Women’s Golf | 12/18/2021 15:30:00
The University of Minnesota Women’s Golf Team welcomes five newcomers to the team for the 2021-22 season. GopherSports.com will be talking to each of them to get to know them better as they compete in their first season in the Maroon and Gold.
Then it is Lea Herzog. After spending two seasons at the University of Nebraska, the Red Wing, Minnesota native transferred to Minnesota ahead of the start of the 2021-22 season. Herzog did not compete for Nebraska in 2020-21, but had a strong start to the freshman season in 2019-2020 before it was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a freshman, she averaged 76.65 strokes (the fifth-best ever for a Nebraska freshman) and was one of only two Nebraska student-athletes to play in the 17 rounds. She shot 66 (-6) in the first round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge to post a true freshman’s best lap in Nebraska history.
In the summer of 2020, Herzog tied for seventh at the Minnesota Women’s Amateur.
Herzog was one of Minnesota’s top prospects in 2019 and was named Minnesota Ms. Golf. She finished second in state in 2018 and 2019 while attending Red Wing High School and led Red Wing to a state championship in 2019. As a senior in high school, she posted an average of 69 , 4 hits, which was a two hit improvement over her. junior season. She has been selected four times in All States in high school.
GopherSports: How long have you been playing golf and who introduced you to the sport?
Lea Herzog: I started playing golf when I was four years old. I grew up in a family of golfers, so I started young like all my siblings. I am the youngest of five children which means in most areas I am one step ahead, especially golf.
GS: Who introduced you to golf?
LH: My father introduced me to golf. I remember my dad taking my sister, Stephanie, and me to the golf course in the summer and he carried our two golf bags all the time. After golf, we would stop and buy donuts at Kwik Trip. He always did these little things for us, to make sure we enjoy golf above all else and make it a good experience.
GS: When did you realize you would like to play college golf?
LH: I wasn’t sure if I was playing college golf growing up because I didn’t always like it or play the way I wanted. I remember after winning the state team tournament in my eighth grade, I realized I had talent in the sport and potential to be more than a good high school player. Over the years, I kept pushing and hoping for a resume good enough to play at a Power Five school.
GS: What made you want to play for the University of Minnesota?
LH: Minnesota has always been my dream school from a young age and as I got older it became a dream to be able to make an impact on the women’s golf team here. I was born and raised in Minnesota and have always been a fan of gopher. It truly is a dream come true to have the opportunity to be a student-athlete at the University of Minnesota.
GS: How has your experience with the Gophers been so far?
LH: My experience here has been amazing! As most know, this is my first semester here since transferring from the University of Nebraska, and I enjoyed being in Minnesota in my dream school and more close to my house.
GS: What do you think is the strongest part of your game?
LH: I would say the best part of my game is definitely my short game / corner game. I have always felt very confident in my ability to hit hard chips or make clutch putts. I also feel confident enough to bowling and give myself good birdie opportunities when I have a wedge in my hand.
GS: What would you like to improve?
LH: In my golf game, I would definitely like to improve my distances from 140-200. I don’t hit it very far which means I have a lot of high irons or even hybrids in the greens. I feel really good about the swing fan training plan I’ve been given to work on this offseason. The main goal of this swing fan training is that I can take it a step further next spring.
GS: Is there anything you hope to accomplish while playing for the Gophers?
LH: Two things I would love to accomplish while on the program are to win a Big Ten Championship and compete in regional championships with my team.
GS: What was your impression of the John W. Mooty Practice Center?
LH: The ease offered to our program is beyond incredible! The John W. Mooty Training Center is a place where I feel I can take my game to the next level during the winter months. I had never had access to such a nice and useful golf course until I came here. I am very grateful to our donors who made this possible for us!