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Girls golf: Williams represents Bemidji at state meet

Bemidji’s Morgan Williams will play in the state Class 3A girls golf tournament today at Bunker Hills. Williams will hit the first tee at 8:42 a.m. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

COON RAPIDS -- During Monday's practice round at Bunker Hills, Bemidji's Morgan Williams sent her second shot of the day into the woods. Lumberjacks girls golf coach Jeff Nelson's advice after the shot was for Williams to throw the ball onto the fairway and forget the wayward shot.

"A golfer won't learn anything about the course by shooting from the woods during a practice round," Nelson said. "All Morgan has to do this week is relax. If she does that, she'll have a good state tournament."

After finishing the first hole Monday, Williams used a 3-wood on the tee on No. 2.

"And the shot was perfect. Long and down the middle," Nelson said. "I think Morgan was a little nerves on the first hole but her game seems to be back to normal now."

Williams will return to the East Course at Bunker Hills Tuesday at 8:42 a.m. for the first round of the Class 3A state meet. The sophomore will be paired with Claudia Kim of Stillwater, Erica Power of Apple Valley and Kate Drimel of St. Michael-Albertville.

The state experience actually began Monday with the practice round and the state banquet in the evening.

"The banquet is a time for the girls playing at state to get together and enjoy themselves," Nelson said. "It is a nice time."

Bemidji came up short in its bid to qualify for state as a team but Nelson believes that Williams will have a shot at finishing among the leaders after Wednesday's final 18 holes.

"I think a top-20 finish for Morgan would be very good but I also think, if she plays her normal game, that she is capable of placing in the top 10," Nelson said. "But this is her first time at the state meet and we have no idea how things will go. All I really want is for Morgan to relax, have fun and enjoy the experience. If she does that, wherever she ends up will be fine."

A pair of area golfers are also competing in the Class A state meetTuesday and Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.

Sasha Pfannenstein of Blackduck qualified for the state tournament by placing among the leaders in the Section 7A event and she will hit the first tee Tuesday at 8:24 a.m. Pfannenstein, who was 69th at state a year ago after shooting 108-116-224, will be paired with Lauren Laffen of Sleepy Eye, Olivia Toft of Nevis and Kristen Lilya of North Woods.

Sara Titera of Bagley also qualified for state from Section 8A and she will hit her first shot Tuesday at 8:33 a.m. Titera will play in a group that includes Heidi Guttormsson of Minneota, Whitney Fischer of Lakeview and Heidi Schultz of Mille Lacs.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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