MASON CITY — The entire trajectory of Sydney Eaton’s golf career has been leading up to this year. With one final shot to chase a state title, Eaton’s senior season has gotten off to a brilliant start.
Eaton has come a long way from the first time she teed it up as a freshman, a memory that she says is still stuck in her head to this day.
Along the way there has been a conference title and two trips to the state tournament, including a sixth-place finish as a sophomore. This past fall, she signed with Northern Iowa so she feels she’s ready to go and let it rip with one final try in high school.
On Thursday in a dual vs. Clear Lake at the Mason City Country Club, Eaton went low to card a 1-under par 35 to win medalist honors and help the Mohawks take care of the Lions.
“I definitely have some bigger goals,” Eaton said. “I want to be going to state hopefully and placing really well, but also some little goals, mainly just improving my putting and avoiding bogeys. Those are just some small goals that I focus on throughout every round.”
On a day in which there was a moderate wind and on a sloppy course, Eaton could nearly do no wrong on Thursday.
Playing the front nine at the country club, Eaton started with four straight pars before back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth holes. The only blemish on her score card came with a bogey on the par 3 eighth hole.
She also finished her round with no three-putts, something she was particularly proud of.
“It feels nice to be putting some low numbers on the card and I’m just hoping I can keep that up throughout the season and maybe improve a little bit more,” Eaton said. “Even today I had a good score, but I still felt like I could’ve done even better.”
Added her coach, Matt Evans, “I think she looks terrific for this early in the year. She’s already playing some great golf. A lot of times it takes people a few rounds to warm up but she’s already under par here in just our second tournament.”
As far as the rest of the Mohawks go, there were a few bright spots on the day in which they beat Clear Lake by 12 strokes (200-212), but Evans feels there’s still a ways to go.
Thea Lunning added a 52 for the Mohawks, Ashley Alert shot 53 and Kenzie Dettman added a 60.
The Lions, playing without defending state champion Emily Snelling, themselves had an interesting day as one golfer was forced to pull out with an injury. By the end of the round, it was sophomore Ashley DeLong who stood out.
DeLong led the Lions with a runner-up medalist round of 43, Mattie Krause shot 49, Erin Carew carded a 57 and Madison Gochanour 63.