Fairmont’s Senf places 4th at senior golf showcase
FAIRMONT — Bergen Senf earned one last shot at redemption as a high school golfer and made each and every shot count.
The 2020 Fairmont High School graduate once again proved a model of consistency by carding a 4-over-par, 18-hole round of 76 to capture fourth place overall at the Minnesota Junior PGA’s Senior Showcase golf invitational Wednesday in Coon Rapids.
Senf, a three-time Minnesota Class AA individual state qualifier, posted back-to-back nine-hole totals of 38, highlighted by birdies on a pair of par-4 holes — Nos. 5 and 8 — to complement 10 pars at Bunker Hills Golf Course to cap her outstanding prep playing days.
“It was a day of mixed emotions,” said Senf, who was denied a chance at qualifying for a fourth consecutive state meet when her senior golf season was scrapped via the Minnesota State High School League’s spring sports moratorium due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I was really happy to post the score I did and to place that high, but at the same time, it was sad because I would’ve like to have seen today’s round play out at Ridges (at Sand Creek in Jordan) during the Class AA state tournament.
“But that didn’t happen, so I am just grateful for the opportunity to be out and playing today.”
The newly-created Showcase featured 69 of Minnesota’s top senior girls golfers on Wednesday just 24 hours after the state’s best boys teed off at Bunker Hills Golf Course.
Visitation High School standout Jaycee Rhodes of Eagan garnered top individual honors on Wednesday by penciling in an even-par 72, while Wayzata High School’s Amy Burnham of Maple Grove and Stillwater’s Catherine Monty shared runner-up accolades with a pair of 1-over 73s.
Ironically, Rhodes did not compete in the 2019 Class AA state meet, but did edge Senf for 14th place overall by a narrow two-day total — 164-165 — during the 2018 state tournament in Jordan.
Senf, however, carded a two-day score of 155 to earn a share of fifth place and all-state honors during last year’s Class AA state competition at Ridges. Senf also netted all-state accolades with her tie for 16th place as a sophomore to complement a tie for 25th place overall during the 2017 state meet.
“I was proud of the fact that the only golfers to shoot better than Bergen today were two girls from Class AAA schools and one from a private school,” Fairmont Cardinals head golf coach Brad Haugen said in reference to Burnham, Monty and Rhodes, respectively.
Monty tied for 25th place with a two-day total of 163 at Bunker Hills Golf Course during the 2019 Class AAA state meet, while Burnham shared 28th place with a score of 164 last spring.
“It was a different environment at the showcase with no coaches or spectators allowed, but it was nice to have the chance to talk to the other players more,” said Senf. “I did miss (Brad) Haugen and his dad jokes a lot today.
“He’s always been like a part of my family when it comes to this sport, and it was difficult not to get to share the moment with him, my parents (Kent and Beth), my grandparents and my sister (Solveig).”
While Bergen Senf will continue her individual golf career at St. Olaf College in Northfield next season, the Cardinals’ captain and perennial state qualifer felt a tinge of remorse for her high school teammates not having the opportunity to qualify for the state meet as a team this spring.
“The bummer for me was the fact we were in such a great position to possibly win the section team tournament this season,” said Bergen Senf. “I was so pumped up about getting to play my last high school season with a talented group of teammates in Maggy (Totzke), Solveig (Senf), Isabell (Geiger), Anika (Haugen), BMart (Bailey Martinson) and Brynn (Gustafson).
“I really believe we had a legitimate chance to qualify for state as an entire team, but now we’ll never know.”
Ironically, Bergen Senf, who plans to double major in political science, along with psychology and anthropology, via a pre-law track at St. Olaf, achieved her lofty showing at the Senior Showcase on her father’s birthday — of all days.
“For his birthday, he (Kent) watched me tee off and then when I came in from the parking lot after it (the round) was over,” said Bergen. “I do have a real birthday gift for him, but I can’t talk about it since he’s right here with me.”