A tale of two OttersPublished 10:38am Monday, June 10, 2013
A first time state tournament experience is different for everyone.
For two Fergus Falls golfers, the tournament represents different things.
Junior Levi Soydara’s story is that of experiencing the tournament atmosphere, knowing a strong showing will give next season more promise, while senior Megan Niblock writes the final chapter of her high school golf career.
Soydara’s consistent play this season was overshadowed by teammates Chris Swenson and Keaton Lausch, but when push came to shove, he was the one that would advance to the state tournament, shotting a 75, and not the later.
“Levi was solid from start to finish,” Otter boys coach Ben Jurgens said. “He went into the section tournament with a plan and executed it.”
Soydara credits his teammates for keeping practices competitive as it has helped improve his play.
“Keaton and Chris are great competition and by playing with them, helps me post good scores,” said Soydara. “Talking with the guys has really helped shape my own game.”
Even with his busy schedule, which included an ACT test, marching band practice and other extra-curricular, Soydara and his dad found time to play the state tournament course, Ridges at Sand Creek.
“We played for lunch that day. I ended up tying him, but after we looked at our scorecards, he had to buy,” Soydara laughed.
In Niblock’s case, Coach Jon Harris felt that she could make the tournament, as long as she stayed aggressive. After shooting a 40 on the front nine, Niblock finished the round with a 43 for a 83 total.
Harris believes that Niblock’s hard work ethic is what got her to the state tournament, while both coach and player believe that her mid-iron play is her strong point.
“She has really learned to trust and have faith in her ability to make shots,” Harris said. “She has improved her short game. This came from a lot of work on the putting green.”
Niblock couldn’t ask for a better way to end her time on the Otter girls team.
“I don’t think my athletic career could have ended any better than participating in the state golf tournament,” Niblock said of qualifying for the state tournament. “I have enjoyed my time as a student athlete here and I would like to thank all of my coaches and teachers for their support over the years, especially Coach Harris for pushing and encouraging me to do my best in the game of golf.”
Each golfer has been focusing on their short game in preparation for the tournament.
“If your short game is on, you can post good numbers regardless of how you are driving,” Jurgens added.
Both golfers will play a practice round Monday in Jordan before opening the state tournament Tuesday. Soydara will tee-off at 8:51 a.m. on hole 10, while Niblock will tee-off at 1:21 p.m. on the back nine, as well.