STEVENS POINT — Kimberly Dodd was 22 shots behind leader and three-time defending champion Tess Hackworthy when the Brookfield golfer finished Tuesday's first round of the Wisconsin State Women's Open. But the only golfer in the 59-player field Dodd really wanted to beat was the one waiting for her as she walked off the 18th green at Stevens Point Country Club.
That's when Dodd broke the news to 13-year-old Treva Dodd. After Treva edged her 41-year-old mom by three strokes with a 45 on the front nine, Kimberly Dodd came storming back with a 44 on the back nine — and, yes, Mom sought updates at every reporting station on the course until her daughter finished her round — to shoot 92 and reach the halfway point of this 36-hole event with a two-stroke advantage in their battle in what is believed to be the first mother-daughter duo to compete in the same State Women's Open since 1997 when inaugural winner Erin Carney, then an Indiana University golfer from La Crosse, played in the same field as her mother Bobbe, a longtime LPGA teaching professional who placed sixth.
But that's not the only thing that makes Kimberly Dodd's participation in this year's event significant. Wednesday marked the first time that she has played a competitive event since Oct. 10, 1995, the day she she walked off the ninth green at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison after a final-round 84 left her in eighth place in defense of her 1994 WIAA state girls golf championship as young Kim Reid of Madison La Follette.
Soon after, Dodd left for the University of Wisconsin with aspirations of becoming a doctor. Instead, she became a lawyer and has spent most of her career at Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee, the wife of a doctor now raising two junior golfers of her own on the Wisconsin PGA junior circuits.
"Once I decided not to play in college, I didn't play in any tournaments," Kimberly Dodd said. "When you're not playing tournament golf and you're not out there everyday, hitting it hard, your game goes downhill fast. It became less fun to go out and play for pleasure. That was it."
From age 18 until her mid-30s, when her motherly instincts told her it was time for Treva to start playing the game that brought her so much success as a girl, Kimberly Dodd didn't touch a club. When Treva took up the game by age 7 and younger daughter Bela soon joined them, Kimberly found a new enjoyment — not to mention a new purpose — in her return to golf.
"I wasn't playing for my game at all," she said. "It was just to be out there, moving them along on the course. Of course, my game was not any good at that point. But it's gotten a lot better in the last few years. I thought it would be fun to start playing competitively again."
The idea to play in the State Women's Open was hatched last winter as mother was starting to formulate a schedule for her daughters.
"She said 'Do you want to play?'" Treva said. "I was like 'Sure!'"
Asked if she knew was the State Women's Open was, Treva replied: "Nope. She said that it was a competitive tournament for a lot of the older girls. She played a lot of competitive golf when she was little. And that's basically how I got into it."
Treva has been play been playing WPGA junior events since she was 9. Her sister, who just finished the fifth grade, has been playing almost as long.
Last summer, Treva Dodd played 19 events between the WPGA Futures Tour, Milwaukee County Par-3 Tour and WPGA Junior Tour. She has won eight career events on the Futures Tour, seven on the Par-3 Tour and, in 2018, won her first event on the Junior Tour when she shot 81 at Whispering Springs GC in Fond du Lac and beat 14 other girls for the overall title.
This week, Treva shot 98-86 in tough conditions on two courses at Lake Arrowhead GC near Nekoosa and finished 17th at the prestigious Lake Arrowhead Invitational while her mom was working remotely in the clubhouse. Meanwhile, Bela scored her eighth career Milwaukee County Par-3 victory Tuesday, shooting 29 at Noyes Park GC in Milwaukee to win by two shots.
"The first time I took Treva out to play, I knew she was a natural," Kimberly Dodd said. "She had a really good, natural swing. She got into it right away and has been really good. Bela was kind of the same way."
However, if there was one thing Kimberly Dodd learned from her junior golf experience, it was the importance of taking the successes and the failures in stride.
"It's a lot easier when you're an adult and look back and have some perspective," Kimberly Dodd said. "One is that — and I do think I had some perspective on this when I was a junior — even though, at one point, I wanted to play in college, I was never going to be good enough to play in the pros. You have to have that perspective; it's a game and at some point it's going to end."
For the longest time, golf did end. But it returned Wednesday in between the raindrops at Stevens Point CC with mom seeing her daughter off the first tee in the 1:33 pairing before following her out two groups later, both playing with two college golfers.
Afterward, Treva Dodd passed the time waiting for Mom watching with her grandparents as other golfers finished. She also compared notes on the day with her friend and fellow 13-year-old competitor Jessica Guiser of Hartland, who shot 79 and is tied for 11th.
Hackworthy (70), who will be a fifth-year senior at the University of Wisconsin this fall, will battle Symetra Tour golfer Jenna Peters of Kohler (71) and Franklin High School senior-to-be Mallory Swartz (73) in the 10:30 a.m. pairing Thursday, trying to join former Badgers golfer Malinda Johnson and Appleton teaching professional Carolyn Barnett-Howe (74), who is tied for fourth with South Dakota State golfer Mia Seeman of Milton, as the event's only four-time champions and the first to win four years in a row.
After describing her three-birdie, one-bogey round afterward, however, Hackworthy was told of the neat mother-daughter story playing out behind her and implored a reporter to "write about them." Hackworthy shares a special relationship with her mom, Aimee, a breast cancer survivor who was in her daughter's gallery Wednesday, and knows how much fun it will be Thursday for Kimberly Dodd to tee off one group behind her daughter at 7:57 — and then spend the next five hours trying to stay ahead of her.
|1||Tess Hackworthy Madison, WI||-2||10:30a||70||70|
|2||Jenna Peters (p) Kohler, WI||-1||10:30a||71||71|
|3||Mallory Swartz Franklin, WI||+1||10:30a||73||73|
|T4||Carolyn Barnett-Howe (p) Appleton, WI||+2||10:21a||74||74|
|T4||Mia Seeman Milton, WI||+2||10:21a||74||74|
|6||Alexis Thomas Middleton, WI||+3||10:21a||75||75|
|7||Gabrielle Tremblay Hayward, WI||+4||10:12a||76||76|
|8||Jo Baranczyk Green Bay, WI||+5||10:12a||77||77|
|T9||Carly Werwie (p) Kenosha, WI||+6||10:12a||78||78|
|T9||Alyssa Gromala Mokena, IL||+6||10:03a||78||78|
|T11||Taylor McCorkle Oregon, WI||+7||10:03a||79||79|
|T11||Jessica Guiser Hartland, WI||+7||10:03a||79||79|
|T13||Abby Cavaiani Wales, WI||+8||9:54a||80||80|
|T13||Ashli Stolen Stoughton, WI||+8||9:54a||80||80|
|T13||Allison Schultz Madison, WI||+8||9:54a||80||80|
|16||Katie Warpinski Green Bay, WI||+9||9:45a||81||81|
|T17||Aimee Gerschke South Milwaukee, WI||+10||9:45a||82||82|
|T17||Isabelle Maleki Mequon, WI||+10||9:45a||82||82|
|T17||Sydney Brandt Brookfield, WI||+10||9:36a||82||82|
|T20||Bobbi Stricker Madison, WI||+11||9:36a||83||83|
|T20||Erin Ericson Onalaska, WI||+11||9:36a||83||83|
|T20||Faith Krause Franklin, WI||+11||9:27a||83||83|
|T20||Caylie Kotlowski Stoughton, WI||+11||9:27a||83||83|
|T20||Rachel Montaba (p) Plymouth, WI||+11||9:27a||83||83|
|T25||Brittany McNett-Emmerich (p) Fitchburg, WI||+12||9:18a||84||84|
|T25||Elise Hoven Grafton, WI||+12||9:18a||84||84|
|T27||Payton Hodson Middleton, WI||+13||9:18a||85||85|
|T27||Courtney Matschke Franklin, WI||+13||9:09a||85||85|
|T27||Payton Dube Hancock, MI||+13||9:09a||85||85|
|T27||Alix Larson Slinger, WI||+13||9:09a||85||85|
|T31||Glenna Sanderson Middleton, WI||+14||8:51a||86||86|
|T31||Lorenza Martinez Menomonee Falls, WI||+14||8:51a||86||86|
|T31||Maggie Leef Pewaukee, WI||+14||8:51a||86||86|
|T31||Markie Ash Waupaca, WI||+14||8:42a||86||86|
|T31||Bekah Donner Neenah, WI||+14||8:42a||86||86|
|T31||Courtney Shorter Fitchburg, WI||+14||8:42a||86||86|
|37||Sydney Steinmetz Oshkosh, WI||+15||8:33a||87||87|
|38||Katherine Meier Middleton, WI||+16||8:33a||88||88|
|T39||Lauren Peterson Hartland, WI||+17||8:33a||89||89|
|T39||Lillian Knetter Madison, WI||+17||8:24a||89||89|
|T39||Myranda Kotlowski Stoughton, WI||+17||8:24a||89||89|
|T39||Kalynn Dolby (p) Berlin, WI||+17||8:24a||89||89|
|T43||Mari Suokko Sturtevant, WI||+18||8:15a||90||90|
|T43||Sydney Brown Eau Claire, WI||+18||8:15a||90||90|
|T43||Sydney Hubbard Onalaska, WI||+18||8:15a||90||90|
|T46||Speedy Kent Mequon, WI||+19||8:06a||91||91|
|T46||Sarah Balding Brookfield, WI||+19||8:06a||91||91|
|T46||Jessica Rudnicki Sun Prairie, WI||+19||8:06a||91||91|
|T49||Grace Welch Madison, WI||+20||7:57a||92||92|
|T49||Kimberly Dodd Brookfield, WI||+20||7:57a||92||92|
|T51||Mo Sheehan Grayslake, IL||+21||7:57a||93||93|
|T51||Carmen Cruz Oregon, WI||+21||7:48a||93||93|
|T53||Treva Dodd Brookfield, WI||+22||7:48a||94||94|
|T53||Alicia Ripp (p) Sun Prairie, WI||+22||7:48a||94||94|
|T55||Sophia Dooman Janesville, WI||+24||7:39a||96||96|
|T55||Katie Gastrau Wauwatosa, WI||+24||7:39a||96||96|
|57||Kailey Godfrey Springstead, WI||+25||7:39a||97||97|
|58||Erica Feuerhelm Ellsworth, WI||+26||7:30a||98||98|
|59||Eliana Tetzlaff Kaukauna, WI||+27||7:30a||99||99|