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PB Golfers of the Year Windhorst Knudsen, Larson made their marks on state level

Jordana Windhorst Knudsen and Anders Larson share many traits when it comes to golf, the most notable of which is a team-first attitude. That's a big reason why both of their teams captured state titles last week. Now, they're our Post Bulletin All-Area Golfers of the Year.

Section 1AA golf finals
Lake City sophomore Jordana Windhorst Knudsen won the HVL and Section 1AA championships this season, then helped the Tigers capture their second consecutive Class AA state championship.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo
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Jordana Windhorst Knudsen expected the feeling to be different going into the Class AA girls golf state meet this spring, as opposed to a year ago.

After what her Lake City team did in 2021 — dominating the meet and winning the program’s first-ever state championship by a whopping 44 strokes — the Tigers weren’t going to be overlooked by anyone. They arrived at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan last week with targets on their backs.

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Those lofty expectations didn’t bother the Tigers one bit, and certainly didn’t bother Windhorst Knudsen, a sophomore and team leader for the now two-time state champions. Lake City won this year’s meet by 39 shots — despite the meet being shortened from 36 holes to 27 due to rain and lightning delays on the final day.

“I honestly take it as an honor, that people know who we are and … I love it. I love the competition. I play better when there’s big competition,” Windhorst Knudsen said after the Section 1AA meet on June 1 at Northern Hills Golf Course in Rochester. “I just want to push myself to be the best.”

Windhorst Knudsen was among the best — if not the best — every time she took the course this season. She won medalist honors at the Hiawatha Valley League championships and at the Section 1AA meet, winning the latter by 14 shots over runner-up and teammate Emma Berge.

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For all of her success on the course this season, Windhorst Knudsen is the inaugural Post Bulletin All-Area Girls Golfer of the Year.

The PB is naming All-Area Golf teams for the first time this spring. Windhorst Knudsen is one of five Lake City golfers to make the All-Area Teams (first team, second team or honorable mention). She shot a 78 to win the HVL championships, then followed that with rounds of 78-77—155 to win the Section 1AA meet. She finished 11th at the state meet, shooting 82-41—123.

“Any drills we do at practice, it’s always against each other and it’s always a great competition,” said Lake City’s Ella Matzke, a classmate of Windhorst Knudsen. “Working against each other is good for us. There are so many talented players on our team that it makes us all better in the long run.”

Larson is boys GOTY

061522.PIZM.LARSON.jpg
Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa's Anders Larson watches his chip shot head toward the pin on hole No. 18 at the Ridges at Sand Creek during the final round of the Class AA boys golf state championships on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Jordan.
Joe Brown / Forum Communications

Perhaps the only bullet point missing from Anders Larson’s high school golf resume is the biggest individual honor of them all: state medalist.

But sacrificing individual goals for the betterment of the team has never been a problem for the Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa senior.

For two-plus years Larson was driven by one goal: winning a team state championship.

Mission accomplished.

The Wildcats’ senior standout — who is bound for Division I Tennessee Tech University in the fall — chose not to gamble and attempt to win medalist honors at the two biggest meets of the season, in order to ensure his team would leave the course with the championship trophy.

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He finished as the Section 1AA runner-up, shooting rounds of 78-68—146 to finish just one shot back of Lourdes’ Colton Rich. At state, Larson shot 73-72—145 to tie for third overall.

In both instances, the Wildcats walked away as team champions, and Larson couldn’t have been happier.

For all of those reasons, Larson is the PB’s All-Area Boys Golfer of the Year.

“It’s pretty darn neat,” Larson said with a wide smile, minutes after he tapped in a 1-footer to lock up the state title for PIZM. “It’s pretty darn neat. I’m so proud of every single one of these guys.”

Larson said, in his eyes, one of the best things about winning a state title is how it could help the PIZM program in years to come.

“In the past two years, numbers have grown significantly for us,” he said. “Upwards of 50 kids now and I think with this (title) and the publicity we’re getting … we’re only graduating me off this team, so we’ll be just as good next year.”

His coach said the Wildcats’ will most miss Larson’s leadership and poise.

“He’s a big reason why we’re here and why we won this,” PIZM head coach Mark Moran said. “He organizes stuff we do at practice and he gets the guys out when it’s not our practice time. We’ll miss him, but we hope and plan to be in this position again. … His leadership has been fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better leader.”

Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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