Smith adds Junior title to list of growing accomplishments
At the Class AA Girls State Golf Tournament in June, Detroit Lakes’ Kate Smith anxiously awaited her tee time before the skies opened up and rain ferociously fell delaying the start of the final round by nearly five hours.
Tuesday (July 9), Smith had similar thoughts cross her mind as strong thunderstorms with heavy rain and strong winds delayed the final round of the 2013 Minnesota State Junior Girls’ Championship by two hours.
When things settled and players took to the course, Smith turned in another stellar performance to capture the title by shooting a final round 76 to win by five shots at 147.
“I got off to another good start—I was 2-under through four holes. The wind picked up and I hit a few shots astray, but I played consistent to finish the front nine even par,” Smith said.
Smith opened her round on the tenth hole and made par on the first two holes before back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes.
She would drop a shot with a bogey on the 15th and another on the final hole of the front nine to make the turn even par.
“I didn’t putt great on the back but I was able to make par on about five holes. I knew with this wind today it was going to be hard for anyone to go low. I wasn’t shooting for birdies on the back, I felt like pars were the way to go,” she said.
A bogey on the second hole dropped her to 1-over for the round and another bogey on the par-5 fourth hole put her at 2-over for the round.
But Smith would settle down and par the next three holes before another bogey on the eighth hole put her at 3-over.
Smith’s second shot on the par-4 ninth hole landed pin high, just off the right edge of the green.
With putter in hand, she drained her 15-foot putt for birdie to capture the tournament in style.
“My ball striking was the difference this week. I kept the ball in the fairway and I hit greens—I didn’t miss many shots. I tried to play really smart; where some people hit driver, I hit 3-wood or hybrid and made good shots,” Smith said. “I’m very happy; coming into this week I just wanted to play well. There is some really good talent—girls that are committed to some good schools. I wasn’t expecting to do this well so it’s a lot of fun.”
Other Detroit Lakes finishers included Trisa Hutchinson in 10th with a 78-82-160, while Matty Tschider carded an 88-84-172 and Emma Thompson with an 88-96-184.
Sarah Burnham will have to settle for second place for the third year in a row. After shooting a 2-under par 72 in Monday’s opening round, Burnham shot a 6-over par 80 to finish five strokes behind Smith.
“Things just didn’t start well today,” Burnham said after the final round. “On the second hole I put two balls in the woods.”
Burnham, Wayzata, birdied the first hole but that was quickly erased as she made quadruple bogey on the 11th hole (she started on the 10th) and found more trouble on the par-3 15th hole when her tee shot found water.
She would make double bogey and was quickly 5-over through six holes.
A bogey on 16 would drop Burnham to 6-over par but she clawed her way back with a birdie on the 17th only to give it right back with yet another bogey on the 18th.
Burnham fared better on the final nine holes but could only muster two birdies that were evened out with two bogeys and she finished her round at 6-over par 80 and 152 for the tournament.
“I got in trouble early and couldn’t get a shot back,” Burnham said. “I thought I played pretty well I just got a little unlucky on a couple of shots. I hit my driver pretty well and my irons well, but that was about it.”
Anni Heck, Eagan, had another consistent round Tuesday to finish the tournament in third place at 154.
Heck shot an opening round 76, followed up with a 2-over par 78 on Tuesday.
“I played well —I hit a lot of greens and made some putts on the front nine. On the back I missed a few putts and my driver and irons were a little off,” Heck said.
Heck started her round with four straight pars before a bogey at the 14th put her at 1-over.
She would par the next three holes and get back to even with a birdie on the 18th. She bogeyed three of her first five holes on the back but finished strong with three straight pars to end her day 4-over par 78.
(Article by Nick Hunter, Minnesota Golf Association)