Benneker wins at Eureka, with little to separate the top three

St. Bernard’s Olivia Benneker shot a 98 to lead the field in the latest round of H-DNL girls golf at the Eureka Municipal Golf Course on Thursday, becoming the first golfer to beat McKinleyville’s Sofie Sundberg this season.

The Swiss exchange student was competing in her first event of the season and got the better of Sundberg by just one stroke.

Sundberg still holds a commanding 44-stroke advantage in the season standings with just one round remaining.

Only three strokes separated the top three golfers on the day, with five different schools represented in the top-five.

Arcata’s Sagen Sarchett placed third on the day, her highest finish of the season, with a round of 100.

The Tigers junior who is competing in high school golf for the first time, beat her previous best round by an incredible 15 strokes.

Del Norte’s Jo Heuberger also had her best round and finish of the season, placing fourth with a 103, with Eureka’s Ileah Brannon fifth after shooting a 111.

The Tigers won as a team, beating Eureka by just a single stroke, and they still hold a sizable advantage in the season team standings.

“It’s a tricky course. You’ve got to go down the middle or you’re in the water,” said Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti, who added the conditions were beautiful and the wind stayed down.

McKinleyville’s Neyr’res Bartoo finished sixth on the day with a round of 113, also her best showing of the season, with Eureka’s Mia Lopez (117), St. Bernard’s Allyson Hagler and Hannah Finck (both 118), and Eureka’s Gracie Christian (123) rounding out the top 10.

The H-DNL season closes out at Baywood on Monday, with the North Coast Section tournament in Vallejo the following week.

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