Cozad’s Lynzi Becker cemented her name in Haymaker lore on Tuesday.
Two strokes back of the lead heading into the final round, the Cozad sophomore carded a four-over-par 76 that helped edge Boone Central’s Abbigail Brodersen by four strokes to claim the first individual title by a Haymaker since Kendra Marshall in 1987.
"It was a good day today," Becker said. "I don’t know if Cozad’s ever had someone win for girls golf, so I was just ready to take it home."
And the Haymaker did so in comeback fashion.
"I knew I had to calm down my nerves and keep playing," Becker said. "I had to treat it as another round."
Becker still trailed Brodersen by two strokes through 13 holes on the 6,464-yard, par-72 course at Lake Maloney Tuesday, but little by little capitalized on her opponent’s mistakes to finish six strokes ahead by the 18th hole.
"I was keeping the score of the girl who was beating me for most of the day," Becker admitted. "She was in my group, so I knew coming into today that every shot had to count all day."
Becker, who finished seventh a year ago, closed her sophomore campaign with 156 strokes through the two-day championship, supplementing a tournament-best 76 in the final round with Monday’s eight-over-par to surpass both Brodersen and Kimball’s Payton Wise from third place to eventual champion.
This year’s Class C championship also crowned a new team champion.
And unlike Becker, Lincoln Lutheran never trailed on Tuesday.
The Warriors, who last won the title in 2015 at Lake Maloney, clung to their six-stroke opening-round cushion, matching runner-up Lincoln Christian stroke for stroke in the medal round to finish with a two-day total of 765.
"This was special, and I’m just thrilled for the girls," Warriors head coach Mark Clanton said. "I want to say it was unexpected, but we had a chance coming into today to do something special."
Grace Fahleson was the only one to medal individually for the Warriors, tying with Broken Bow’s Madison Jackson for seventh place after posting the third lowest score of the round at nine strokes over par. Rachael Volin and Natalie Barrett finished 16th and 29th for Lincoln Lutheran, while Hannah Ernst added a 63rd place finish.
"We needed our girls to show up today and shoot some personal bests, and my No. 1 (Fahleson) and No. 2 (Volin) golfers actually did," Clanton said. "In fact, my number one [Fahleson] had never cracked 90 and today she shot an 83 to tie for seventh, which really mattered because we only won by six shots."
Clanton and the Warriors will look to build on this season’s success, returning both Fahleson and Volin next season.
1, Lincoln Lutheran, 765. 2, Lincoln Christian, 771. T3, Cambridge, 776. T3, Kearney Catholic, 776. 5, Broken Bow, 781. T6, Battle Creek, 782. T6, Norfolk Catholic, 782. 8, West Point-Beemer, 793. 9, Valentine, 811. 10, Columbus Scotus, 813. 11, Cedar Catholic, 820. 12, Mitchell, 826. 13, Syracuse, 843. 14, Oakland-Craig, 866. 15, Gordon-Rushville, 987.
1, Lynzi Becker, 156. 2, Abbigail Brodersen, Boone Central, 160. 3, Payton Wise, Kimball, 163. 4, Taylor Van Ostrand, Lincoln Christian, 168. 5, Brook Diekemper, West Point-Beemer, 170. 6, Sydney Erickson, Pierce, 172. T7, Grace Fahleson, Lincoln Lutheran, 173. T7, Madison Jackson, Broken Bow, 173. T9, Elizabeth Mestl, Heartland, 174. T9, Maria Jauken, Cambridge, 174. 11, Madison Miller, Heartland, 176. 12, Anna Kassmeier, Norfolk Catholic, 177. 13, Addison Mitchell, Kearney Catholic, 178. 14, MaKenzie Enderlin, Columbus Scotus, 180. 15, Sara Morden, Lincoln Christian, 181.
Broken Bow — Madison Jackson, 83. Joscelyn Coleman, 94. Graycee Oeltjen, 99. Avery Campbell, 101. Emery Custer, 101.
Cozad — Lynzi Becker 76.