Cydney Hasselberg has traveled this road before - sort of.
The Staples-Motley Cardinals junior will play in her fourth state golf tournament when she tees off in the final group at 9 a.m. Thursday.
What's different for Hasselberg is the site, the class and the absence of a clear-cut favorite.
Hasselberg's first three state tournaments were at Izatys Golf and Yacht Club under the Class 1A moniker. Winning all three of those tournaments was Minnehaha Academy's Katie Detlefsen.
S-M's Cydney Hasselberg plays in fourth state meet.
This year Hasselberg will compete in the Class 2A state tournament along with Wadena-Deer Creek's Tracy Gustafson. It will be played at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
"I think if I just go and play my game there is a chance," said Hasselberg about winning her first title. "There's always a chance. I'm looking just to play well and to take it one hole at a time."
Hasselberg will play with Minnewaska's Courtney Boe, Breck's Anna Laorr and Hibbing's Ashli Helstrom.
W-DC's Tracy Gustafson prepares for first state meet.
Boe, who won the Section 6-2A title by two strokes over Hasselberg, is the second-rated 2A golfer in the state and tied for sixth in last year's state tournament. Helstrom is the highest returning golfer from last year's state meet as she finished third. She is the third-rated Class 2A golfer. Hasselberg was rated seventh and finished ninth in last year's state meet.
"I like my pairing and I like when I'm teeing off," said Hasselberg. "I think this year there will be more competition. I am more confident this year. I'm playing more aggressive."
In Hasselberg's three previous state tournaments she finished 12th, eighth and ninth. Last year she struggled out of the gates to shoot 89, placing her in a tie for 24th. She fired a 77 on the second day to jump into the top 10.
"I've had a few meets like that this year so I know if I struggle I'm able to come back," Hasselberg said.
Gustafson tees off at 8:34 a.m. with Sammi Hurley of Visitation, Hope Sevile of Red Wing and Becker's Cassandra Johanns.
This is Gustafson's first state appearance. She qualified by winning in a playoff for the fifth and final individual spot in the Section 6-2A meet.
Class 2A state girls' golf
Who: Staples-Motley's Cydney Hasselberg, Wadena-Deer Creek's Tracy Gustafson
Where: Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan
"I was very nervous in the playoff hole so hopefully that got everything out of my system," said Gustafson. "One of my teammates is going down with me along with my coach and my family. Hopefully, having familiar people around me will help me remain calm."
Gustafson's game plan is to play her own game, not focus on the three other girls in her foursome and try to have fun.
"I shot 86-87 at sections and I would like to stay under 90 if I can," said Gustafson. "It would be really nice to shoot the best round I've had all year."
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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