COON RAPIDS -- For the first time in her career, Taylor Offerdahl carded a sub-80 score at state.
The Bemidji High School senior was one of three Lumberjacks participating in the Class 3A state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids on Tuesday, and she finished day one with a six-over-par 78 and a share of 17th place.
“Taylor had a really good, solid day,” BHS girls head coach Paul Daman said. “She really didn’t make any big mistakes, she kept the ball in play, she made some nice up and downs. Her swing was good, her emotions were even-keeled. It was just a good day for her.”
Offerdahl opened on the back nine and was three-over through nine. She matched the score on the front nine, which included a birdie on No. 6, to close a day where she tallied 11 pars.
It was the top state performance for the three-year veteran and Bemidji State commit. Her previous best was an 84 on day two of the 2018 tourney.
“I think experience is a huge factor for all of these kids,” Daman said. “Once they’ve been here once or twice and realize that they belong and that they’re good enough to compete here, their scores get better every year. It was really nice to see her have a good day today.”
Alongside Offerdahl, junior Damaris Berg finished with an 18-over 90 on Tuesday. Berg is tied for 64th.
“Damaris, her long game was actually pretty solid today. Her short game wasn’t as good as she would like it to be,” Daman said. “Damaris didn’t get off to a good start, but I thought she kept her head, and she battled.
“She didn’t have that experience to lean on. I think she was probably a little bit nervous, and as the round wore on, she just started to play her game. I was proud of her day, as well.”
On the boys side, senior Bjorn Jorgenson tied for 74th with an 11-over 83. After an eight-over front nine, Jorgenson settled in with a three-over 39 on the back nine.
“The front nine, he struggled off the tee a little bit and spent most of it punching out of trees. It’s very hard to score that way,” boys head coach Seth Knudson said. “He kind of got it straightened out the second nine and put together a better nine. Hopefully that’ll give him some momentum for tomorrow.”
Isabella McCauley of Simley is atop the girls leaderboard after a five-under round of 67. She leads all golfers on the day, as there’s a four-way tie for first on the boys side with a two-under 70. Brock Winter of Stillwater, Connor Glynn of Waconia, Logan Hamak of Sartell-St. Stephen and Muzzy Donohue of St. Thomas Academy all share the top spot.
Jorgenson will have Bemidji’s earliest wake-up call for day two of the tournament. He’ll tee off from No. 1 at 8:51 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, to finish his high school career.
“I think he’s going to work with the momentum from the second nine today,” Knudson said. “He hit the ball pretty well in the second nine, and if he brings that into tomorrow, I think he’ll score just fine.”
Berg will start her day on No. 10 at noon Wednesday, and Offerdahl will follow from the same starting point at 12:36 p.m.
“I would love to see Taylor repeat what she did today. I would like to see her break 80 and have a real good two-day score,” Daman said. “For Damaris, knock a couple strokes off what she did today. … Both of them tomorrow, just improve a little bit.”