Jets girls win

NORWAY — Painesdale-Jeffers turned back two other schools for its first UP Division 2 girls golf title Wednesday at Oak Crest Golf Course.

The Jets tallied a season-high 481 in beating Munising, 487, and West Iron County, 490. Four other schools did not have four golfers for a team score.

“I told them all when we got here that it can be a difficult course,” said PJ Coach Tyler Bailey. “You just try to play away from the trouble and have fun with it. Do your best and good things will happen.”

Gracia Asaila led the Jets with a 103.

“She had an excellent round,” Bailey said.

Alexis Bailey, the coach’s sister, followed with a 114. Grace Rajala added 122 and Emma Wakeham had 142.

“We’ve had a pretty decent season all year,” coach Bailey said. “As far as expectations, they really wanted to win. They knew they had the potential to pull it off.”

With four players needed for a team score, the Jets needed a fourth at the start of the year and Wakeham responded to the call.

“Emma needed convincing to play softball and golf,” Bailey said. “She was really nervous the first time out.

“This was her first-time playing but she’s come a long way. She’ll remember this forever.”

Medalist Payton Dube, the only girl on the Hancock squad, posted a 10-over par 84 for her first UP title. The sophomore was runner-up last season.

“Just being able to get on in regulation really helps to be able to score well,” Dube said. “It’s all about making the smart plays.”

She had a birdie on each nine Wednesday.

“When I hit good drives it gives me confidence that my next shot will be good, too,” Dube said. “If I start thinking about the score then I kind of lose focus.”

Dube chalked up Wednesday’s results to practice that started in the latter months of winter. She practiced on a golf simulator at the school and also hit shots in a net set up in her dad Paul’s school classroom.

“You just have to practice all the time and work on different parts of your game,” said Dube, who is considering a return to Norway this summer for the UP Ladies Golf Association Championships.

Hancock Coach Paul Sintkowski said Dube has her summer filled with golf events.

“Payton hits the ball well and she hits the ball far,” said Sintkowski, believing the smart, athletic sophomore is on the verge of moving from really good to great. “She has all the tools. She just has to figure it out.”

Norway sophomore Danae Anderson and Asaila shared runner-up medalist at 103. Munising’s Sydney Curtis and Newberry’s Riley Burton each shot 107.

Breanna Kemppainen 109, Mia Grubbs 112 and Tori Bociek 115 led WIC.