Falcons, Heggenes finish second at girls golf state

South Whidbey sophomore Kolby Heggenes placed second as an individual at the 1A girls golf state championships May 24-25 at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane. The Falcons placed second overall as a team

South Whidbey sophomore girls golfer Kolby Heggenes had the best round of her life this week.

She shot a 73 on the second day of the class 1A girls golf state championships Wednesday at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane, finishing second overall. Thanks to Heggenes’ round and an eighth-place finish by senior Tarra Moore, South Whidbey placed second as a team for the second consecutive year. King’s, led by state champion Hannah Roh’s winning round of 69, won the state championships for the third straight year.

South Whidbey’s third state competitor, first-year player junior Emily Turpin missed the cut of 94 after shooting 107 in the first round.

Though she was disappointed the Falcons fell short of a team title, Heggenes was proud to have finished as an individual runner-up. She finished 13th overall in 2015.

“It was by far the best I’ve ever shot,” Heggenes said.

Heggenes was tied for second after the first day, shooting an 82. Despite being within reaching distance of the coveted title, Heggenes said she kept her nerves and expectations in check in the hours following the first round.

“I mean, if I get second place, great, if I shoot the worst round of my life, that’s too bad,” Heggenes said. “Still, I was just ecstatic to make it to the second day.”

Heggenes separated herself from the rest of the pack with her second round score, creating a four-shot lead between her and third-place finishers Lucy Mitchum of Highland and Hannah Hughes of Seattle Academy.

Heggenes credited the career-best round to playing alongside Roh, a senior and four-time state placer. The top-three players — Heggenes, Mitchum and Roh — played in a single group. Watching Roh conduct her business on the course rubbed off on Heggenes, who battled with Roh despite some slip-ups on the course here and there.

“I learned a lot from her,” Heggenes said. “I don’t know if I would have shot a 73 if I hadn’t played with her.”

“She’s just an all-around solid player. I learned a lot about how she played, how she thought about her shots and how she went about her round.”

First-year head coach Garth Heggenes — Kolby’s father — felt Heggenes grew as a player throughout the season, despite a tough match during the 1A District 1 tournament May 12. He added that the experience of not only coaching his daughter throughout the season but witnessing her succeed at a high level was joyful.

“Actually seeing all the trials and tribulations of a season and then  being able to put it all together at the right moment makes you proud as a parent and as a coach,” Garth Heggenes said.

To shoot a 73 requires a solid performance in all aspects of the game, from drives to putting, Garth Heggenes said. After following Kolby throughout the two-day tournament, Garth said she did that in all the aforementioned areas.

“To shoot that, everything has to be clicking right,” Garth Heggenes said. “She got into a few tough situations but she responded really well.”

“I think the best thing was her putting,” he added.

There were things, however, that she could have done better. Kolby Heggenes recalled one such moment on hole nine on the second day. She bogeyed the hole after missing a shorter putt.

“There’s always stuff to improve on,” Heggenes said. “I was still ecstatic with the score.”

Heggenes has aspirations of playing collegiate golf, though it’s easy to forget she will only be a junior next season.

“It’s the goal, I definitely want to go play somewhere,” Heggenes said.

Heggenes thanked assistant coach Grant Lancaster for his help throughout the season in improving her swing and other aspects of her game. She was also grateful for the opportunity to play at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club throughout the season.