MARQUETTE - The Heritage course at the Marquette Golf Club had a target on it for the Marquette Invitational high school golf tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
That was the number 78, the score shot by girls medalist Avery Rochester and the two golfers vying for boys honors - Alex Palmer of Marquette and Nick Baldwin of Kingsford.
While Rochester's score was almost a stroke per hole better than the field - her career-best 18-hole round beat the next best score by 17 strokes - Palmer and Baldwin had to play two extra holes to determine medalist.
Matt Keiser | Marquette Mining Journal
Gladstone’s Paige Tardiff putts on the 17th hole during the Marquette Invitational high school golf tournament at Heritage Golf Course Wednesday.
Both parred the first playoff hole at No. 10 after Palmer got a slow-falling putt to finally fall in the hole.
His description of it, with about 40 other players watching, sounded reminiscent of a famous Tiger Woods shot that had made a 90-degree turn and left the ball's Nike logo facing the camera for a split second before it dropped.
"(Baldwin) made his par, and I had about a 12-footer left," Palmer said. "I said, 'Well here goes.' And it stopped just before it got to the hole and just hung there ... then it dropped!"
at Marquette Golf Club, Heritage Course
MARQUETTE (332) - Alex Palmer, 78; Brett Specker, 82; Brett Heikkila, 85; Zack Sherbinow, 87; Scott Frazier, 98.
NEGAUNEE (341) - David Renaldi, 80; Brett Argall, 84; Michael Wilber, 88; Austin Tadgerson, 89; Andrew Katona, 96.
MUNISING (345) - Michael Mannisto, 82; Keegan Nebel, 83; Colin Immel, 88; Tyler Tweedale, 92; Izaak Mahoski, 105.
KINGSFORD (348) - Nick Baldwin, 78; Derek Carpenter, 84; Marcus Andrews, 90; Cole Michaud, 96; Luke Wahoviak, 96.
ISHPEMING (373) - Cody Kugler, 89; Matt Kilberg, 89; Dominic Suardini, 96; Jon Tapio, 99; Austin Wilkins, 105.
GWINN (378) - Matt Moilanen, 86; Alex Morse, 87; Tom Schmeltzer, 98; Dylan Marpoe, 107; Mitchell Paris, 109.
WESTWOOD (418) - Eric Farley, 96; Hunter Mahoski, 102; Michael Farley, 107; Jacob Kierzek, 113; Nick Benda, 122.
GLADSTONE (455) - Alex Lamberg, 91; Ryan Hubert, 114; Zac Chouniard, 120; Keenan Barron, 130.
MARQUETTE (408) - Avery Rochester, 78; Hannah Crampton, 103; Katie Pryor, 113; Amber Methner, 114; Sydney Dahlstrom, 141.
KINGSFORD (456) - Katie Oberthaler, 107; Taylor Jacobson, 108; Abby Michaud, 118; Rachel Cevigney, 123.
NEGAUNEE (474) - Taylor Debski, 95; Leisl Flannery, 122; Kelly St. Germain, 123; Naruemon Suphab, 134; Arianna Erva, 139.
GLADSTONE (480) - Paige Tardiff 101, Summer Demeuse 114, Paige Cavadeus 138, Brooke Douglas 127.
ISHPEMING (no team score) - Jordan Dault, 104; Halie LeSage, 124.
But an errant tee shot at No. 11 left Palmer behind some trees, forcing him to pitch out, leaving him about 80 yards to the hole.
While Baldwin worked his way to the fairway and the green in regulation, Palmer scrambled to get himself a 20-foot par putt.
But the magic wasn't there for a second straight hole as he bogeyed to make Baldwin's par enough for medalist honors.
One consolation for Palmer, though, was his team's nine-stroke victory over runner-up Negaunee, 332-341.
Munising was third with 345, followed by Kingsford with 348, Ishpeming 373, Gwinn 378, Westwood 418 and Gladstone 455.
The Redmen's strength is its depth, with two of Palmer's teammates breaking into the top 10 - freshman Brett Specker tied for fourth with 82, while junior Brett Heikkila was ninth with 85.
In addition, two Marquette golfers on its B, or JV team, also posted 85s - freshmen Mike McGee and Brock Smith.
Negaunee sophomore David Renaldi was third behind with 80 as sophomore teammate Brett Argall tied for seventh with 84.
Munising junior Michael Mannisto tied for fourth with 82 and sophomore teammate Keegan Nebel was sixth with 83, while Gwinn junior Matt Moilanen was 10th with 86 with sophomore Alex Morse tied for 11th with 87.
Ishpeming was led by sophomore Matt Kilberg and junior Cody Kugler each with 89 and Westwood was paced by freshman Eric Farley with 96.
Rochester led the Redettes to an easy girls victory with 408, followed by Kingsford with 456, Negaunee 474 and Gladstone 475.
Three Marquette girls broke into the top 10, led by sophomore Hannah Crampton in fourth with 103, then freshman Katie Pryor eighth with 113 and sophomore Amber Methner tied for ninth with 114.
Senior Taylor Debski of Negaunee had 95, while Paige Tardiff of Gladstone was third with 101.
Palmer, a lanky 6-foot-4 senior, plans to attend and try out for the golf team at Northern Michigan University next year. Even sooner, he wants to play in the U.P. Men's Tournament this summer at Pine Grove Country Club in Iron Mountain.
Like Palmer, Rochester had one birdie Wednesday, that at the short par-4 sixth hole.
"I teed off with a 5-wood and hit a hill by the sand and at first, it looked like it was out of bounds," Rochester said. "But it was right near the line and I hit a sand wedge from about 20 yards away and made my putt."
She said this was her best competitive round ever.
"I had six or seven one-putts, and my drives were real good, I hit just about every fairway," said Rochester, who stands about 5-2 or 5-3 but still can drive the ball about 230 yards under normal conditions.