Lattery notches ace at national tourneyThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by award-winning Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.
When emphasizing a point, one always wants to put an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. Former Northwestern Tiger golfer Maggie Lattery did just that when she made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole on the fourth and final round of competition at the NCAA Division III National Championships in early May at Zollner Golf Course in Angola, Ind.
Lattery, golfing for UW-Eau Claire, finished her collegiate career with flair as her team ended up third in the nation among small schools. Her 286 total for the four competitive rounds helped the Blugolds to their highest finish ever.
The Blugolds, three-time defending WIAC conference champions, also had the individual national champion in Division III as Lattery’s teammate, Catherine Wagner, took home that title. The Division III team championship went to the Methodist Monarchs of Fayetteville, N.C., which took home the top trophy for the 15th consecutive year.
Regarding her “Ace,” Lattery said, “I couldn’t even see the hole; the green was elevated. My coach (Meghan Sobotta) told me it was 160 yards to the pin, so I chose my 5-iron, hit it, and it looked like it was straight at the pin. After it landed, I heard a lot of yelling and clapping and appearing over the rise of the hill was my dad, Mike Lattery, exclaiming ‘It’s in the hole.’ It was pretty exciting.”
Lattery was destined to become a golfer from an early age. At age 1, her parents, Mike and Beth Lattery, purchased the Poplar Golf Course. Maggie was soon seen riding on the back of a golf cart or “putting” with a makeshift putter that uncle Don Baldwin had shortened and made lighter for the infant.
She must have learned well as Lattery went on to golf for four years at Northwestern High School under two outstanding coaches; Gary Swanson and Stacy Burfield. Lattery said that she had some very good golfers as teammates such as Katie Pearson, Taylor Prior, Heidi Anttila and Brandie Paulson. That group won the Heart O’ North Conference championship in 2007.
At UWEC, Maggie Lattery dialed up her game even more, finishing fourth in the WIAC in both her junior and senior seasons.
“It’s been a good four years with a lot of traveling and a lot of work, but it was worth it,” Lattery said.
Maggie roomed all four years with former Tiger runner Jenna Willoughby, who helped keep her keep schoolwork and sports balanced. A nursing major, Lattery has done equally as well in academics as well as athletics as she expects to graduate after the first semester next year. But it was as a golfer, on the biggest stage; the national championships; and on her final par-3 hole, that she managed to put that exclamation point on a golf career that began pretty much as soon as she could walk.
“It’s in the hole!” Great job, Maggie Lattery.
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