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MHS girls' golf ready for state meet

The Mitchell High School girls' golf team has some familiarity with the course it will be finishing its season on. The Kernels played Brookings Country Club last week for the Great 8 Tournament. Mitchell's top two golfers also made a trip to Broo...

Courtney Kirby
Mitchell's Courtney Kirby chips onto the fourth green during the Eastern South Dakota Conference girls' golf meet earlier this month at Lakeview Golf Course. (Travis Mester/Republic)

The Mitchell High School girls' golf team has some familiarity with the course it will be finishing its season on.

The Kernels played Brookings Country Club last week for the Great 8 Tournament. Mitchell's top two golfers also made a trip to Brookings to play a practice round last week at the course that will be hosting the Class AA high school girls' golf tournament Monday and Tuesday.

Sophomore Kristin Sabers and senior Courtney Kirby -- two golfers that led the Kernels to a fifth-place finish at the Eastern South Dakota Conference Meet two weeks ago -- will try and use that experience

"It's a nice course, but I think it's more difficult than Lakeview (Golf Course)," Sabers said of Brookings Country Club. "The greens play a lot faster.

"Reading is not bad, but finding the roll is tough up there."

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The Kernels will get one last look at the course when they play a practice round scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

Mitchell coach Mark Horan said the team has a plan to better their performance from what they posted at the Great 8 Tournament. The Kernels finished seventh in the eight-team field and Sabers led the way with a fourth-place individual finish, but no other individual was able to finish in the top 25.

"Our goal is for everybody to improve three strokes off what we shot at the Great 8," Horan said. "We analyzed hole-by-hole and saw where we shot the big numbers and we're hoping we can pick up three strokes from all of our girls."

Sabers, who shot a season-best 82 to tie for third at the ESD Conference Meet on May 7 at Lakeview, will be in the second foursome at the state meet. She will be teeing off at 10:10 a.m. Monday. Taylar Rotert, of Huron, Hailee Pieper, of Watertown, and Sioux Falls Washington's Jenna Juliano will play alongside Sabers for the first 18 holes of the tournament. Sabers has never been in the top two groups in her state-tournament career. She shot a 98 and finished in a tie for 39th at last year's state meet in Spearfish.

Scores from conference tournaments dictate pairings on Day 1 of the state tournament, which begins at 10 a.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The first foursome includes Yankton sophomore Megan Mingo, Brookings senior Dani Selberg, Rapid City Stevens eighth-grader Erin Rezich and Sioux Falls O'Gorman junior Michaela Kouri. Mingo shot a 77 to win the ESD individual title.

Kirby shot an 89 on her way to being named to the all-ESD team a few weeks ago. She will tee off at 10:50 a.m. alongside Aberdeen Central's Ashley Rook, Yankton's Kaitlyn Erickson and Pierre's Paige Erickson.

Kirby echoed Sabers' thoughts on the greens at Brookings Country Club.

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"For me, it's like putting on solid ground," Kirby said. "You have to land the balls from high, otherwise, it's going to roll away on you."

Kendra Cersosimo, a junior, and freshman Macy Miller each shot 97s at the ESD Conference Meet. Cersosimo will be teeing off at 11:40 a.m. and Miller will begin her state tournament at 11:50 a.m.

Senior Angie Lorenzen carded a 103 at the conference meet and will tee off at 10:20 a.m.

"If we turn half of our double-bogeys into bogeys, we'd be doing pretty well," Horan said.

Mitchell will play only five players because its usual No. 6 golfer -- Allysa Sorenson -- injured her back in practice last week and will be unable to compete.

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