Nelson finishes in sole possession of 16th place, Huus ties for 31st at state golf
JORDAN — Becca Huus and Rachel Nelson embark on the first 18 holes at Ridges at Sand Creek this afternoon during day one play at the State Class 2A golf tournament.
Nelson tees off at 1:04 p.m. on hole No. 10 in her second consecutive state appearance. Huus makes her state debut at 1:21 on Hole No. 1.
Nelson cruised through regular season play finishing as the Heart O’ Lakes Conference’s most valuable player with a stroke average of 40.9 in her senior season. Right behind her was Huus, a freshman, the HOL’s second best golfer with a 41.2.
Nelson marked Huus in a preseason feature story as the one teammate she thought had the best shot of joining her at state this year.
“I have a lot of faith in Becca Huus,” Nelson said in late March. “I think she’s going to get to state.”
Nelson was the only Yellowjacket playing at the 2012 state tournament, but not the only one present.
“I asked Becca to come with me, because I didn’t want to be the only one alone in the hotel room,” said Nelson.
The state tournament is an intense environment upon first visit and Huus seeing it as an eighth-grader was good preparation for what she’ll be feeling on the first tee box this afternoon.
Nelson knows all about that.
“My first tee off was so nerve wracking because I didn’t want to biff it,” Nelson said. “The second day I was a lot more confident.”
Girls golf in Perham has had a run of individuals at the state tournament in recent years and three seasons ago it was Nelson watching Kaylan Huber and Holly Karkela during Nelson’s sophomore season.
Karkela finished 14th overall with a score of 164 shooting consistent rounds of 40, 41, 41 and 42 in hectic weather conditions. The final day of the state tournament was the same day tornadoes ripped through the metro and in Wadena. At one point, the wind was bending the pins to the point the flags were bent a foot off the turf.
Conditions at Ridges can whip and change drastically in little time.
“At one point it was pouring rain,” Nelson said.
Karkela and Huber were obvious influences and Nelson used what she learned to lead the team during her junior and senior seasons and is now set for the last two days of her golfing career in Perham.
“I tried to live up to Holly a little bit,” Nelson said. “That’s so hard. The fact that we had such a great golfer there before and I had such big shoes to fill, it really motivated me a lot.”
She’ll hand over the leadership duties to Huus Wednesday afternoon, however, at the Section 8AA meet, it was Huus who found her way to the state tournament with a low qualifying round of 80.
“I’m just really happy,” Huus said after finishing her round.
It was Nelson who had to rally and Huus found herself in the gallery supporting Nelson, who had to battle a three-hole playoff against three golfers for the last qualifying spot.
When Nelson sunk the winning putt, it was Huus who was first to race to Nelson for an emotional exchange.
The plan for the duo to make it to state that began with Nelson predicting it preseason came to fruition in a big hug and tears knowing they had made that dream come true.
In a year where seven Perham teams have claimed section titles punching tickets to state, Huus and Nelson continue one of the most successful seasons in Perham’s athletics this afternoon ready to add two more great stories to the mix of 2012-13’s Yellowjacket success.
Results are being posted live on MSHSL.org. As of 3:30 p.m. Friday, both golfers are near making the turn to their respective back nines. Becca Huus shot a 42 on the front nine.
Nelson carded a 43 on the back nine, then rallied with a 38 on the front nine for a total of 81. She is currently tied for 14th place. Huus shot 45 on the back side and is in 32nd place with an 87.
"I'll get it done tomorrow," said Nelson. "I have my sights set on top 10 now."
"The greens were hard to read," Huus said. "My putting would not work for me. I didn't play as well as I could of, because of my putts. I need to forget about it and play better tomorrow."
Natalie Roth of Detroit Lakes leads with a 70.
Wednesday tee times are Huus at 12:18 on No. 1 and Nelson two flights back with a 12:36 p.m. tee on No. 1,
Day two began like the season did. Delayed by weather. Excessive rain canceled nine holes of the entire 2A tournament leaving players little room to move around in the standings.
Both Huus and Nelson shot matching 41s and both played the back nine holes.
Huus finished in a four-way tie for 31st place with a score of 128. Nelson ended her Perham career with a 16th place finish with a score of 122, an improvement of 20 places from her 36th place finish last season. It was the best finish by a Perham girls golfer since Karkela tied for 14th place in 2011.