It was a heady first day for Molly Larsen at the WIAA Division 1 girls state golf meet.

Larsen, a senior, fired an 84 Monday before shooting a 95 Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. Her two-day total of 179 tied her for 38th in the 78-player field.

“She had a phenomenal first day,” said Tomah coach Tonya Gnewikow.

Larsen shot a 39 on the front nine and one-putted three of her first nine holes. She finished the 18-hole round with just 38 putts and was tied for 26th after the first day.

Weather conditions deteriorated Tuesday, and Gnewikow said most of the field shot inflated scores during the second round. Larsen suffered a pair of four-putts, which caused her to lose ground to the rest of the field.

“Monday we were spoiled − it was sunny and warm,” Gnewikow said. “Tuesday, it was windy and cold. Molly putted out on the final hole, and literally five minutes after she left the putting green, a steady rain started.”

Gnewikow said Larsen also dealt with “mental and physical fatigue” from walking three rounds (including a practice round) on a course which covers eight miles from the first tee to the 18th green.

Mia Seeman of Milton won the individual title with a two-day total of 145, and Hartland Arrowhead ran away with the team championship, besting runnerup Milton by 27 strokes. Mississippi Valley Conference champion Onalaska was seventh out of 12 teams.

La Crosse Aquinas, which finished second in the Mississippi Valley Conference standings behind Onalaska, won the Division 2 title.

Larsen still finished in the top half of the Division 1 field, and Gnewikow said Larsen did her part to maintain a strong tradition of Tomah girls golf.

“It has been a wonderful experience coaching Molly,” Gnewikow said. “She has grown in leadership, and that helps our numbers and makes people want to come out for golf.”

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Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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