Golf has been described as a beautiful walk spoiled by a little white ball.
However, in 1999, there was no spoiling the march of the Clarinda girls’ golf team to the Class 2A state championship. Trailing by three strokes after the first day of the tournament, the Cardinals pulled away on the second day for a convincing 17 stroke victory.
After finishing fourth in the individual state tournament race as a sophomore, Cindy Whitmore capped off a highly successful junior campaign by winning the individual state championship for the Cardinals by two strokes.
Whitmore was the first of two Clarinda golfers to win individual state titles for the Cardinals. In 2004, Jill Marcum captured the Class 2A state title with a score of 155. Marcum and her brother, Kyle, also won the state co-ed championship for Clarinda in 2001.
As the spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in the cancelation of spring sports in Iowa, we will continue to look back at some of the greatest games and athletic achievements from Clarinda High School and South Page High School. Send your suggestions by email to email@example.com. Include CHS Greatest Game in the subject line and provide the year as part of the email so we can search our archives to find the story.
Please enjoy this account of the performance by Clarinda at the 1999 Girls’ State Golf Tournament taken from the archives of the Clarinda Herald-Journal.
The Clarinda girls’ golf team proved last week that when everyone chips in, anything is possible.
The Cardinals received strong performances from all five golfers at the state golf tournament played in Granger on June 1-2, and posted an impressive 17 stroke victory to claim the Class 2A state golf team championship.
Clarinda finished the two day event with a team score of 719 to secure the team title. Meanwhile, Clarinda junior Cindy Whitmore posted an individual score of 158 to win the 2A individual state championship by two strokes.
After the first day of the tournament, the Cardinals were three strokes back of Webster City in the team scoring. Still, the Cardinals felt they were still very much in the running for the team title.
“I think we all knew certain places in our game where we could shave off a few strokes,” Whitmore explained.
Shaving a few strokes is exactly what Clarinda did on the second as they lowered their team score to 352 and pulled away from the competition.
“Being three down the first day and then to win by 17 was quite an accomplishment,” junior Emily Schulz said.
When the Cardinals reached the clubhouse, they had a feeling they had the team title, but had to wait for the final scores to come in to be sure.
“I cried,” junior Renee Adams said when the final scores were posted.
“We were all just sitting there, waiting to make sure. Then we all cried,” senior Jenny Manuel explained.
“We were ecstatic,” Schulz said.
“I was just so happy,” sophomore Jenny Geer agreed.
Last year, Whitmore placed fourth individually at the state tournament. This year she posted a two-day total of 158 to edge Mikkell Korver of MOC-Floyd Valley and Andrea Meyer of Perry by strokes.
“It’s an honor and it’s a great feeling. It’s something that I’ve worked for,” Whitmore said.
The Cardinals found the course to their liking and said it was in good condition with good greens.
However, those greens were what gave Whitmore some difficulty on the opening day of the tournament as she fired a round of 83.
“The first day I struggled with my putting and I had six three-puts. So my dad and I worked on my putting the night before (the final round). The next day my long game was fine, so I just knew that if I kept hitting greens in regulation and then just work on my putting it would be a good day. It turned out great,” Whitmore said.
Whitmore was quickly rewarded for her work the night before as she sank a long putt for a birdie on the opening hole of the second round.
“When I made that long putt, I knew my putting was going to be fine and I had nothing to worry about,” Whitmore said.
On the front nine the second day, Whitmore fired a 39 and then closed out the tournament with a solid 36 on the back to post a 75 for the day.
Each of the other Cardinals also turned in solid rounds on the second day, which was the key to winning the team championship.
After shooting an 89 on the first day, Manuel was again a model of consistency for the Cardinals as she posted an 88 on the second day to finish with a total of 177.
“For me, it was because everybody kept me posted about the team that was closest to us. That made me go a lot harder thinking that every stroke counted,” Manuel said of her second round performance.
Schulz was also consistent throughout the tournament as she followed up a first round 92 with a 93.
On the opening day of the state tournament both Geer and Adams posted rounds of 103 for the Cardinals. On the second day, Adams fired a 96 to finish with a two-day total of 199. Geer, meanwhile, had a 105 on the second day to finish with a score of 208.
This was the second straight year the Cardinals qualified for the state tournament and that experience last year helped spur on the Clarinda golfers during the 1999 season.
Although the team never verbally said their goal for the season was winning the state championship, each of the players agreed it was what they were privately shooting for.
“I love all these girls very much and it’s been a lot of fun. I think we’ve all learned a lot from each other and it’s something we’ll never forget,” Manuel said.
“We’re definitely closer after these past two year,” Whitmore agreed.