Joanna Kim tees off during the final round. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune)
A bracelet on Joanna Kim’s left wrist reads “Loves to win.”
She proved just how much at the Class 3A girls’ golf state meet. She led Edina to a third-consecutive team title and tied for individual honors at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.
Edina beat runner-up Red Wing by 36 shots (607-643). Kim, a junior, tied Red Wing sophomore Sophia Yoemans for first with a 146.
While the Hornets’ coasted to a team victory, Kim sweat out a nightmare front nine on Wednesday.
“It was rough,” Kim said.
Confidence returned with an “unexpected birdie” on her 16th hole, playing the back nine on the West course.
“I just powered through,” said Kim, who considered that hole the toughest on the course.
Battling back was a season-long mission. Kim played on Edina’s state tournament team in 2015 but missed the cut last spring. She was thrilled to be back in the mix this time.
“Honestly, I don’t think I would have won individually without my team being so awesome,” Kim said.
Kim, Grace Kellar (148) and Isabelle Ouyang (155) all placed in the top-10. Emily Kratz (158) tied for 13th. They pushed Edina to three consecutive state titles for the second time in program history. The first time was 1993 to ’95.
Yoemans credited teammates Leah and Stephanie Herzog for creating a friendly yet competitive environment that produced better golf. The sisters each placed among the top seven.
“Any one of us could’ve got first today,” Yoemans said. “They were really happy for me.”
Yoemans led at the turn, but said she “didn’t play as well on the back.” Tying with Kim satisfied her.
“We’ve played together in summer tournaments before so we’re pretty close,” Yoemans said. “She was a good person to share it with.”