornets, made the varsity as a ninth-grader and has qualified for the past two Class 3A state tournaments. Last season she led Edina to a 3A state championship and placed sixth individually.
“Toward the end of the season, or like middle to end, I was just so confident in my swing that I had no doubt when I would get up to the ball,” she said. “That led even into state, which I was just confident in my swing the whole time.”
With weather slowing the start to the season, Romanow said, the turning point came at a tournament last May in Duluth. She shot a 75 that day, despite foggy conditions, and won the tournament by five strokes.
Romanow continued that momentum into the Section 6 tournament and then into state. Edina built a four-stroke lead after the first day of state and won the tournament by 11 strokes.
“We just had a good attitude going into it,” Romanow said. “There wasn’t a lot of pressure, I guess you would say, but more like a competitive drive.”
Romanow moved from Texas to Minnesota in 2006 and said she began to enjoy golf in the more mild Minnesota weather. Edina coach Mark Harelstad said when Romanow returned as a freshman, she was determined to become one of the team’s best golfers. He said Romanow has developed more poise and confidence and become a student of the game.
“Every year it’s been fun to watch her grow,” Harelstad said. “As we get outside, she’ll show the kids what has to be done and take it, hopefully, to another place.”
Caroline Andrews: Feeling the family legacy
Blaine junior Caroline Andrews posted one of the best rounds of her career last season on high school golf’s biggest stage.
Andrews fired a 6-over-par 79 on the second day of the Class 3A state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Club. The round propelled her to a tie for 26th individually, and it helped Blaine finish in fifth place.
“She just kind of felt it,” Blaine coach Maribeth Suter said. “She was hitting the driver where she wanted to hit it, and she was putting well.”
Andrews enters this season as a captain on a team looking to reach its third consecutive state meet. To do so, it will have to overcome the loss of two golfers from last year’s state team, including Andrews’ older sister, Hannah, a four-time state participant.