By Jason Groth
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin junior Meghan Foley picked a perfect time to set her personal best score. The junior golfer shot an 86 on the second day of the Section 7AA championships at the Pokegama Golf Course in Grand Rapids. That round of 86 coupled with her first day, 89, qualified her for the Minnesota State Class AA Golf Tournament that takes place at the Sand Creek Golf Course.
“It’s really exciting and I was so happy to get that experience under my belt,” Foley said. “The year started off slower than I would have liked but I pulled it together by the end.”
Foley finished eighth overall in the championships to qualify for state. Foley achieved one of her goals during the season of breaking 90 and did that twice in the Section Championships and improved her score by three strokes on the second day.
“It was really exciting for me. I beat my score on the first day on the back nine by two strokes and then on the front I was one stroke lower and it was a good feeling because I didn’t think I was doing so hot,” Foley said. “It was nice to see it pull together.”
The Pequot Lakes Patriots won the Section Championships and the top-five finishers that are not on the Section Championship team move onto state. Foley finished third amongst those with her two day, 175. Foley settled things down after an interesting start to the second day.
“The second day was really interesting for the first couple of holes,” Foley said. “I thought I went out of bounds and got really scared but my coach helped me. Mr. (Paul) Koplitz helped me calm down and get back into the game.”
Foley was able to embrace those nerves after settling things down and that helped her en route to a strong finish in qualifying for the state meet at Sand Creek.
“I thought about the score I shot on the first day and compared myself to the girls in my group and they weren’t that far in front of me as far as strokes go,” Foley said. “I just took a couple of deep breaths and focused on one shot.”
The 2014 golf season was a unique season in its own as teams and golfers had to battle the extended winter, however, that weather actually benefited Foley and it showed during the season.
“I actually like playing in the not so fun weather,” Foley said. “I don’t mind it as much as other girls do. I don’t play down south in the winter so I am used to the cold. It’s not as bad as you would think it was. The conditions when it’s really wet and soggy is not fun to go through but you have to take it one shot at a time. It’s interesting when the conditions are tougher, I really buckle down and get more focused because I have to make every shot.”
The Section 7AA Championship was moved to the Pokegama Golf Course which happens to be one of Foley’s favorite courses. Along with the Virginia Municipal Golf Course because those courses are straight forward courses. She says it was nice to have the championships at a course that she was familiar with and says that Pokegama is a lot like her home course, the Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Coleraine.
Foley continued her preparation for the state meet by golfing at area courses with several different people including hear coach, Paul Koplitz. She also worked with people that are familiar with the Sand Creek Course. Foley walked the golf course when GNK alum, Jane Sloan, qualified for state. She says she is just looking to have a good time at the meet.
“I really don’t have any expectations yet. I have never really been to this course,” Foley said. “I watched it once when Jane Sloan went to state and I followed her. I have been working on shots with Sue (Barle) that could help me out at that course because she knows it better than I do. Really, I’m just looking to have a good time and place higher than last.”
Foley says she is excited to have this experience as a junior and is looking forward to competing at the state meet.
“It’s very nice to go down and it’s exciting because I beat some pretty good golfers that were my age or above,” Foley said. “I’m excited to get this opportunity this year.”