Keenan Souve shot a 79 in the first round to advance to the second round of the Class 3A State Championships on Wednesday, May 27, at Horn Rapids Golf Course.
The cut was set at 81 and Souve made it by two strokes. He currently sits in 27th place going into the second round. Daniel Erickson shot an 87 and Dane Larsen shot a 93 to miss the first-round cut.
“All three guys struggled in the front nine and were sitting around 10 over par at the turn,” Ferndale coach Joel Wark said in a phone interview.
Souve finished under par in the back nine to solidify himself a spot in the second round.
“Keenan (Souve) was able to turn it around and shoot really well on the back,” Wark said. “He was able to figure it out and get going. He got confident with the short game and started one-putting in the back.”
Making the second round was all that was on Souve’s mind going into state.
“I started my round thinking about making the second day,” he said. “Just play some golf and have fun. On the turn, I was thinking ‘Oh boy, there’s no way I’m going to make it now.’ But then I went 1-under on the back.”
Hitting greens and converting the one-putts will be the gameplan for Souve going into the second round, noting that the greens are quick, which makes lengthy putts difficult.
“Just hit greens and try to one-putt,” Souve said of his approach for the second round. “Get birdies and shoot mid 70s, hopefully.”
Erickson found the water twice on hole nine that set him back a bit heading into the turn and couldn’t recover.
“When you hit two in the water it’s hard,” Wark said. “He tried to bounce back but that one hole was just a bit much.”
Erickson, a senior for the Golden Eagles, never touched a golf club until his first practice as a freshman, Wark said.
“It’s a pretty phenomenal thing,” he said, “to have an opportunity to play at state. It’s something people don’t accomplish.”
Larsen struck the ball well and chipped excellent, Wark noted, but never was able to get the putter going. As a sophomore, Larsen will have two more years to improve on his performance this season.
For the Ferndale girls’ golf team, Cienna Semsak shot a 96 and missed the cut by two strokes. Jillian Anderson shot a 107 on the first day.
“We hung in there and watched the leaderboard for a long time thinking she was going to make it,” Ferndale coach Margie Hovde said in a phone interview. “But it turned out she didn’t make it. She has a great attitude about it.”
Semsak, a senior for Ferndale, played well but her drives weren’t as long as usual, Hovde mentioned.
For Anderson, it was the putting that struggled after leaving a lot of shots on the course, Hovde said. Heading into her senior year, Hovde expects to see her back competing at state.
“She is inspired,” Hovde said. “I expect she will be back.”