BECKER - Staring at the board after Tuesday's results at the Class A State Girls Golf Tournament, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart junior Carly Schmalz saw her name among the leaders at the end of Day 1.
Schmalz fired a first-day total of 82, creating a four-way tie atop the leaderboard at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. She enters today's play tied with Rachel Gray of Legacy Christian Academy, Lanesboro's Paige Hungerholt and Lakeview's Steph Werner.
After the day, she reflected on just how good it felt to be sitting in her position.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Carly Schmalz reacts after finishing her round of golf during the Class A State Tournament in Becker Tuesday. Schmalz is tied for the lead with an 82 after the first day.
"It makes me feel amazing," Schmalz said. "I never expected it, I was hoping for Top 10, but just coming in and seeing that I'm tied for the lead, it's like 'wow, that's amazing.'"
She shot a 40 on the front nine, but didn't finish as well she would've liked too. Regardless, she's happy with what she's done thus far.
"The first round [of nine] went really well," Schmalz said. "I was really happy with the way I played. On the second round, everything was good except for my putting, I kind of struggled with, but I finished out with my goal."
And believe it or not, her goal was 82.
"Honestly I was just thinking 10 bogeys, eight pars, that's pretty reasonable to do," she said.
Heading into today's action, Schmalz has another number she's aiming for. If she reaches that or is close, that state title just may be hers. She starts today's action when she tees off at 8:06 a.m.
"It is in the back of my mind," Schmalz said. "My coach told me to aim for a 78, so I think my aim is going to be 78 [today]. Hopefully if I can shoot under 80, I can take it home."
Making their first state tournament appearance, the Sleepy Eye girls are sitting right in the middle of the pack at fourth place with a team score of 380. Lewiston-Altura leads the way with a 361, followed by Lincoln HI (374), Legacy Christian Academy (379), Sleepy Eye (380), Ortonville (392), Fosston (393), Mesabi East (432) and Barnesville (460).
Leading the way for the Indians are Carissa Hillmer (25th place, 48-45-93) and Lauren Laffen (25th, 48-45-93). Karrah Remus is in 34th place overall (48-48-96) and Emily Curtis is 39th overall (45-53-98).
Other golfers who didn't figure into Sleepy Eye's team score were Anna Ibberson (52nd, 51-52-103) and Aileen Roman (77th, 60-54-114).
"We were all really excited, it was a goal of ours to make it," Hillmer said. "I feel like it was a good day for the course today. It wasn't very windy, so that was nice."
Hillmer thought her first round could've went a little better. But overall, it wasn't a bad day for her.
"The first round [of nine] was a little rough, I had a really bad hole, but other than that I came together in the end," Hillmer said. "I pulled out a good score for my team."
The Indians are hoping to gain some ground on the leaders from Lewiston-Altura. They're hoping to sneak up at least a couple of spots.
"Hopefully we can pull through and at least rank second or third, that would be nice," Hillmer said. "I hope everyone got a nice view of what today was like. We gotta pick it up [today]."
Roman is the first Sleepy Eye girl to tee off today when she starts at 8:15 a.m. Ibberson (8:24 a.m.), Curtis (8:33 a.m.), Remus (8:42 a.m.), Laffen (8:51 a.m.) and Hillmer (9 a.m.) follow her on the course for the Indians.
The two area boys that qualified for the individual meet are both tied for 21st with an 81. Jordan Henry of Madelia shot a 40-41 and Sleepy Eye St Mary's Mikail Sellner started slow with a 45 before a strong finish on the back nine of 36 led to his 81.
"The front nine was a little bit of a struggle, I had a lot of bogeys and a pretty bad hole where I went over the green and into the water, and that was a triple bogey on that hole," Sellner said.
While the start wasn't what he had in mind going into his first state tournament, he did rebound well.
"My drive started coming around on the back nine a little more," Sellner said. "I had a couple birdie opportunities and I took advantage of both the Par 5s on the back nine and really helped my score."
Martin County West sophomore Cordell Weber leads all golfers with a 71, a two-stroke lead over Northeast Range's Sam Eisenhuth (73).
United South Central leads the team tournament with a 327 and Legacy Christian Academy is second with a 329.
Sellner and Henry both get their second day underway at 12:07 p.m. and will be in the same group.