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Metro Detroit

September 18, 2012

Oakland County girls golf tournaments tee off Sept. 19

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Berkley High’s Corinne Moses hits a shot out of the bunker in a recent match. The Bears are preparing for the Division 2 county tournament Sept. 19 at Pontiac Municipal Golf Course.

From the biggest schools to the smallest, Oakland County girls golf will be on display at the county tournament Sept. 19.

To many coaches, it is the perfect tuneup to the postseason, which is just around the corner.

Division 1 plays at Pontiac Country Club, while D-2 teams play at Pontiac Municipal Golf Course. Both tournaments start at 8:45 a.m.

“Oakland County, I think, is one of the majors, one of the big ones,” Seaholm coach Leon Braisted said. “It’s two or three weeks before regionals, so you’re doing your work, trying to pick your best players. It gives you an idea of what direction your team is going.”

Defending champion Rochester Hills Stoney Creek highlights the field. Rochester High, Rochester Adams, Clarkston High, Farmington Hills Mercy, Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day, Bloomfield Hills Marian, Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills Andover, South Lyon High, South Lyon East, Novi High, Troy High, Walled Lake Central, the North Farmington and Farmington Hills Harrison combined team, Lake Orion High, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood and Milford High join Seaholm in D-1.

The field features eight teams that are ranked in the state, according to the Sept. 8 Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association poll.

Troy is one of the ranked squads, sitting at No. 7, and with one returning starter from a squad that finished fifth in the state last season, coach John Getzan sees this tournament as a chance to gain valuable experience.

“We have a lot of growing up to do, so we’ll see where we finish. We don’t set goals like, ‘We want to finish top five or top 10.’ Our goal is to go out there, be smart and play our best. At the end of the day, count them up, and hopefully, we like the result,” he said. “Oakland County always is well-represented at the state final. This is a good tournament. It’s a little different environment, because the girls get out of school for the day, and it really helps them get a feel of what (regionals) is all about.”

Teams send out five golfers and count their top four scorers. Country Day coach Peggy Steffan said she treats it like any other tournament, but enjoys taking on larger schools.

“We have been playing a lot of the bigger teams in tournaments and in a few matches. I feel that it prepares to the girls to take on more competition,” she said. “The girls realize they can kind of make a name for themselves if they do well in this tournament.”

As is tradition, the teams that finish in the bottom two spots of the tournament will move to D-2 next season, and the top two teams in D-2 move up to D-1.

This season, the D-2 roster includes Troy Athens, Bloomfield Hills Lahser, West Bloomfield High, Auburn Hills Avondale, Oxford High, Walled Lake Western, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Berkley High, Waterford Kettering, Waterford Mott, Farmington High, Lakeland, Royal Oak High, Birmingham Groves, Holly High and Walled Lake Northern.

Last season, Berkley finished 12th overall, a spot coach Sue Ciaravino hopes to improve upon.

“The girls that I have returning from last season have dropped six to eight strokes each,” she said. “That’s really amazing, but when we’re playing our matches, we’re still just above (the scores) where we need to be to be competitive.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.