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Detroit Lakes girls leap out to lead after first day of Minnesota state golf meet

Detroit Lakes golfer Kate Smith watches her approach shot to the 14th green during the first round of the Minnesota Class 2A state girls golf meet on Tuesday. Brian Basham / Forum News Service

JORDAN, Minn. – The expected result after the first day of the Minnesota Class 2A state girls golf meet came to fruition, with top-ranked Detroit Lakes leading the way by 33 strokes over second-place Red Wing.

But what wasn’t expected is the individual leader of the field after the first 18 holes of play at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course.

The Lakers’ depth was in the spotlight once again Tuesday, as the team’s No. 6 golfer, junior Sydney Busker leads the field after shooting an even par 72. Two of her teammates are in close chase, as senior Trisa Hutchinson and sophomore Kate Smith each carded a one-over par 73.

Add in senior Natalie Roth’s 75, and the Lakers broke their 2013 state meet one-day record of 297 with a 293 this time around.

“I’m not surprised at all about Sydney’s even par round,” said DL head coach Cali Harrier. “She’s been on the verge of shooting that all season, she’s just peaking at the right time now.”

Visitation freshman Annie Heck and Pequot Lakes’ junior Maggie Heggerston also are in the hunt for state medalist honors with a 73.

Entering the state meet as DL’s usual No. 6 golfer, Busker started the early morning tee times on fire by making birdies on her first two holes. From there, she sunk her intermediate distance putts and rarely found trouble off the fairway to make four birdies, along with four bogeys.

“Those two birdies on the first two holes really can get you going,” Busker said. “My putts were rolling in pretty well, so that was good. But there are always things you can fix and turn around tomorrow.”

Even though there is good inner-team competition amongst the Lakers, Hutchinson is very happy for her teammate, even though she will be chasing Busker tomorrow for those elusive state medalist honors.

“I couldn’t be any more proud of Sydney,” Hutchinson said. “I am a proud captain, a proud senior and a proud teammate. She is the most humble person I know. I feel so blessed be a part of something so great with this team.”

Hutchinson has been on a good roll since the Class 2A, Section 8, Sub-Section meet, with all aspects of her game being solid Tuesday.

“My driver felt solid and that helps,” Hutchinson said. “I felt good out there. I will take it one shot at a time tomorrow, one hole at a time and just play the course.”

Smith and Roth each know about the chase for medalist honors, since each were 2013 state co-medalists last year.

Smith recovered from a sub-par section meet, at least to her standards, to shoot her 73 to put her back in contention for a potential third-straight medalist honor.

“To sum it up, I was frustratingly consistent,” Smith said. “I just kept making pars. I didn’t putt great, didn’t hit it great. I had to grind it out, so I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.”

With a 33-stroke gap cushioning the Lakers’ lead, Wednesday’s road to their third-straight Class 2A championship looks to be a smooth one.

With the massive depth the Lakers have, afterall seniors Matty Tschider’s four-over par 76 and Emma Thompson’s 85 did not count on the team’s first day team score, much would have to go wrong for a three-peat not to happen.

Team scores: Detroit Lakes 293, Red Wing 326, Pequot Lakes 328, Minnewaska Area 341, Osakis 366, Visitation 367, Jordan 371, Breck 371.

Top 10: 1, Busker, DL, 72. 2 (tie), Hutchinson, DL; Heggertson, PL; Smith, DL; Heck, V, 73. 6, Sorenson, Rocori, 74. 7, Roth, DL, 75. 8 (tie), Schammel, RW; Tschider, DL, 76. 10, Janu, M, 77.

Area finishers

Detroit Lakes: 25, Thompson, 85.

Pelican Rapids: 33, Bekkerus, 87.

Perham: 30, Huus, 86.

Staples-Motley: 11, Israelson, 78.

Wadena-Deer Creek: 30, Theisen, 86.