Tigers seek strong finish at state meet

MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Huron’s Karlie Bigelow, left, putts on the No. 18 green during the Eastern South Dakota Conference Golf Meet held May 23 at Broadland Creek Golf Course. Huron’s Kenya Bigelow chips during the Eastern South Dakota Conference Meet held May 23 at Broadland Creek Golf Course.

HURON — Despite having a less that ideal season weatherwise and results-wise, Huron girls’ golf coach Chris Rozell is hoping his young team can put things together for a strong finish during the Class AA State Meet, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Cattail Crossing Golf Course in Watertown.
“This has been a very challenging spring golf season. The weather has prevented our young team from getting quality practice time,” Rozell said. “We have had good days for our meets, but little time after that to work on parts of their game that they need to. Our scores have really not improved as the season has progressed as a result of that.”
In addition to a strong field of more experienced golfers, also providing a big challenge for the Tigers will be the course the meet will be hosted at.
“We have not play all that well there this season. We have had many rounds there, so I hope that is to our advantage,” Rozell said. “We will play what they call the red course and yellow course.
“The red course for our girls is the most challenging. They have to hit over more water and must think a bit more. The yellow course has more trees, but wider fairways,” he said. “They play different so that is also challenging. In order to be successful they will need to use the experience playing the course and use better course management.”
Leading Huron into the tournament will be sophomore Karlie Bigelow. She finished seventh in the Eastern South Dakota Conference to earn All-ESD honors this season for the Tigers.
Joining the sophomore on Huron’s roster for the state meet will be freshman Kenya Bigelow and eighth-grader Bryn Huber, who both have previous state meet experience.
“Kenya was the medalist for us this season in Aberdeen and Huron,” Rozell said. “Bryn has improved her average by 14 strokes from last season.”
Rounding out the roster this season for the Tigers is freshman Libby Picek, who stepped into a varsity role for the first time.
“Libby Picek has taken on each meet this season with no experience,” Rozell said. “I am proud of how she has done this year.”
While Rozell isn’t expecting his young team to challenge for one of the top spots in the final standings, he is looking forward to seeing how the team’s previous experience on the course lends itself to its performance in the state meet.
“I want the girls to gain experience of the state meet atmosphere,” Rozell said. “With the youth of this team, the more times they go through it the better for the future.
“With the drive this group has, I expect them to all show their best of the season over two days of competition,” he said.
Huron was seventh out of 16 teams in last year’s state meet.
Sioux Falls O’Gorman is the two-time defending state champion and will be looking to claim it’s fifth state title in the past six years. The Knights have won seven of the past nine Class AA state girls’ golf title.

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