Seven holes into her opening round, New Prague senior Taylor Ledwein was 2 over par as she looked to defend her Class 3A girls’ golf state title. She talked with her coach and things turned around.
She shot a 71 Tuesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.
“Our goal was even,” Ledwein said. “So 1 under was better than what our goal was.”
Ledwein said her putting was good and that she hit her driver really well. On her 17th hole, her tee shot landed less than a foot from the pin. She birdied the ninth hole before she hit her stride for three more birdies.
Her score gave her a share of the lead with eighth-grader Cayla Kim of Stillwater.
“I think some people want to put pressure on, but since it’s my last tournament … me and my coach [Trojans assistant Stephanie Neisen] just went out there and had fun,” Ledwein said.
Hopkins junior Julia Hall, Buffalo sophomore Hanna Morin and Edina senior Christine Portillo are tied for third place after shooting rounds of 72.
Portillo’s score led the Hornets to a 298 team total and a 19-shot lead over Forest Lake. Shooting under 300 was a goal this year for the Hornets, coach Mark Harelstad said. The defending team champs shot a 310 on Day 1 last year.
“We were hoping that this day would come, and it finally did,” Harelstad said. “And it’s a great day to do it.”
They hit their fairways well, which minimized their putts, Harelstad said. Senior Hannah Hankinson, who tied for second individually in 2015, struggled a little more but saved herself by sinking 5- and 6-foot putts, her coach said. She shot a 75.
“I wasn’t hitting it the best, so I was able to make a lot of pars, which was good,” Hankinson said.
Play for the boys’ tournament was suspended shortly after 4:30 p.m. because of the threat of severe weather.
The boys will finish their first rounds from where they left off at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Three boys’ teams already finished.
Both final rounds will start as scheduled, with the girls at 7:30 a.m. and the boys at noon.
Detroit Lakes senior Kate Smith has positioned herself to become the first five-time state golf champion (boys or girls). Smith fired a 3-under-par 69 to garner the top spot in the girls’ field when play was suspended because of inclement weather with 24 golfers still on the course at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. She holds a two-shot lead over Visitation junior Anni Heck.
The Lakers also own a 10-shot lead over Lake City in the team competition.
No boys completed the first round of play. They, along with the remaining girls, will resume first-round play at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The Fillmore Central girls’ squad, which gradually has risen in state tournament team competition, opened a 20-shot cushion over Windom Area at Pebble Creek in Becker.
The Falcons were the state tournament runners-up last year after finishing third in 2014.
Sophie Gray of Legacy Christian and Abby Herding of Westbrook-Walnut Grove shared medalist honors with 6-over 78s.
Play was suspended in the boys’ tournament with 48 golfers still on the course.