MG, M-P golfers rivals, but also friends

MARYSVILLE – Too bad political rivalries weren’t solved as easily.

Even though Abbie Braun of Marysville Getchell and Natalia Zieroth of Marysville-Pilchuck attend rival schools, they are the best of friends. And they also are the best when it comes to Marysville girls golfers. At least they were this week when they were co-medalists when the Tomahawks and Chargers faced each other. Each shot a 40. They admitted even though they both want to win when the face off, it’s not so bad losing to a friend. They said they each win about half the time.

Abbie went to state last year, while Natalia was an alternate. Their time together there solidified their friendship.

Abbie has been playing since she was 4, but Natalia just picked the game up two years ago.

While Abbie had considered playing in college, she’s now decided to play for fun and not worry about the pressure. She plans to become a veterinarian, going to Northwest Nazarene next year in Nampa, Idaho.

Natalia has a 16 handicap and hopes to lower it to a 12 so she can be part of a program at the University of Idaho in Moscow that teaches kids the sport.

Both golfers said they have solid, all-around games. For Natalia, she said it “depends on the day,” while Abbie said her driver is probably her least reliable club. Natalia said she’s always out playing golf, seven days a week this time of year and averages about half that the rest of the year. She plays in junior tournaments to play on more and better courses and to sharpen her skills against tough competition. Abbie plays about five times a week.

Abbie spends a lot of her time with her dog, “Gunner,” a Dutch Shepherd. She also spends time at the animal shelter in Everett. Both like to hang out with friends, which include each other.

They actually love playing against each other. While they both want to win, they also don’t mind losing to a friend. They help keep each other relaxed on the course, joking around. Abbie said her dad and Natalia said her stepdad are always around to spot issues with their swing or mental state.

As for the toughest part of the game, they agreed, “Mental for sure.”

As for their match, M-P won as a team 227-247. Behind Abbie was Nichole Phengmuang with a 44, Chloe Braaten a 47, Haley Francis a 52, Natalie Furness a 64 and Emily Reynolds a 65. For MG, Katelynn Melohusky shot a 41, Beth Erickson a 44, Ivy Enberg a 47, Sarah Turral a 55 and Michala Brown a 59.

MG also lost a 12-hole match to Snohomish last week 326-352.

Abbie placed second with a 62 and Nicole third with a 62. Haley and Chloe each shot a 73, Emily had an 83 and Natalie an 85. Panther Vreni Todd was the medalist with a 58.

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