New Prague senior Taylor Ledwein was tied for the lead in the Class 3A girls’ golf state tournament after day one. Sleeping on leads is hard, she said. She didn’t think she was hitting well when she hit the range before the final round.
“Then I just got out there,” Ledwein said. “Either the best is going to happen, or you’re not going to win. So just go out there and give it your all.”
The best happened. Ledwein successfully defended her Class 3A girls’ golf individual state title Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids. She followed up her 71 opening round with an even 72 for a 143 total, six strokes ahead of second place.
“This year, it just feels so good to be able to keep the title, the individual title, in New Prague for four years,” Ledwein said. McKenzie Neisen, now playing at Oklahoma State, won the individual title as a New Prague golfer in 2013 and 2014.
It was pretty smooth sailing for the first 15 holes, though she had “a couple bad bogeys” on the front nine, she said. She made up for that with a nice approach shot on her ninth hole, a foot from the pin.
The tide turned again when she needed five putts to finish out No. 16. She rebounded with a good drive and a second shot that landed about three inches from the pin on the next hole. After that birdie, she knew she would be fine if she kept things even.
“So after that, I just figured I’d par out and hopefully that was going to be enough,” Ledwein said.
Her group finished in the middle of the pack, so she had to wait a while before she knew her fate as state champion. She was confident after she walked off the course, she said.
“Being able to say my last round at State I shot even was pretty good,” Ledwein said.
Ledwein will play golf for Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., next year.
Edina senior Hannah Hankinson and Lakeville North sophomore Megan Welch tied for second with 149.
Edina defended the girls’ team title with a 600 total score, 30 strokes better than last year. Three of the six Hornets earned individual medals as well. Forest Lake took second with 636 and Red Wing took third with 636.