ANKENY - During what had been a brilliant high school career leading up to the class 3A state golf tournament in Ankeny Tuesday, May 28, and Wednesday, May 29, every time Anamosa senior Kara Hunt faced a daunting challenge, she responded like a champion.
Hunt did it again one final time against a field of the best golfers the state of Iowa has to offer.
“Kara never gave up and left it all out on the course,” said Raider girls golf coach Tammy Seeley, as Hunt, who got off to a slow start but came storming back in phenomenal fashion carding a two-day total of 160 that included a four-over par round of 75 (38-37) on Wednesday, the final round of her sensational high school golf career.
“I’m so happy for Kara. She is definitely deserving of a state medal. I’ve been told I got spoiled my first year coaching high school girls golf having Kara on my team. That is probably true.”
Hunt finished seventh in the class 3A individual standings and topped the three other individuals in her group posting the top score of any 3A golfer not playing with a team at state.
“My goal here at state was to place in the top-5, but I am happy with how things ended,” Hunt said. “I wish I could have done a little better the first day. That was frustrating to shoot an 85 (45-40) on the first 18 holes, but a 75 at state on my final 18 holes as a high school golfer was a pretty good way to finish.”
Wow, is that ever an understatement.
The weather was brutal on Tuesday as wind and rain made it’s way through Ankeny forcing officials to finally call the tournament 12 holes in when lightning was seen in the area.
“Everything was so windy and wet and tough to deal with on Tuesday,” said Hunt, who had just teed off on hole number 13 when the tournament was called due to lightning.
“The weather really changed how I wanted to attack the course. I consider myself a decently long hitter, and I struggled getting any roll in the fairways. On Tuesday it was more about course management and just making sure I didn’t play my way out of the tournament.”
Hunt did exactly that staying within striking range of the tournament’s top-10.
Golfers had to play 24 holes on Wednesday, and after Hunt played her final six holes of the first round, really got things going in the second.
“My parents kept telling me after the first round that I’d be fine,” Hunt said. “I’m used to golfing 24 holes in a day and that extra load shouldn’t be a problem for me.”
Hunt carded the fourth-best final 18-hole score of the entire tournament with her 75 trailing only Gilbert’s Britta Snyder (65), Dubuque Wahlert’s Anna Jensen (73) and Atlantic’s Baylee Newell (73).
Snyder topped all class 3A golfers finishing with a seven-under par two-day total of 135, winning the individual title by a whopping 15 shots over Jensen (150), the 3A runner-up.
“I can walk away satisfied with this state tournament and my high school golf career,” Hunt said. “All the hard work I’ve put into my game the last few years has really paid off.
“Now I’m looking forward to golfing at the college level and seeing what I can accomplish there. I don’t really have any pre-set goals for college. Honestly, I haven’t thought too much about it. I’m going to keep working hard on my game this summer, golfing at different tournaments and for the Fawn Creek Club team, too.”
Seeley will miss her prized senior.
“Kara made my job so easy, because she is a leader with a strong work ethic,” she said. “Her teammates didn’t want to disappoint her so they worked hard, too.
“I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to coach not only Kara, but the whole team this spring. They brought out the best in me, and hopefully, I did the same for them.”
Dubuque Wahlert dominated the class 3A team standings winning the title with a 653 total, an impressive 48 shots ahead of state runner-up Humboldt score of 701.