Three Rivers senior Holly Hines and Sturgis sophomore Jessica Griffioen represent the St. Joseph County contingent this weekend at the Division 3 championship at Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows course.
Hines won the regional tournament at Plainwell with an 18-hole total of 84, with Griffioen finishing with 88 (tied for third). The first round Friday begins at 10 a.m.
Here’s what you need to know:
Division 3 Girls Golf State Championship
The qualifiers: Hines shattered every school record this season and won every Wolverine Conference jamboree en route to the league’s Player of the Year award and a 39.6 average per nine holes. As a junior in 2012, Hines wasn’t able to manage inclement conditions at last year’s finals, shooting 105 in the first round before regrouping with a solid 84 for a 189 total. Griffioen is making her first finals appearance after shaving seven strokes off her personal-best 18-hole round at regionals.
The course: The par-73 layout from the red tees totals 4,777 yards and features two par 3s per side and water comes into play on 16 holes. The closing stretch includes two of the three toughest holes on the course, with the par-5 16th tempting longer hitters like Hines to try to land the ball in the narrowest part of the fairway, and the 276-yard 18th that requires two controlled shots over water and an approach to a green with the shortest runway. The Meadows has hosted the NCAA Women’s National Championship four times (1996, ’98, 2002, ’06), the NCAA Men’s National Championship in 2001 and 2007) and has been a longtime home of the MHSAA boys and girls state finals.