State golf tees off today

BECKER – The Class A state golf meet at Pebble Creek in Becker is nothing new for Lauren Laffen and Karrah Remus.

Laffen is a two-time state qualifier who finished second at last year’s meet as a freshman. She also tied with Remus for 39th overall each with a 193 two-day score in 2012, when Sleepy Eye placed third as a team at state.

This year, however, Laffen had to win a playoff to earn the final state bid from Section 2A after shooting a 99.

“She’s had her ups and downs with her overall ball-striking this year – she’s just not hitting the ball very solid,” said Sleepy Eye coach Kaleb Walter. “Her scores have gone up a little bit. But over the past week she’s made some good improvements during practice and we’re pretty optimistic for [Tuesday] and the next day.”

Remus was the medalist at the section meet last season. Walter said even though her scores have gotten a little higher this year, she expects to do well for her senior outing at state.

“I think Karrah’s gunning for the top 20,” Walter said. “She should get something in the high 80s both days.”

Springfield freshman Callie Wersal will be making her debut at state one season after getting beaten by then-senior teammate Shelby Schultz for the final state bid.

Wersal comes into state having earned medalist honors at this year’s Section 2A meet on the girl’s side as Springfield’s lone qualifier.

“I’m guessing it’s going to be a lot more serious,” Wersal said of what she expects at state. “It’s going to have better, more competition.”

Wersal said the time she put into honing her putting has been one of the key catalysts for her improvement on the course. The development of her drives and fareway shots has also contributed to her improvement.

“In the beginning of the season I started off really bad – around 116 – but I knew I could play better,” Wersal said. “Actually, a couple weeks ago I started playing a lot better.”

Courtney Nelsen of Cedar Mountain will also be making her first-ever state berth, having qualified out of Section 2A. Akin to Wersal, the path to state for Nelsen did not come without hard work.

“I’ve been practicing out at the Dacotah Ridge almost every night,” Nelsen said. “I’ve put a lot of time in my drives; just [gaining] a lot of confidence.”

Nelsen, a junior, is Cedar Mountain’s first state qualifier since Laura Fox, who finished 22nd overall in 2011.

The state meet for all three classes will take place Tuesday and Wednesday. The girls in all three classes will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, while the boys will begin at noon.

Wersal tees off at 8:51 a.m. and Remus starts at 8:42 a.m. Nelsen and Laffen tee off at 8:24 a.m.

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