WIAA D1 Lanie Veenendall

New Richmond’s Lanie Veenendall has reason to smile after leading the field following the first round of the WIAA championship.


Lanie Veenendall. The New Richmond senior fired the first sub-70 round at the WIAA state tournament in five years, making six birdies and two bogeys in a 4-under-par 68 that left her with a two-stroke lead in the WIAA Division 1 state tournament competition. Veenendall was 2-under after 11 holes when the horns sounded and play was suspended for a little over two hours due to rain. Once play resumed, Veenendall rolled in three straight putts of 25 feet or longer for birdies at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 before making a bogey on the par-5 sixth hole. She would par out for a 33 on the front nine, her inward nine, to finish off her round.


Riley Pechinski, Stevens Point. The Panthers sophomore started birdie-birdie on Nos. 1 and 2, bogeyed No. 3 and then went eagle-bogey-birdie starting at No. 6 en route to a 3-under-par 33 on the front. The weather delay stalled her momentum and Pechinski bogeyed three of four holes starting at No. 12 before finishing her round birdie-birdie-par to shoot 70, good for sole possession of second place, two shots behind Veenendall.


Sarah Balding, Brookfield Central. The four-time state qualifier made two bogeys and 10 pars before the weather delay and was last in her foursome behind Veenendall (2-under), Brookfield East's Madison Haugen (1-under) and Appleton North's AJ Powell (1-under). That script flipped after play resumed at 2:20 p.m. and Balding played her final seven holes in 2-under to finish at even-par 72, in a tie for third with Powell and Middleton's Ellie Frisch, four strokes off Veenendall's pace.


Hamilton (Sussex). The Chargers have been on the verge of a breakthrough most of the season and, if not for a few bumps in the road near the turn Monday, might have taken a sizable lead into Tuesday's final round. No. 4 golfer Lauren Ambrookian counted a quadruple-bogey 8 at No. 8 in her round of 85, No. 2 golfer Leah Balsbaugh counted a quintuple-bogey 9 at No. 18 in her 81 and No. 1 golfer Claire Kelbel, who eagled the par-4 14th hole earlier in her round, made a quadruple-bogey 8 at No. 1 in her round of 78. Even if Hamilton had turned those three big numbers into bogeys, the Chargers would have bettered their 323 by 10 strokes and taken a five-stroke lead into the final round.


Bay Port sisters Abbey and Ava Beranek have a friendly competition to see who can win each nine holes they play. This birdie putt on the 18th hole helped Abbey, a senior, catch Ava, a sophomore, for matching 42s on their outward nine. The elder Beranek won the back nine 40-46.


Jenna Anderson and Madeline Fiebig, Kettle Moraine. Kettle Moraine's streak of WIAA Division 1 state tournament berths ended at five in a row after the Lasers finished third at the Westosha Central sectional.

But the Kettle Moraine seniors found a way Monday to make the most of their situation as the only Lasers teeing it up this week at University Ridge GC. Anderson shot 74 and Fiebig a 75, close enough in proximity to one another to join Stevens Point's Riley Pechinski and play the final round of their high school careers together in the 8:40 a.m. pairing off No. 10.

"Honestly, we couldn’t have written a better story starting with sectionals and now this," Anderson said, referring to last week's WIAA Division 1 Westosha Central sectional where she shot 35 on the front nine at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha and Fiebig went out in 31, eventually advancing with rounds of 71 and 73, respectively. "We had made jokes before today’s round that we should try and shoot the same score (Monday) so we could play together (Tuesday), so the fact that it worked out that way is awesome."

Anderson and Fiebig are both four-time WIAA state qualifiers. They were freshmen on Kettle Moraine's 2018 state championship team, finishing T-14 and T-20, respectively. 

"The best part is knowing, for 18 holes (Tuesday), we will have each others back, beginning to end," Anderson said. "We started this together four years ago with a state championship and (Tuesday) we’ll finish this together."



Former New Richmond golfer Maggie Veenendall, now a junior at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.), was on hand to watch sister Lanie compete for the Tigers in the first round at University Ridge. The older Veenendall won her first career collegiate event last week, shooting 77-71 to win the 2021 Augustana (S.D.) Invitational. ... Speaking of Augustana, the NCAA Division II school is one of three college New Richmond senior Lanie Veenendall is considering to continue her competitive golf career. She also has offers from NCAA Division I Drake and Northern Iowa. ... Arcadia/Independence, making its first state appearance as a cooperative program and its eighth with Arcadia in the name, might be hard-pressed to get back to the state tournament next year. Veteran coach Mike Sobotta said the five golfers at University Ridge this week are the only five in the program and two will graduate next spring.


VIDEO: Westosha Central coach Ryan Dahl on his team grabbing share of Day 1 lead at 2021 WIAA Division 1 state girls golf tournament.

VIDEO: Westosha Central sophomore Kylie Walker on memorable opening day to 2021 WIAA state girls golf tournament.

VIDEO: Prescott coach Chad Salay on his team beating darkness for first-round lead at 2021 WIAA Division 2 state girls golf tournament.

VIDEO: Prescott’s Ava Salay on her start to 2021 WIAA state girls golf tournament.

VIDEO: St. Croix Central’s Sally Vangsness on sharing Day 1 lead with rival Ava Salay at WIAA Division 2 state girls golf tournament.

VIDEO: Stevens Point’s Riley Pechinski on rallying for 2-under 70 on Day 1 of 2021 WIAA Division 1 state girls golf tournament.

VIDEO: Brookfield Central’s Sarah Balding on her strong finish on Day 1 of 2021 WIAA state girls golf tournament.

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