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Girls Golf: Minnewaska-BBE adapt, finish 4th at Class AA State Tournament

A two and a half-hour weather delay doesn't halt Minnewaska-BBE's momentum

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Minnewaska/BBE senior Paige Rupp chips onto the green on hole No. 18 at Ridges at Sand Creek during the Class AA golf championships on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at Jordan.
Joe Brown / Forum News Service
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JORDAN -- A two-hour, 35-minute weather delay turned Day 2 of the Class AA state girls golf championship into a nine-hole round. All the groups started off on hole No. 10 and put up their best scores on the back nine.

“It’s never easy when you have a delay, especially that long,” said Minnewaska/Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa girls golf coach Tony Janu. “You come to the course with a game plan with how you’re going to warm up, and that’s all out the window. And then you wait and wait, and when you finally find out, you have to rejuvenate the girls. … But everyone’s got to go through it.”

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Minnewaska seventh-grader Annika DeBoer strikes the ball in the fairway on hole No. 18 at Ridges at Sand Creek during the Class AA golf championships on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at Jordan.
Joe Brown / Forum News Service

It turns out, the move to the back nine was all right for the Blue Jackets. They shot a score of 173 on Day 2 and moved up one spot to finish fourth overall with a score of 539.

“It was definitely different from past years,” said Minnewaska/BBE senior Berkley Steffen. “It was different starting from the back, too. But our team did the best it could and they pulled through everything. For the last year, I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”

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Minnewaska/BBE senior Berkley Steffen putts on hole No. 18 at Ridges at Sand Creek during the Class AA golf championships on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at Jordan.
Joe Brown / Forum News Service

Lake City won its second straight Class AA girls title with a score of 491. Fergus Falls was second with 530, followed by Pequot Lakes at 535.

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There was concern from Janu about playing on the back nine. The stretch on holes 12, 13 and 14 he’s nicknamed “Amen Corner” on account of the prayer required to make it through the traps and hazards.

But, senior Alissa Thorfinnson wasn’t intimidated by the back nine. She ended up shooting a team-best 40 on Wednesday and an overall score of 132. She finished tied for 25th.

“For me, I thought it played pretty easy,” Thorfinnson said. “I was glad it was the back nine going into this because yesterday, I did really bad on the front nine. So I just felt confident going into it and it wasn’t that hard for the way I play.

“My goal was just to bogey everything. I got a few pars and a birdie, and here I am.”

Steffen, another senior for the Blue Jackets, shot a 44 and ended the tournament with a team-best score of 130. She tied for 21st.

“Ending with a birdie just made the whole day,” Berkley said.

Freshman Arivia DeBoer finished 33rd with a score of 134 after scoring a 42 on Day 2. Ava Kollman took the No. 4 spot on Wednesday with a 44, finishing the tournament tied for 66th with 150.

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Minnewaska/BBE freshman Arivia DeBoer looks on after hitting a ball out of the rough on hole No. 18 at Ridges at Sand Creek during the Class AA golf championships on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at Jordan.
Joe Brown / Forum News Service

“Today we came out and it was a lot nicer and you could just tell the difference,” Janu said. “They were more comfortable out there. This is a beast of a golf course and you got to bring your game. If you don’t, you’ll pay on some holes.

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“Overall, the girls gave 100 percent and that’s all I can ask.”

Joe Brown is a sports reporter for the West Central Tribune.
He can be reached via email at: jbrown@wctrib.com or his office number: 320-214-4332.
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