WACONIA, Minn. – Entering the week with nine state championship titles to her credit, Red Wing native Sophia Yoemans carded three birdies during her opening nine Monday on her way to a 3-under 69 and the first-round lead at the 2021 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship at Island View Golf Club.
Yoemans brought a slim one-stroke lead over 2018 champion Taylor Ledwein into today’s second round.
“It was pretty steady golf (Monday) — my irons were good and I drained a few putts, which was helpful,” Yoemans said following her first round. “I’m hitting my driver and irons well, but I’ve been working a lot on my putting, because that’s always been a weakness. Happy with how I putted today. I hit 16 greens, so I had a lot of chances and I’m not mad about that at all.”
Yoemans was a three-time high school state medalist at Red Wing, including her senior season, in 2019, when she shattered a state tournament record by shooting 63-66—129.
Now a standout at the University of Missouri, Yoemans reached the par-5 first hole on Monday in two shots and two-putted for birdie to quickly move into red figures. She then rolled in a 25-footer for birdie at the third. Sticking her approach from 100 yards at the eighth to two feet for a tap-in birdie and Yoemans would turn in 3-under.
The two-time MGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year took a step back with a bogey at the 11th, but answered by rolling in a 6-footer for birdie at the par-4 12th to get to 3-under. Yoemans would get up-and-down for birdie from in front of the 14th green to move to 4-under, but a three-putt bogey at the 15th put her in the clubhouse with a one-stroke lead at 3-under 69.
In four previous appearances at the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship, Yoemans has finished no worse than sixth, claiming runner-up finishes in 2018 at White Bear Yacht Club and last season at Stillwater Country Club.
“My game’s been good and I played well in the (MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship). This tournament kind of starts the grind of practicing every day and getting ready for school because I go back the middle of August,” said Yoemans, who will begin her junior season at Missouri next month.
Yoemans' former Red Wing teammate and 2019 Ms. Minnesota Golf award winner Leah Herzog fired a round of even par 72 and entered today's second round tied for fourth with former Gopher golfer Alayna Eldred. Herzog will begin her first season at the University of Minnesota this fall, after transferring from Nebraska.
Other southeastern Minnesota golfers up high on the leaderboard after Round 1 include Northfield native Molly Stevens (Tie-16th, 4-over-par); Ava Wallerich of Lake City (T-16, 4-over); Lexi Geolat of Lake City (T-26, 5-over); Stephanie Herzog of Red Wing (T-35, 7-over); Lake City's Jordana Windhorst-Knudsen (T-35, 7-over); and Anna Tollefson of La Crescent, who plays out of Rochester's Northern Hills Golf Course (T-58, 11-over).