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Andes Central's Winckler finishes in second place

SIOUX FALLS -- Andes Central's Jenna Winckler had a comfortable lead going into the final hole of the two-day Class B girls' state golf tournament. But Winckler stumbled and Deubrook Area's Kelsey Goens, the defending state champion, forced a sud...

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Andes Central's Jenna Winckler leaves her putt a few inches left to the hole on the 18th green during the Class B girls' state golf tournament Tuesday at Elmwood Golf Course in Sioux Falls. (Justin Rust/Republic)

SIOUX FALLS -- Andes Central's Jenna Winckler had a comfortable lead going into the final hole of the two-day Class B girls' state golf tournament.

But Winckler stumbled and Deubrook Area's Kelsey Goens, the defending state champion, forced a sudden-death playoff. Goens ended up shooting one stroke better than Winckler on the playoff hole to win her second straight championship.

"I knew going into (the 18th hole) I was ahead by two (strokes)," Winckler said. "The nerves weren't too bad, not as bad as I thought they were going to be. I think it was bad luck on 18."

Winckler had a two-stroke lead on Deubrook Area's Kelsey Goens as the two teed off on the 18th hole. But Winckler's tee shot went a right, landing a few inches from the cart path. Then she "chunked" her first approach shot, leaving it well short of the green, she said.

"I had a good (second) shot into the green, I just chunked it," Winckler said.

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Winckler's second approach shot was just short of the green and she chipped onto it on her fourth shot. That gave Goens an opening since she was on the green in two shots. Goens missed her first putt but sank her second for a par on 18.

Winckler could have won the championship on her first putt -- her fifth shot of the hole -- but she left the eight-foot putt a few inches to the left of the hole. Winckler was able to make the half-foot tap in, but the individual championship went to a sudden-death playoff.

Goens was able to get on the green in two shots, whereas it took Winckler three shots.

Winckler said she just left her drive short on the playoff hole.

"That shot kind of hurt me, because she put herself on the green in two (shots)," she said. "She was able to two-putt for her par.

"It's disappointing. I was ahead by four with two holes to play, which is kind of bothering me right now. But I am pleased with the runner-up."

Andes Central coach Tom Cooney said he thinks the nerves got to Winckler.

"With anyone it would," he said. "She played well for two days and she gave it everything she had, and that's all you can ask."

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Winckler shot a 161 over the two-day event and her second-place finish helped Andes Central to a fifth-place finish. The Eagles shot a 587 as a team at the state tournament.

Jenna's sophomore twin sisters were the other two scorers for Andes Central. Kellie Winckler shot a 201 and Krista Winckler shot a 225. Rebecca Lehman added a 256 for the Eagles. The top three scores count for the team at the state tournament.

Cooney said there are a number of factors that will help make the runner-up finish a better experience for Jenna Winckler.

"I think the chance to play with her sisters and the team doing well and taking home hardware, that's something you can never take away from them," he said. "Any hardware you can bring home from a state tournament is always good. That was the girls' goal at the start of the year."

Andes Central finished in sixth place at last year's state tournament.

Freeman claimed its first-ever placing at the girls' state tournament with a fourth-place finish. The Flyers shot a 581 and were led by Courtney Lickteig, who finished in eighth place with a 173.

"It's a nice honor and our kids shot 17 strokes better (Tuesday) than they did (Monday)," Freeman coach Ryan Mors said. "So they certainly earned what they achieved. It was a great day for our kids."

Shelby Bauer shot a 195 for Freeman, Megan Egan added a 213 and Miranda Egan had a 291.

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South Central put together a score of 602 over two days to finish in seventh place. Kristen Shanahan led South Central with a 195, followed by Sydney Benter's 196. Teresa Opbroek added a 211 and Caitlyn Meyer carded a 252.

South Central coach Billie Jo Indahl said she is very excited with where the team finished.

"They played at their averages and consistent both days and stepped up," she said.

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