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Sports: Tough course awaits Kernels

The Mitchell High girls' golf team is very unfamiliar with the course it will be playing on today during the Class AA girls' state golf meet. The Kernels and the rest of the "AA" field will tee off at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Rapid City. MHS fi...

The Mitchell High girls' golf team is very unfamiliar with the course it will be playing on today during the Class AA girls' state golf meet.

The Kernels and the rest of the "AA" field will tee off at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Rapid City. MHS first-year head coach Mark Horan said Meadowbrook's 65 bunkers might play havoc with a lot of teams the next two days at the par-72 course.

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. (MST) today and competition runs through Tuesday.

"There's sand everywhere on this course," Horan said. "It's challenging. There aren't just bunkers on the greens, there's some on the fairways as well. We'll have to hit out of them. You also cross water 14 times and holes 9, 15 and 18 have tricky placements. We'll have to be good off the tee and everywhere else. You can't just blast it and go find it on this one."

Megan Kirby will tee off from hole No. 1 at 11:50 a.m. today, Chelsea Boddicker will tee off at 10:30 from No. 10, Courtney Kirby will go off of No. 10 at 10:50, Abby Bollinger will go off at No. 10 at 11 a.m., Abby Trudeau will tee off from No. 10 at 11:20 and Alisha Shattuck will go off No. 10 at 11:30.

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Horan said the Kirbys and Shattuck have already played the course in preparation for state.

As a team, Mitchell's best round this year was a 399 at the Mitchell Invite on April 27. Most recently at the ESD Conference meet last Monday in Brandon, Mitchell took eighth place with a 426.

At the meet, Kirby had the best round for the Kernels with a 97 to take 32nd place.

Horan was disappointed with his team's performance at the conference meet.

"We had mixed results. The course wasn't that tough and weather conditions weren't bad at all. We were hoping for better scores," he said. "But, Courtney Kirby had her best round of the year and that's something you have to take away as a positive."

The 400 mark is something that Horan is hoping his team can acheive each of the next two days.

"Getting to the 400 mark on this course would be good for us," Horan said. "We'd be within striking distance of a few teams that way. For as young of a team as we have, that would be quite an accomplishment.

"The biggest thing that worries me is that our girls might be too uptight because it's the state tournament. We can't be overly tense. We have to get in a zone and have fun out there. We've really improved since the beginning of the year. I'm hoping we can keep doing that."

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For his top golfer, Megan Kirby, Horan said she will have to shoot in the mid 80s each day to have a shot at placing in the top 25.

"She's capable of doing that," Horan said. "Megan, and the rest of the team, just have to worry about those bunkers and stay away from the trees. It's going to be different for them."

Horan said Brookings is the favorite to win the team title.

Note: The Class A girls' meet tees off today in Madison and the Class B girls' state meet is in Yankton, along with the Class B boys' state meet. The girls will play at Fox Run in Yankton and the boys will play at Hillcrest. Complete tee time listings for those tournaments are in today's scoreboard section on Page 8.

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