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Cloquet grad winning for the Saints

Cloquet High School graduate Arica Sheff's family is known in local circles for prowess on the golf course. But over the last few weeks, Arica has served notice that the next generation of golfing Sheffs has arrived.

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Cloquet High School graduate Arica Sheff’s family is known in local circles for prowess on the golf course. But over the last few weeks, Arica has served notice that the next generation of golfing Sheffs has arrived.

Sheff, a redshirt sophomore and nursing student at the College of St. Scholastica, earned medalist honors in three consecutive events this month before placing 16th in the Georgianni Invitational in Eau Claire last weekend.

Sheff took first place in the Twin Ports Collegiate event Sept. 3, the Northland College Invitational on Sept. 5 and tied for first place in the UMAC preview tournament Sept. 8 for a pretty darned good week indeed.

“It’s been a good stretch,” Sheff said.

In the Twin Ports Collegiate, Sheff shot a 90 on the first day at Lester Park, but followed that with a school-record 78 at the Nemadji North-South course the next day to breeze to first place.

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“That was my best round ever,” she said. “I shot a 77 at Ridgeview this summer but was playing from the red (ladies) tees. At Nemadji I was playing off the white tees and it was by far my best round. I hit just about everything flush, hit greens, fairways and everything.”

The Saints won the team competition by 61 strokes over Minnesota-Morris.

Two days later, Sheff did it again, taking first place at Chequamegon Bay Golf Course in the three-team Northland Invitational, shooting an 88. On Sept. 8, she tied for medalist honors with teammate Amanda Broman in the conference preview tournament in Alexandria. Teammate Alexis Babcock of Moose Lake tied for fifth place in that event, four strokes off Sheff’s pace.

Sheff has played golf seriously since age 12, but growing up as the daughter of golfers John and Patti Sheff, there was always time to go to the course as a girl.

“My dad gave me a plastic club almost as soon as I could walk, I guess,” she said, “but I started playing seriously in junior high and trying to improve my game.”

It seems to have worked. Sheff averages about 230 yards off the tee now, and when she hits the ball well, the ball “stays hit,” as the phrase goes.

“At the moment, my drives are the best part of my game,” Sheff said. “Though I have to admit, I like watching putts drop too!”

The 2014 CHS graduate is a key part of the Scholastica program, which is in its second year of existence but which has already won two tournaments this season against conference foes.

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Some of that success is due to Sheff, who has made strides in the mental part of her game as well.

“I try and take it hole by hole and shot by shot,” she said. “Before, it might mess up my whole round if I had a bad hole but now I can move on and try for a par next time. You never know when a birdie might come as well.”

The way Sheff has been playing, she hasn’t had long to wait.

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Related Topics: COLLEGE GOLF
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