Chaska senior Sammy Youngquist eats and breathes golf.
That made being named to the Ms. Minnesota Golf Watchlist that much more special.
“It means a lot, I’ve put in so much time, effort into this sport. It also means a lot that my parents help out with every aspect of this and they try to give me all these opportunities to act on what I love,” Youngquist said.
Youngquist did not begin playing golf until she was in seventh grade. Her father, Jeremy, tried to convince her to play for many years. He reached out to his former high school teacher, Pam Schmillen, Chaska girls’ golf head coach, about tryouts and the two convinced Sammy to try out.
“I was confused why I was asked to try out [by Schmillen] but I absolutely loved it,” Youngquist said.
Now a senior committed to play golf at Minnesota State, Mankato, Youngquist was one of 15 girls throughout the state named to the watchlist. She discovered the news not from an announcement or letter, but a text from her mother, Lisa.
“My mom checks a lot of that stuff constantly. She writes notes for me in my scorecard holder before tournaments and it helps me relax more, reminding me it isn’t the end of the world,” Youngquist said.
While Ms. Minnesota Golf is an individual award, Youngquist’s favorite aspect of playing for the Hawks is the team atmosphere. Youngquist loves the support system from her coaches and teammates including, but not limited to, Libby Marsnik, Avery Nelson and Nicole Reineke. One of Youngquist’s favorite events with Chaska is a Ryder Cup-like event where all girls from the junior varsity and varsity teams are divided into Europe and the United States and compete against each other.
Youngquist and the Hawks are looking to finish the season similar to how 2021 ended. The Hawks won the Metro West conference championship for the first time since 1994. One of the team’s recent finishes ended in a win at the Oak Ridge Prep Invite May 9 and 10. Reineke finished tied for first with a 144, while Youngquist (146) and Nelson (160) finished third and ninth respectively. Chaska has three more events before the Metro West conference championship on May 23 at Braemar Golf Course in Edina.
The next step in the Ms. Minnesota Golf process for Youngquist is postseason tournament play. The watchlist will be narrowed down to eight finalists based on performance in the 2022 high school tournament season. The winner of Ms. Minnesota Golf will be presented with the award on June 12.