AMES, Iowa — Shannyn Vogler showed no signs of trepidation on the back nine Wednesday afternoon at Coldwater Golf Links.
Even with a Class 4A individual state championship on the line, the freshman didn’t wilt or get rattled by the intense pressure.
“I walked the last few holes with her, and there wasn’t any rush in her voice,” Bettendorf coach Robbie Furne said. “She knew what she needed to do.”
Vogler, a student at Rivermont Collegiate, turned in a school-record performance of 4-under 67 and finished one stroke behind medalist Paige Hoffman of West Des Moines Valley in the final round of the state tournament.
Bettendorf placed second behind Valley, the best finish in program history.
“I’m sure some schools didn’t know if Bettendorf was for real,” Furne said, “but I know Palmer Hills Golf Course gets us ready for the big tournaments. We train tough to play tough, and it was a tough two days here with less than ideal conditions.
“I thought our fight and grit really showed up.”
Despite not having a blemish on her scorecard in the final round, Vogler trailed Hoffman by three shots with four holes remaining.
Vogler, who has been competing in junior tournaments since she was 7 or 8, pulled off a nifty up-and-down for par at the 15th, made par at the 16th and nestled an 8-iron from the fairway to 2 feet for birdie at the par-4 17th.
As Vogler stepped to the 18th tee, she trailed Hoffman by only a shot.
“I try not to feel pressure,” Vogler said. “I have to play the course, not the players, but I knew how I was playing and how I was playing compared to Paige. I picked it up on the back nine.”
Vogler drove it into the fairway bunker at the 18th. She hit a 4-hybrid from 176 yards just short and right of the green.
With about 20 yards to the pin, Vogler lofted a chip that nearly found the hole for birdie. She tapped in for par to finish off the best round among any player in the field over the two days.
“We were playing lift, clean and place today, but I liked my lie on that one,” Vogler said. “I didn’t clean it. As soon as I hit it, it was either going to be close or go in.
“I didn’t know how close it was because I could barely see the ball.”
Vogler is Bettendorf’s highest individual state finisher since Kelly Brooke was state medalist in 1985.
“I had a lot of incredible shots so I’m pleased with that, but my putting wasn’t there today,” Vogler said. “I could have made a lot more putts and probably shot 63 or 64.”
Vogler had mostly short irons or wedges into the par 4s. She could reach the par 5s in two.
Hoffman and Vogler separated themselves from the field. Vogler finished 12 shots in front of third place.
“Shannyn was super dialed-in today,” Furne said. “There were some putts that didn’t drop she wanted, but I think her ball-striking was absolutely spectacular.”
Valley, which captured its first state championship since 2006, followed up Tuesday’s 322 with a 309 for a 631 total. Bettendorf had a season-best 323 in the opening round and recorded 333 Wednesday to close at 656, 12 strokes in front of third-place Waukee.
Kelley Lent was 13th overall with rounds of 80 and 83. Maddie Wischmann had 91 while Peyton Bytnar was the Bulldogs’ fourth score Wednesday with a 92.
The Bulldogs shot 385 in both rounds and placed eighth a year ago.
“I don’t think anybody is too happy about how they did today, but compared to our scores last year, we had tremendous improvement,” Lent said. “There is a little bit of disappointment right now, but as my grandpa says, disappointment is good. It keeps you going for the next year.
“We had a great season.”
Furne hopes it is a springboard for the future. Bettendorf returns four of the six players who competed the past two days. The Bulldogs also bring back Sarah Ostrom who was sidelined with a knee injury.
“The problem with some of the girls’ golfers in the past, with our season in the spring, we just finish and don’t think we need to start practicing for next year,” Lent said. “I think with this, we’ll have a lot more girls practicing in the summer, and that’ll help us.”
Vogler, meanwhile, starts a busy summer of junior tournaments next week. She is off to Louisiana on Saturday for AJGA tournaments in Baton Rouge and Shreveport.
“I definitely think next year we’ve got a great shot again,” Vogler said. “I’m really hopeful for what we have to come.”
Pleasant Valley placed 10th with a 790 total. Freshman Erika Holmberg was the Spartans’ top finisher with rounds of 88 and 85 for 25th place.