Kirsten Boerjan finished Monday’s Top of Iowa East conference golf tournament at Northwood with a season low 18-hole score of 90.
The St. Ansgar senior played her best round at the most important time of the year, winning medalist honors at a conference tournament that included eight other teams and 45 total golfers.
But she knows that she can be even better.
“If I just play as well as I did on the first nine, I know I can shoot a lot better than I did today,” Boerjan said. “If I wouldn’t have did so iffy on the second nine, then it would’ve been a lot better. I just need to keep my head on and go for it.”
Boerjan spent much of the past spring and summer on the course preparing for her senior year. Her older brother, Ben, is a senior standout golfer at Waldorf University who earned NSAA first team all-conference honors earlier this spring.
The two would often go out and play together. But golfing isn’t just something fun to pass the time for the siblings. The siblings play with the intention of improving.
“Whenever he’s home from college, he takes me to the course,” Kirsten said. “We play three balls and he makes me hit them consistently until I get them right and how I want to hit them. It’s really nice having him know so much about the sport. He just guides me through it and helps me.”
It seems all those days on the course paid off for Kirsten, who dropped 10 strokes from her sophomore 18-hole season best of 100, to the conference meet-winning score of 90 on Monday.
“She’s a competitor and she doesn’t get rattled,” St. Ansgar coach Shannon Belz said. “She battles to the end. She’s fun and she’s a great leader. The girls all look up to her.”
Boerjan wasn’t the only one on the St. Ansgar squad who had success at the conference meet. The Saints took home the first place trophy as a team and all four of the team’s top scorers finished in the top 10.
The win is technically the second straight Top of Iowa East conference win, as the Saints won in 2019 and there was no season due to COVID-19 in 2020.
For Belz, the goal that he set for his girls at the beginning of the year was met.
“We had some high expectations,” Belz said. “Honestly, me and my volunteer coaches have wondered where could’ve we been if we didn’t miss a whole year last year? We’re competitive here at this level now, but you can’t help but wonder.”
Although the Saints won the conference meet, the season is far from over. The girls play on Monday at the first round regional meet, where the Saints will try to qualify for the second round, and then, potentially, the state meet.
According to Boerjan, her best is still ahead of her. The NIACC golf commit knows that if she shoots in the mid-80s, it will likely be enough for her to advance to the Class 1A state meet in Ames.
“If I shoot in that range, I know I’ll be a contender,” Boerjan said.
Boerjan and the Saints travel to Luana to play in the first round of regionals at 10 a.m. on Monday at the Tri City Golf Club.
Gunnar Davis covers sports. Reach him via email at Gunnar.Davis@GlobeGazette.com or by phone 641-421-0598.