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GIRLS GOLF: Kelm caps career by finishing 13th at state tournament

COON RAPIDS -- Abbie Kelm reached new heights Wednesday at the Class 3A girls golf state tournament.

The recent Bemidji High School graduate carded an 80 in the second round at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids to finish the two-day tournament in 13th place, the highest state tournament finish of her career. After posting a 76 Tuesday, Kelm shot 40 on both the front and back nine Wednesday to finish with an overall score of 156.

Abbie Kelm

“I wouldn’t say it was my best day out there, but for senior year, I was happy with the end in 13th,” Kelm said. “It was a good last day.”

“She played well, but she just wasn’t super sharp,” BHS head coach Paul Daman said. “She hit a couple balls that just rolled into the water today and had to take a couple penalty shots, missed a couple short putts she would probably like to have back. But over two days she played really good golf.”

In two previous state tournament appearances, Kelm finished tied for 62nd with a 177 as a sophomore in 2016 before improving to finish in a tie for 34th as a junior last season with a 169.

“I was happy just after sophomore year to junior year with the improvement, and this year I was especially happy with where I finished and everything,” said Kelm, who also ended the tournament as the highest-ranked golfer outside of the Twin Cities metro area.

Taylor Offerdahl rounded out the second state tournament of her career Wednesday, improving on her 57th-place finish from last season and lowering her score by seven strokes.

The junior posted a second-round score of 84 for an overall score of 173 to finish in a tie for 46th. Offerdahl recorded a 39 on the front nine Wednesday and a 45 on the back, following her 89 on Tuesday.

“Taylor improved by five shots, even though she had one disastrous hole,” Daman said. “If she wouldn’t have had one disastrous hole, she would have had quite a day. She made an 11 on a par five on the back nine. Had she not made that score, for the rest of her 17 holes, she was only six over. She played solid golf today.”

Taylor Offerdahl

Offerdahl will have a chance to follow in Kelm’s footsteps by qualifying for a third consecutive state tournament next season. Kelm, meanwhile, will continue her golf career at the University of North Dakota next year.

“It definitely helps, just the competition, because you’re playing against so much better kids,” Kelm said of playing in three state tournaments, “and they know more, so it helps you more and more. I think it definitely will help going into next year and further on.”

Kathryn Van Arragon, a seventh grader from Blaine, won the Class 3A individual state title with a two-day score of 143 to finish three strokes ahead of her nearest opponent. She shot 70 Tuesday and 73 Wednesday.

Edina won the Class 3A team state title by two strokes over Roseville, 638-640.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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