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Madison Rohach: No longer three strokes away

June 5, 2019
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Making the State Tournament has been a goal for South Tama's Madison Rohach since her freshman year of high school. Each year she has been three strokes away from completing her dream. Her senior year that all changed.

Rohach competed in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Regional Tournament on Monday, May 20. The Class 3A regional meet was held at the Oskaloosa Public Golf Course. Rohach finished 6th at the tournament which qualified her for State.

"Getting there was the most rewarding feeling I have ever felt because I knew I made my parents and coach very proud because it's been a longterm goal of mine," said Rohach.

Article Photos

Madison Rohach competes at State Golf on Tuesday, May 28 at the Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

The Class 3A State tournament was held in Ankeny at the Otter Creek Golf Course on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28 and 29. After a winter that was plagued with weather related postponements and cancellations, Mother Nature continued to wreak havoc on spring sports. Golf was no exception.

With the tournament set to start at 9 a.m., unfavorable weather conditions forced an hour delay. At 10 a.m. following some rule announcements and a performance of the National Anthem, golfers and spectators were cleared to take the course. It was chilly, windy and damp but everyone attempted to make the best of the less than ideal conditions.

Rohach along with two other golfers were sent to hole 2 to begin their tournament. She didn't quite get the start she wanted. Her first ball went into the water.

"That didn't ruin my mood though. I thought, I can recover from this," said Rohach.

Luckily as the morning progressed the skies slowly began to clear and the temperature rose. Rohach managed to complete the 12 holes required to make the day count before the skies opened back up and rained down on much of the area.

The following day Rohach was back on the course to finish the tournament. She completed 24 holes which she described as mentally and physically exhausting. When the day was done Rohach finished 28th out of 67 golfers.

"I didn't perform as great as I wanted to at the tournament but I know all of my hard work paid off. The ending wasn't what I wanted but I'm still proud of my performance," said Rohach.

Otter Creek Golf Course is a picturesque course with lots of rolling hills nestled into a residential area with beautiful new homes. The course is also home to many ducks and geese.

"We joked that they were going to come after us," said Rohach.

Rohach put in a lot of time and effort to get to the State level. She credits her strong support system which include her parents Rick and Alicia and her coach, Deanna Zmolek to help get her there.

"My parents have always saw the potential I had. This year was my final year and I knew I had to go out with a bang and I did. I worked really hard. I went out on the weekends and stayed after practice to work on things I struggled with."

For Rohach, golf is about so much more than a sport. It's about family. She has been exposed to golf her entire life. Her dad owned a driving range in Tama when she was young. One of her earliest memories she recalled was when she was around five years old. She hit the ball 100 yards for the first time and her dad rewarded her with ice cream. Now that 100 yards is just a short chip.

"It's crazy to see how much you can grow in a few years," she said.

The lessons she has learned from the sport she can carry with her throughout her entire life. She believes her greatest strength is her ability to remain positive which is especially important in a game life golf.

"I know if I have a bad shot I can recover from it," said Rohach.

Rohach is passionate about the game of golf that she says is so much more than a quiet sport. She enjoys the competitive aspect of it and shares the best thing you can do is stay focused. While her high school career is over, the sport will be with her through her entire life. It's special because it's something she and her dad can do together.

She's going to miss the high school team and season and the car rides with her coach whom she affectionately refers to as "Zmo". Rohach shared that Zmolek was always proud, always gave constructive criticism and was always willing to stay late to work to help Rohach improve her skills.

"Golfing isn't gone, I can still continue to do that for the rest of my life," said Rohach.

Rohach will be attending the University of Iowa this fall.



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