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Dan-ecdotes: Golden Golfer - Heggerston keeps golfing at U. of M.

Pequot Lakes graduate Maggie Heggerston had one of the best golf careers in school history, and now she is preparing for her second season as a member of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Maggie Heggerston2015 Minnesota Invitational Golf Tournament©2015 Bruce Kluckhohn#612-929-6010bruce@brucekphoto.com
Maggie Heggerston 2015 Minnesota Invitational Golf Tournament ©2015 Bruce Kluckhohn #612-929-6010 bruce@brucekphoto.com

Pequot Lakes graduate Maggie Heggerston had one of the best golf careers in school history, and now she is preparing for her second season as a member of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Crosslake resident says she has always wanted to be a Gopher athlete, and signing her letter of intent to play golf for them was an easy decision for her.

"I love it," Heggerston said. "This is the best decision I have ever made. It has been so much fun. It has a great diversity and I have met so many great people."

While she loves the sport and the "life lessons" it has taught her, she has appreciated the opportunities the sport has given her most.

"I have met some so many incredible people," Heggerston said. "I have been able to see some amazing and beautiful courses. I have gone to places I never thought I would see because of golf."

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As a member of the Patriots golf team, Heggerston shot a two-day score of 143 to tie for the Class AA state individual title. Less than two weeks before that, she set a school and state record with an 18-hole score of 62.

Her early days at the University in the fall of 2015 were dedicated to adjusting to an expanded golf schedule, which spans most of the school year as opposed to roughly one month in the spring. Balancing that with her studies has been her greatest challenge so far.

"My first semester was definitely a rude awakening," Heggerston said. "With high school golf, you would maybe miss 10 days of school in a 30-day period. This is nine months of 12-hour days dedicated to your sport and your schoolwork. It was a big adjustment, but I wouldn't have it any other way now. I need to be busy now."

In her first season with the Gophers, Heggerston qualified for the traveling team. She competed in six tournaments with a stroke average of 77.06. She also competed in the Big Ten Championships, finishing 74th in the three-round competition.

"I made a lot of progress in my game," Heggerston said. "You can't really see it scores-wise, but what I have changed in my golf game has been phenomenal. Personally, I feel like I had a great year. Getting to travel is an achievement in itself."

As she looks to her sophomore season - which begins with the 2016 Minnesota Invitational on Monday, Sept. 12 - and beyond, Heggerston hopes to continue improving in a college golf career of which she is already proud.

"Being on the Gopher golf team has been kind of an accomplishment in itself," Heggerston said. "I would like to get better every year, and maybe be team captain in my senior year. That would be pretty cool. Optimistically, I'd like to be one of the top scorers on the team. I don't think that's too far of a reach.

"For me, it has been a dream come true," Heggerston said. "I have always wanted to play for the Gophers. It has been phenomenal, and I am very grateful for this experience. There is nothing to compare to it."

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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