Prep of the Week: Whitney Mullenbach

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(ABC 6 News) — Down at the Wedgewood Cove Golf Club in Albert Lea, you might see Tigers Girls Golf taking the green for practice or for another big-time match. Someone who has been delivering big-time is junior Whitney Mullenbach.

She’s been an essential part of the team’s successful campaign playing like a seasoned veteran. But in fact, she only picked up the links about five years ago.

"Um, it was during my seventh-grade year while I was in middle school still," Mullenbach remembered. "And a bunch of us friends just kind of decided to try it out and I ended up loving it."

In the time between then and now, she has developed her skills into quality shot-making. On May 5th, she ended with a career-best 75. The finish was key in Albert Lea’s win over Mankato East and Century.

"My back nine, I really just picked up with those birdies and it ended up turning our like a really good round."

"My first reaction was just pure joy, I was just so excited for her," teammate Alyssa Jensen gushed. "And I know that she’s got a lot of potential and it’s starting to show up."

Mullenbach owes much of her success to her rising confidence over the season. It’s rubbed off on Jensen, a great golfer herself, as well as the rest of the team.

"She’s definitely really important, she really is consistent and helps push the team to be better," Jensen stated. "And I think — I really like it because it’s a little competition for the both of us. So, I think it’s nice playing with her."

Yet, there’s still plenty more the junior is ready to face head-on. With sectionals looming and dreams of making State, Mullenbach is going to be a bright force for a little while longer.

"My confidence wasn’t where it was at and that’s how I ended up not going — being a State participant last year. But this year, I feel super confident, trying not to get in my head too much and just stay positive on the course. And yeah, I think this will be a great season."