It was tough keeping up with the top team in the state on day one of the girls golf Class A state finals for the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton Bulldogs at the Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker Tuesday, but the golfers are taking nothing but positives from their first experience at the competition.

The girls finished in last out of the nine teams competing after round one, though it should be noted that competition was stiff, as all of the teams competing were the best in Class A this season. Freshman Kirsten Thell led the way for the Bulldogs by shooting a 50 on the first nine and putting up a 53 on the back nine. She finished with a +31 and shot a 103 overall. Sophomore Dani Gerdts had a similar finish as she shot a 51 through the first half of the course and shot a 58 on the last nine in the afternoon. Gerdts finished with a +37 and shot a 109 overall.

Sophomore Taylor Rinehart finished five strokes behind Gerdts, as she shot a 53 on the first nine and put up a 61 on the back nine. She finished with a 114 on the afternoon and was +42. Sophomore Kiya Erler closed out the team with a 128 in round one and shot a 61 through the first nine. She struggled on the second half of the course where she shot a 67.

“The team played good today. They calmed their nerves got used to the crowds that followed them. I’m looking forward to improvements for tomorrow. It has been a very fun and exciting opportunity,” coach Sharon Keyes said.

BOLD high is in the lead with a +57 after round one, led by Makayla Snow. Lac Qui Parle Valley is in second after shooting +65 and Park Christian rounds out the top three with a +75 on the day.

The Bulldogs will look to turn things around on day two, as Kiya Erler will tee-off first for the team at 12:54 p.m. Taylor Rinehart is set to start her day at 1:12 p.m. and Dani Gerdts will follow her at 1:21 p.m. Kirsten Thell will be in the last group to start day two of the competition at 1:30 p.m. at the Pebble Creek golf club in Becker.

Reach Sports reporter Shafin Khan at 507-835-4283.

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