Sophia Yoemans and Leah Herzog were just freshmen when Kate Smith was closing one of the best -- if not the best -- girls high school golf careers in Minnesota history.
Smith, a 2016 Detroit Lakes High School graduate, won five consecutive Class AA individual state championships and was a six-time All-State selection.
Yoemans and Herzog, teammates at Red Wing High School until graduating in 2019, grabbed the torch after Smith graduated and dominated the girls high school golf scene over the next three years.
Herzog had perhaps the best season a Red Wing golfer has had, setting six course records and recording a sub-70 scoring average en route to being named the state’s 2019 Miss Golf award winner.
Yoemans won three consecutive individual state titles over her final three high school seasons, and set a state meet record score of 63-66--129 as a junior that may never be broken.
That trio was once again jammed at the top of a leaderboard this week during the 2020 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship, played at Stillwater Country Club.
Yoemans and Herzog were the best golfers in the field over the final two days, but Smith had enough of a cushion to hold them off.
Smith -- who was a teammate of Herzog’s last school year at the University of Nebraska -- won the 54-hole tournament with an aggregate score of 1-under par 215.
Yoemans was the runner-up at 5-over par 221 and Herzog placed seventh at 10-over par 226.
After shooting scores of 78 and 81, respectively in the first round of the championship, no one was better than Yoemans and Herzog over the final two days. Yoemans responded by playing her final two rounds in a total of 1-under, while Herzog played the final 36 holes in 1-over par.
Herzog will be a sophomore at Nebraska this coming school year, while Yoemans will be a sophomore at the University of Missouri.
Another former Big Nine Conference standout, Northfield’s Molly Stevens, placed 10th at the Women’s State Am this week. Stevens, the Section 1AAA champion as a junior at Northfield in 2018, now plays college golf at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
Lake City’s Lexi Geolat also had a strong showing, placing 17th overall at 17-over par for the tournament. La Crescent native Anna Tollefson tied for 30th and Rochester John Marshall’s Hannah Selig tied for 71st place.