Golf: East Ridge golfers learn, grow at state championships
The state golf championships took place at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was two very different days of weather, which caused the younger East Ridge golfers to adapt quickly.
East Ridge had one boy and one girl make appearances at the state championships. The two golfers finished in the middle of the pack but had many learning experiences throughout the two days.
The weather was a big factor for many of the golfers throughout the two days. The first day consisted of cold and rain causing the ball to stop once it reached the ground. The second day was sunny and windy, which made golf balls travel farther distances but also caused them to travel into trees and such.
East Ridge brought eighth-grader Justin Luan and sophomore Kyra Venne to state to represent the Raptors.
Luan was excited to come to state and compete for an individual state title. He started his two days with a strong outing as he shot 75 overall and was sitting at 3-over par heading into the second day.
He shot a 38 on the front nine and managed to hit par the majority of the second nine holes until he reached the final two holes of the day. Luan shot two bogeys to end his round and add two more strokes to his final total.
On the second day, Luan shot 39 on the front nine holes and 41 on the back nine to score a total of 80. That score bumped up his overall total to 11-over par and he finished in 37th place overall.
"It was a fun, learning experience to play at state this year," Luan said. "I appreciate my coaches, teammates and family that came out to support me during the two days. We have a really good team for next spring and I'm hoping to help in getting the team to state next year."
While East Ridge boys head coach Bret Brokins was standing next to Luan for all 36 holes, Venne was walking with East Ridge girls head coach Kathy Madden for her two days. Venne said she liked having Madden next to her and her family and friends not to far away because they gave her confidence and smiles the entire time.
Venne finished 37th overall as well for the girls individuals with a final score of 24-over par. On her first day, she had an up and down day with bogeys, pars and birdies throughout all 18 holes. She finished with a 39 on the front nine and 42 on the back nine to make a total of 81 and 9-over par on the first day.
She continued on the second day with a strong front nine as she hit a 40, but the back nine was tough for Venne. She ended with a 47, which brought her total score to 87 and completed her 24-over par over the two days.
"It was special to represent East Ridge at state and be a Raptor for these two days," Venne said. "It was nice to learn from some of these golfers and use it to get ready for next spring. I'm hoping to bring what I've learned her to the golf team next year."
The two golfers are not seniors and are rather young, so the hope for these coaches is to see them back at state for another year next spring. Along with these individuals, they hope to see more golfers as well as teams reach state and represent the Cottage Grove area.