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Saxon sisters shoot well at slow moving D3 Finals

Hastings senior Rayna Honsowitz, junior Rylee Honsowitz and varsity girls' golf coach Kristen Laubaugh take a moment for a photo during the Division 3 Lower Peninsula State Finals at The Meadows on the campus of Grand Valley State University. Rayna finished in a tie for 15th and Rylee 32nd, in a field of 108 golfers, at the finals.

Brett Bremer

Sports Editor

When a par putt from four feet dropped into the hole on number three at The Meadows Saturday there wasn't a flood of emotion for Hastings senior Rayna Honsowitz about finishing her final varsity golf match.

She was just happy to have made it through the weekend.

“It is a fun experience. It is an honor to be there, and stuff. But other than that, it is still really long. It lasted a really long time, but it was definitely worth it. It's a really fun thing to do,” Honsowitz said after placing 15th at the Division 3 Lower Peninsula State Finals on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

“Finishing off with a par on my last hole for my senior year is a really cool thing to do.

“My tee shot was off the green, so I had to chip it on and one putt. I got up and down. Not a very long putt,” she said.

“It was a long two days,” Honsowitz added. “The first day took miserably long. It shouldn't have taken that long, but it did. It was a relief to finally get done. I didn't think of it as being my last tournament, because I have more to come in college.”

The golfers, including her sister Rylee Honsowtiz who finished in a tie for 32nd in the field of 108 players, had to wait for the frost to burn off the course Friday morning in Allendale. Between the delayed start and the crowded fairways, Friday's 18-hole round lasted roughly six and a half hours.

Even for sisters from a family of golfers, that's a long time to be out on the course. Rylee, a junior, said there is nothing to do in that situation but sit down and chat with the other girls in your playing group.

“Both Rayna and Rylee really worked hard this season and kept their cool during the tournament,” Hastings varsity girls' golf coach Kristen Laubaugh said. “The course was tough and played deceivingly long. Friday really tested their patience because we had a 90-minute frost delay and the round took over six and a half hours. There was a lot of waiting in between shots which prevented any sort of rhythm in their game to develop.

“Saturday's round went much smoother as we got on the course at the scheduled tee time and played moved much faster.”

Rayna finished in a tie for 15th over the course of the two-day, 36-hole event. She scored an 87 Friday and an 86 Saturday to finish at 173 in her third appearance at the state finals. Rayna qualified for the State Finals as a freshman along with the entire Saxon varsity girls' golf team, and then again as an individual last fall.

This was Rylee's first appearance in the State Finals. She scored an 89 Friday and followed up with a 93 on Saturday for a tow-day total of 182.

The last of the top ten state medalists at The Meadows was Forest Hills Eastern's Hailey Curry, who scored an 88-78-166. Bloomfield Hills Marian's Shannon Kennedy led her team to the state championship by taking the individual title as well with a score of 70-73-143.

Flint Powers Catholic's Jolie Brochu was second at 72-74-146 and Marshall's Karlee Malone third with a 76-77-153.

Bloomfield Hills Marian took a good lead in the team standings Friday, outscoring Flint Powers 335-346. Powers bot the better of Marian Saturday, 346-354, but didn't shave enough strokes to overtake the girls from Bloomfield Hills that finished with a two-day team score of 689. Powers Catholic was second with a score of 692, ahead of Detroit Country Day 711, Marshall 712, Big Rapids 731, Marysville 733, Haslett 735, Cranbrook Kingswood 741, Dearborn Divine Child 746 and Grand Rapids Christian 769 in the top ten.

Rayna had as good a start as anyone at the tournament. She birdied the par-5, number four to open play, scored a par on number five, and then birdied the par-4 number six hole. Rayna said she dropped in a putt from 30 feet away, up hill, on number six for her second birdie Friday. She opened Saturday with another birdie on number four.

Rylee's lone birdie of the tournament came on the par-4, number ten Friday. She said it was at least a 25-foot putt that she shank for the birdie.

Rylee said the next time she swings a golf club will probably be in the family's garage.

“We will probably hit in our garage once or twice a week throughout the winter. We nave a net and our golf mat,” Rylee said.

During the summer when the weather is nicer, Rayna and Rylee said they head out to the Portland area mostly to play with their father, uncles and cousins.

“We all like to play with each other a ton,” Rayna said. “We take it serious. We always place bets at the beginning and see who comes out winning at the end. Usually it's me, my sister and my cousin are a team against my dad and my two uncles and we always win.

“They beat us every once in a while,” she then admitted.

The sisters have played on the Callaway Junior Tour in the summers, and Rayna said she has plans to continue playing competitively at Olivet College.

The rest of the top ten state medalists from GVSU last weekend included Marysville's Madeline Blum, Haslett's Sydney Dausman, Grand Rapids Christian's Ryann Breslin, Big Rapids' Hope Thebo, Warren Regina's Charlotte Thibault and Carleton Airport's Kristen Reed.

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