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New Prague's Neisen wins 3A girls' golf title outright, Detroit Lakes sets state record in 2A

06/11/2014, 3:35pm CDT
By Star Tribune staff reports

Kenzie Neisen had shared the title in 2013. The Lakers' team score smashed the previous state tournament mark by 20 strokes.

Kenzie Neisen of New Prague hit on the 7th hole of the east course during the Class 3A girls' golf state tournament Tuesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.

Senior Kenzie Neisen of New Prague won the Class 3A girls' golf state tournament outright on Wednesday at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.

Going into the final round, Neisen was tied with Wayzata’s Sarah Burnham, with whom she shared the title in 2013.

Check back later for more details.

Class 2A girls

Sheer domination.

That’s the best way to describe what Detroit Lake’s girls’ team did to the Class 2A field from the opening drive Tuesday to the final putt Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.

The Lakers posted an astounding state record team score of 590 — a mark that would make Class 3A schools envious — to win the two-day event for the third consecutive year. They finished 58 strokes ahead of runner-up Pequot Lakes. The previous state tournament record of 610 was set by Minnewaska Area in 2009.

“This is a very special team,” Detroit Lakes sophomore Kate Smith said. “Not only are they great golfers, but they are even better people.”

For the second consecutive year, Smith found herself sharing medalist honors. This time with friend and Pequot Lakes junior Maggie Heggerston. They finished with 1-under-par 143s.

“Every year at state is a little bit different,” said Smith, who also became a three-time individual champion. She won her first title as an eighth grader in 2012. “It was more stressful last year.”

A year ago, Smith walked off the 18th green following the second round with a disappointed look on her face. She parred the final hole to share medalist honors with teammate Natalie Roth, now a senior. Roth finished fifth.

“I left so many shots out on the course last year,” Smith said. “I didn’t play lights out this year, but was able to keep it together.”

Both Smith and Heggerston closed on a strong note. Smith birdied No. 16 and 18 while Heggerston did likewise on 16 and 17.

“This is kind of overwhelming,” Smith said. “Winning both is a pretty good feeling.”

Heggerston was still shaking even after signing her scorecard.
“I’m still nervous,” Heggerston said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to win a state championship, but I never thought I would do it. This is crazy.”

So was the Lakers having five golfers finish in the top nine.

Senior Trisa Hutchinson finished third, junior Sydney Busker took sixth and senior Mattie Tschider tied for ninth. Busker was the first-round leader with a even-par 72. The sixth member of the squad, senior Emma Thompson, wound up 20th.

“Every week somebody else comes out on top on this team,” Smith said. “Every one on this team is so driven and motivated to be successful. It’s a remarkable group.”

Junior records ace

Pequot Lakes junior Megan Snyder recorded a hole-in-one on the third hole of the girls’ tournament. She used a 9-iron to ace the par 3, 101-yard hole.

Class 1A girls

Southwest Christian’s Christine Piwnica shot an 8-over-par 80 on Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker to earn medalist honors at the Class 1A girls’ golf tournament.

Piwnica overcame a 6-over par front nine to shoot a 2-over 38 on the back. The senior parred nine of her final 11 holes to win the tournament by nine strokes.

Piwnica opened the tournament with a 7-over 79 on Tuesday and was tied with Lauren Laffen of Sleepy Eye after 18 holes. She had been to state the past two seasons and finished in the top 10 both times, including a third-place finish last year.

Legacy Christian Academy won the team title, its second straight, topping BOLD by 14 strokes.

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