Tigers on upswing headed to state

PHOTO BY MIKE CARROLLL/PLAINSMAN The Huron girls’ golf team will close the season at the Class AA State Tournament today and Tuesday at Bakker Crossing Golf Course in Sioux Falls. From left: Libby Picek, Karlie Bigelow, Bryn Huber and Kenya Bigelow.

HURON — Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Eastern South Dakota Conference Tournament, the Huron girls’ golf team is set to close the season at the Class AA State Tournament, which is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at Bakker Crossing Golf Course in Sioux Falls.

“My expectations are pretty high going into this state tournament. This is basically the same team we have had for the last three years,” Huron coach Chris Rozell said. “With their improvement and experience, expectations should be pretty high for them.

“The girls have shown some inconsistency this season but have been steadily improving that towards the end of the season,” he said. “We have finished towards the top of the pack in some meets this year, so I am excited to see what we can do over two days at the state tournament.”

While the Tigers don’t have a lot of experience playing at the course hosting the season-ending event, Rozell believes it will suit his team well.

“Bakker Crossing is a fair golf course for the girls. It is a short course that is right in front of them, meaning you can see any trouble that is out there,” Rozell said. “I feel that it is a good golf course for the girls because of the lack of trees. We seem to find them more often than not, so that is a good thing. Forecast for state is high winds so playing conditions still will be difficult.”

Leading Huron into the state tournament will be senior Karlie Bigelow.  

“I am very excited for Karlie. As difficult as it has been being done with school for so long and keeping her focus on golf, she has done it,” Rozell said. “She is playing her best golf of the season. A fourth-place finish at ESD should have given her a lot of confidence for state.

“She has done a lot for the girls’ golf program the last five years,” he said. “I am proud of what she has accomplished and excited to see how it ends.”

Also a frontrunner at meets this season for the Tigers has been sophomore Bryn Huber.  

“Bryn works very hard on her game. She has had a great season,” Rozell said. “She has been in the 70s twice this season and finished 10th at ESD for All-ESD honors.

“She is struggling with her swing a little bit but will battle through it and I’m sure have much success,”  he said.

Rounding out the lineup for Huron will be juniors Kenya Bigelow and Libby Picek.

“I am most excited for Kenya and Libby,” Rozell said. “Kenya achieved All-ESD for the second time this year.

“They both hit so many great shots in rounds, but struggle to shoot scores they want,” he said. “They need to improve on their chipping and putting throughout the state tournament.”

The first 18 holes of play will begin at 8 a.m., today, with the final 18 holes to be played on Tuesday.  

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