N.D. state Class A girls golf tournament: Kraft wins third straight title
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- When it comes to state tournaments, Jamestown High School senior Laura Kraft has seen just about everything. But on Tuesday, the two-time defending state champion did something neither she nor the state of North Dakota had ever...
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- When it comes to state tournaments, Jamestown High School senior Laura Kraft has seen just about everything.
But on Tuesday, the two-time defending state champion did something neither she nor the state of North Dakota had ever witnessed.
Kraft drained a two-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Jamestown Country Club to become the first three-time state girls' golf champion after fighting off a charging Sarah Storandt of Fargo Shanley down the stretch.
"There was definitely some excitement and adrenaline going," Kraft said. "Knowing that there is not much left between me and making history was really, really exciting."
Grand Forks' top placer was Red River's JoDee Wheeler, who shot an 86 for a two-day total of 176. She was the only Grand Forks golfer in the top 20. Wheeler, the East Region champion, finished 14th.
Kraft, who will be attending the University of Missouri next year to join the Tigers women's golf team, shot three strokes worse than she did in the opening round, but her five-stroke cushion entering the day paid off.
"It was agony on the golf course to watch it," said Jamestown coach and Laura's father, Dean Kraft. "It was pretty much just her out there. She kind of shooed me away and took care of business herself. It's a great accomplishment. You kind of hope there are girls that look at that and say, 'I want to do that someday.' "
Laura Kraft clung to a five-stroke lead at the turn after shooting an even-par 36 on the front nine, but she hit a bit of a speed bump on her next two holes.
The West Region champ pulled her drives on both the 10th and 11th holes, which eventually led to back-to-back bogeys, but a par on No. 12 and a birdie on No. 13 got her back on track.
"I was just telling myself to think of it as every other tournament," Laura Kraft said. "I just had to take a deep breathe and just keep going."
Storandt matched Laura Kraft's 36 on the front nine, but jumped out with three straight pars on the back, to cut the lead to three strokes.
The Shanley senior got to within two strokes, but Laura Kraft wasn't about to let the opportunity to make history slip through her fingers.
Bismarck Century, comprised entirely of seniors, nipped Minot by three strokes to win the team title. Century finished with a 674.
Grand Forks Red River finished sixth at 744. The Riders cut 12 strokes off their team total from Monday's round.
Grand Forks Central was 13th with an 844.
The Riders' Ashley Knecht and Maggi Ferry finished in a tie for 28th. Knecht shot a 95 on the final day while Ferry fired a 91.
Central was led by Taylor Lund, who shot a 99 on Tuesday.