Kathryn VanArragon of Bunker Hills Golf Club struggled to a final-round 79, but still coasted to a five-shot victory to win the MGA Women’s Amateur title Thursday at Town & Country Club in St. Paul.
The 14-year-old, who led by seven shots after a 4-under-par 69 in the second round, shot a three-day total of 223. Kate Smith of Detroit Country Club finished second at 228, and Katherine Lilly of University Golf Club and Grace Kellar of Olympic Hills Golf Club tied for third place at 230.
“It feels amazing. It gives me confidence, and I’m just going to take it one tournament at a time from now on and see where it goes,” VanArragon said. “This week I was really able to lean on my irons. Ball striking was consistent and that was really what I needed. … I just needed to know that I could hit greens and make pars and I could do that with the way I was hitting my irons.
“The thought process [Thursday] was to not be concerned with anything but my score. I just wanted to play golf and not worry about too much.”
Since winning the Class 3A individual championship playing for Blaine in 2018, VanArragon has finished no worse than seventh in five state events.
Lakeville swimmer sets new junior mark
Regan Smith of Lakeville broke her own world junior record in the women’s 200-meter backstroke, clocking a time of 2 minutes, 6.01 seconds in the preliminary round of the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
Smith, 17, had the fastest time of the preliminary heats. She finished 2.33 seconds ahead of the second-place qualifier, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary. Smith is now the ninth-fastest performer of all time in the event and the third-fastest American behind Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin and Maya DiRado.
The semifinals of the women’s 200 back will be held Friday evening in Gwangju (about 6:30 a.m. Minnesota time), with the finals at the same time Saturday.
• Gophers football fans can take in a free training camp practice event Aug. 3 at TCF Bank Stadium. The “F.A.M.I.L.Y. Day” will include food, music, autographs and games, while encouraging donations for the Diaper Bank of Minnesota and Union Gospel Mission’s Heart for Hunger Campaign. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. for the 3 p.m. event.
• The St. Paul Saints lost their first series at CHS Field this season, falling 4-2 to the Cleburne Railroaders on Thursday. Dan Motl hit his third homer of the year, a two-run shot, in the seventh inning for the Saints’ only runs.