Anna Huettl's hard work is really paying off.
The Mandan sophomore standout edged teammate Aysia Mettler by one stroke on Monday to win the West Region Golf Tournament at Riverwood in Bismarck.
Huettl's round of 76 was one shot better than Mettler, two ahead of Leah Herbel and three in front of Hannah Herbel of Century, which won its fourth straight West Region team title.
It was the second win of the season for the big-hitting Huettl, who put in long hours during the sizzling summer temperatures.
"Over the summer, I golfed a lot. Probably almost every single day. I put in a lot of work," she said. "I think today was a testament to that."
Huettl's win was by no means a surprise. She owns the third-best scoring average (77.14) in the region behind only Leah Herbel (75.29) and Hannah Herbel (77.0). Hannah is the three-time defending Class A state champion. All three players will likely figure prominently at the Class A state golf meet at Edgewood in Fargo Oct. 4-5.
People are also reading…
Huettl enjoys playing against the super-accomplished Herbel twins and the other top players in the state.
"I think the competition really helps me and it pushes all of us to perform our best at every tournament," she said. "It's fun to play with those girls because they are great players."
On another warm afternoon, Huettl avoided any major problems on Monday. Her card had nothing bigger than a 5 to go with eight 4s and a trio of 3s.
"I thought I hit it pretty well off the tee today," she said. "I didn't putt that great, but I was hitting the ball pretty solid and that helped me out a lot.
"I wasn't necessarily worrying about my score. I thought if I stayed consistent and didn't have any bad holes I'd have a chance and it worked out.
Huettl's distance off the tee was beneficial at Riverwood, which is pretty long at nearly 7,000 yards, but also demands players to keep the ball in play.
"I think my strength is probably hitting, and I think I hit it pretty far so I try to use that to my advantage," she said.
Huettl and Mettler led the Braves to a strong second-place finish behind Century. Seven strokes separated the two teams, 323-330.
"It was a great day for our team," Huettl said. "Aysia played amazing. We all went out there to do our best and it went really well."
Huettl and the Braves are hoping for more of the same next week in Fargo.
"I think we're just gonna go out as a team and try to play our game," she said. "If we do that, we'll be happy with whatever happens."
Century had two scores in the 70s -- the Herbel sisters -- and two in the 80s. Leah Herbel's 78 was good for third, Hannah (79) was fourth. Aliyah Iverson finished fifth with an 81. Regan Braun's 85 was good for ninth.
"I thought the girls battled really well and did a good job executing the game plan of what we worked on and talked about during our practice round on Sunday," Century head coach Jeff Rasmussen said. "The big thing was keeping it in play. Just because a hole is a par 4 or a par 5 doesn't mean we have to hit driver and potentially bring a big number in play.
"It's essentially target golf. Just being smart. Not trying to do too much and making sure we're focused on one shot at a time and not letting a bad shot or a bad hole turn into more than that."
Monday's win was the fruit of their labor.
"That's what we talked about with the girls is that this just wasn't about today," Rasmussen said. "They were really committed to some offseason training programs in January, February and March, and they played a lot of tournaments in May, June and July.
"They've worked hard to get here. They earned it."
Grace Stroh of Bismarck High placed sixth in the meet, meaning Bismarck and Mandan golfers earned the top six places in the tournament. Behind's Stroh's strong round, the Demons finished third (360), one shot ahead of Dickinson.
Lola Homiston of Dickinson and Carrie Carmichael from Williston tied for seventh. Braun was ninth and Olivia Sorlie of Jamestown 10th.
Carmichael was named the West Region's Outstanding Senior Athlete. Bill Kalanek of Legacy was named the West Region Coach of the Year.
Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or firstname.lastname@example.org