The girls' golf season got off to a great start for Rapid City Stevens and in particular for two golfers.
Emmy Sundby and Taylor Wit swapped individual wins Monday and Tuesday and the Raiders took team wins in two quads held at Meadowbrook Golf Course.
Wit got the season started with a nine-hole score of 39 while Sundby registered a 41 and Tuesday the scores flipped, with Sundby recording a 39 and Wit shooting a 43.
Stevens finished Monday with a 185, and Tuesday scored a 182.
"I think overall it was a pretty good start to the season for both of us. We shot pretty well both days for coming out of a pretty cold winter," Sundby said. "It’s a little tough but we both practice during the winter to keep the cobwebs off of our clubs."
Finishing tied for second Monday was Aryona Watts from Hot Springs, who also shot a 41. Fourth was Molly Swartz from Douglas at 46 and Harlee Kehr from Stevens was fifth with a 49.
"I think yesterday went better than today, but that’s how it goes," Wit said of her performance. "With the practice beforehand, it’s helpful. It’s still tough, so it was surprising to see how good the scores were."
On Monday, Hot Springs finished second behind Stevens with a 203, while Belle Fourche was third with a 243. Tuesday, Spearfish was second to Stevens with a 212 and Sturgis third with a 252.
Tuesday's third-place finisher was Lyric Williams of Spearfish with a 45, while fourth was Ainsley Sabers of Sturgis with a 47 and fifth was Kehr with a 49.
Conditions worsened Tuesday, while Monday saw a relatively calm day on the course. Wind started to come in as the golfers teed off, but Sundby and Wit weren't interested in using the unusual spring weather as an excuse for anything.
"It’s just something we’ve always played with at the beginning of the season," Sundby said.
Wit put it even more bluntly.
"That’s how Rapid is," she said. "It’s crazy weather at the beginning of the season, and when you go to state it’s crazy hot there. Every tournament is different and you just have to adjust."
Both said they want the team to improve on its sixth-place finish from last season's Class AA state tournament. Wit said she wants to improve on her 27th place finish last season and medal this year, while Sundby wants to improve on her third-place finish.
For Spearfish's Williams, it was not winning a medal at state last season that has driven her in the offseason.
After finishing tied for 23rd her freshman season and winning a medal, she dropped to 46th in her sophomore season, and she wants to bring a medal back for her junior season.
The Spartans hosted a quad Monday at their home course at the Spearfish Canyon Country Club. Although she isn't where she wants to be at the moment, she's confident she'll be able to put it together as the season goes on.
"It's been okay. It’ll get better as the days go on for sure, but the conditions are a struggle to go through," she said. "At about the third or fourth tournament, I’m starting to get in my grove, and by fifth or sixth, I should be hitting a lot better."
As a team, Spearfish features 21 golfers but only three are seniors, so Williams said the team goal is for the Spartans to stay together as a team and help some of the younger golfers grow.
Williams said Tuesday her shots from about 130-yards were hitting well, but she struggled with her chipping and putting.
That's a common refrain at the start of the golf season, the chipping and putting seem to come together later than other portions of the game.
"The greens are all super slow in the beginning, and once we get adjusted to that they mow them, and then it’s tough to get back into that grove," Williams said.
That wasn't true Tuesday for Sturgis' Sabers, who said she thought she drove the ball well and was able to find some success with her chipping.
"Out of the 18 holes in the last two days, I had three bad holes. Otherwise it was pretty consistent," she said. "It usually takes a week or so. I like getting back into it and playing everyday outside."
She said the Scoopers going to Spearfish Monday and then playing again Tuesday was helpful for her getting back into the grove.
Sabers said she has some lofty personal goals, but the team is young and she said she hopes some of the younger golfers can improve as the season goes on.
"I'd like to place in the top five (in tournaments) and play consistent," she said. "When it comes to state playing well and medal hopefully. We have a lot of girls who are just starting out."
Stevens hosts another quad, weather permitting, Thursday against Rapid City Central, St. Thomas More and Sturgis. Spearfish will be at a quad in Sturgis Tuesday.