By BRETT MARSHALL
Holcomb High School junior Amy Stegman wasn't sure what to expect when she and her teammates competed Thursday in the Sublette Invitational golf tournament at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
After all, it was the first tournament of the fall prep season and Stegman had not teed it up in nearly a year.
Stegman fired a 9-hole round of 42 on the front nine of the Dunes to capture medalist honors in the season-opening tournament in which 10 schools were represented.
"It feels great, but actually, yeah, I'm a little surprised to have played this well," Stegman said. "It's just so soon after we started practice, I wasn't sure how I would play."
Stegman, playing as the No. 1 golfer for the Lady Longhorns, toured the front nine in winning fashion despite having a triple bogey on the par-4 No. 7 and a double bogey on the closing par-4 ninth.
"I'm disappointed with the way I finished, but I'm pleased with the overall round," Stegman said. "My chipping is probably the area where I've improved the most."
With the two par-5's being shortened for the tournament, Stegman birdied both. She also parred the seventh and eighth holes in between her triple and double bogeys.
"I just try to tell myself to do the best I can and if I have a bad hole try to recover as quickly as possible," Stegman said.
For the upcoming season, Stegman has goals of helping her team qualify for the state tournament that will be played in mid-October.
Stegman and teammate Sam Larrick, the third place individual finisher, helped the Holcomb to a runner-up team finish. Their 207 total was well behind champion Larned, which compiled a 190.
"I'm proud of how the girls played for our first tournament," Holcomb coach Scott Stegman said. "When you play at the Dunes, you're going have some tough conditions, especially with the first cut of rough still being very high."
It was encouraging, Stegman said, to have two of the top three individual medalists.
"Once we get a couple of girls back and get them healthy we should be able to think about making up strokes from how we played today," he said. "We're by no means satisfied, but we've got eight girls on the team and any of them could be in our top six so we've got some good competition for the varsity. We could see changes each week on who is playing."
Lakin, who placed third as team with a 218, was paced by Maggie Hilbig's 46, placing her sixth. Katelyn Marlin from Sublette was a shot back finishing seventh. and Ulysses junior varsity team member Maggie Koops placed 10th with a 52.