MARION — Clinton’s Brittany Coppess earned a top-10 finish Tuesday at what coach Dan Sullivan calls one of the best challenges of the year for the River Queens golf team.
As a team, the River Queens placed 12th out of 14 teams at the Linn-Mar Invitational at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course.
“The course is brutal, brutal,” Sullivan said. “It’s probably the toughest course we’ll face all year.
“It’s the toughest we play all year on the back nine. Annie (Fier) and Rachelle (Susie) were seven and 17 strokes better on the front. It’s just crazy. Everybody shot better on the front.”
Coppess shot an 87 for the 18-hole round, getting a 41 on the front nine and a 46 on the back nine.
“Brittany did as well as she could have under the conditions,” Sullivan said, noting that it was windy and the course was wet, although the rain stayed away. “The 5-6-7 (placewinners) all shot 86, so she was just a stroke or two from the top five. The best girls in the state were there — MJ Camen is an Iowa State signee, Rachele Miller and Maddie Betsch.”
Betsch of Cedar Rapids Xavier was the medalist with a 3-over-par 75.
“That’s unbelievable for the conditions they played in; she parred the back nine” Sullivan said of Betsch’s round, which beat Pleasant Valley’s Rachele Miller by one stroke. “The temperature probably dropped 20 degrees in the last hour.”
Sullivan said the conditions and the toughness of the course were good for his team, which returns to action Monday at the Burlington Invitational.
“What it’s good for is you never know what conditions you’ll get for regionals,” he said. “It’s hard, but you get in positions you’re not used to. It’s a good course because it prepares you for all sorts of shots and scenarios. It toughens them up a little.”