JORDAN - She was making her first ever state tournament girl's golf appearance and she had to overcome the pain in her left knee. But neither nerves nor injury could slow down New Ulm's Corinne McKeeth, who matched her career-best score with an 80 Tuesday.
McKeeth fired a 42 on the front nine, then turned around and had an even better back nine. She is tied for 15th place heading into Day 2 of the Class AA State Girl's Golf Tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
On the boys' side, New Ulm's Kelton Schmitz is tied for 20th after the first day with his score of 76. Delano's Austin vanSytzama leads everyone with a score of 69.
New Ulm’s Corinne McKeeth tees off on Tuesday at the Class AA Girl’s State Golf meet in Jordan.
McKeeth is battling a small fracture in her knee that she re-injured before the season started. She'll take care of the injury after the season is over, but for now, her focus is on one more round of golf, which starts for her at 7:57 a.m.
She wrapped up Day 1 with a pretty good idea of where she was at and her smile after her final tap-in showed just how pleased she was with the first round.
"On the front, I felt like I was doing alright, but in the back, just the first six holes, I was on game," the junior said.
After that first six holes on the back stretch, McKeeth encountered an obstacle from a tree that she had to take a different lie for and a penalty. She re-grouped from the double bogey to finish strong, putting herself in good position to possibly reach the Top 10 or better on Wednesday.
She said the hot start on the front nine didn't make her change her approach on the back nine.
"I just kind of forgot about it," she said of the first nine holes. "I started doing better and I just didn't think about it as much."
McKeeth did have some struggles on some holes. She had a couple of close putts that just missed, causing a little bit of frustration. But she didn't seem too flustered.
"I have to say I did not expect this,"?McKeeth said. "I was expecting to shoot in the 80s, but not barely breaking 80. There are so many holes where I could just take a stroke off and I could be in the 70s."
Detroit Lakes golfer Sydney Busker leads all of the girls with a score of 72. Four others are tied with a 73
She knows Wednesday will be another challenging day. But at this point, she believes she can do anything.
"I feel more confident, coming into [Tuesday], I hadn't practiced as much as I should've prior to it," she said.?"I feel more confident with my swing."
Schmitz meanwhile, wasn't overly happy with his round. He struggled with putting, something he says he can correct going into Day 2.
"There was a couple of shots that I left out there," the senior said. "It could've been better, but it wasn't too bad. Not what I was looking for, but I've got my work cut out for tomorrow.
"I'm a little disappointed, but I?can't let it bring my vibe down too much I guess," Schmitz said.?"I just got to get through [Tuesday] and focus on tomorrow.
Schmitz shot a 36 on his first nine holes and came back with a 40. He's seven strokes back of the leader going into the second day.
Schmitz opens Day 2 at 12:27 p.m. and he will tee off on Hole No. 10.
Class AA girls
1. Sydney Busker, Detroit Lakes - 72
2. Trisa Hutchinson, Pequot Lakes - 73
Maggie Heggerston, Pequot Lakes - 73
Kate Smith, Detroit Lakes - 73
Anni Heck, Visitation - 73
15. Corinne McKeeth, New Ulm, 80
1. Detroit Lakes 293
2. Red Wing 326
3. Pequot Lakes 328
4. Minnewaska Area 341
5. Osakis 366
6. Visitation 367
7. Jordan 371
8. Breck 371
Class AA boys
1.Austin vanSytzama, Delano 69
2. Carter Haley, Mankato East 71
2. Andrew Israelson, Staples-Motley 71
4. Andrew Sederlund, Virginia, 72
4. Scott Stankey, Prov. Acad. 72
4. Brady Beauchamp 72
4. Kyle Brodt, Totino Grace, 72
4. Will Czeh, Roseau, 72
4. Josh Polingo, Litchfield 72
1. Providence Academy 227
2. The Blake School 234
3. Mankato East 235
4. Fergus Falls 235
5. Marshall 240
6. Virginia 243
7. Byron 247
8. Staples-Motley 248