Ritter preparing for big senior season
Big expectations are nothing new to Kathleen Ritter.
Whether those expectations are self-imposed, raised by coaches and teammates or by fans, Ritter has certainly learned to handle them.
The Red Wing native was a leader for one of the best high school golf programs in the state and she has taken her game and leadership abilities to one of the top NCAA Division II programs in the country.
Ritter, a 2007 Red Wing graduate, recently wrapped up her junior season at Minnesota State, Mankato. She played in every round of every meet for the Mavericks, who qualified for the Division II national championships, after missing out by less than five shots in each of her first two seasons.
To top off a great season, MSU, Mankato qualified for the national meet through the Central Region meet, which was held just minutes from Ritter's hometown, at The Jewel golf course in Lake City.
"We played much better at the beginning of the season than we did at the end," said Ritter, who helped Red Wing to Minnesota high school state tournament berths in each of her seasons with the Wingers varsity, "but we just missed getting to nationals the two (prior) years, so just to pull through and get there was so much fun."
Ritter is dedicating her summer to improving her game and looking forward to next spring, when she hopes to help MSU, Mankato improve on its 11th-place finish at the national meet in Mesa, Ariz. Ritter placed 67th individually out of more than 120 golfers.
This week, she is competing against some of the best Division I golfers in the country at the Women's Western Golf Association amateur championship at the Rochester Golf and Country Club. The two rounds of stroke play qualifying concluded Tuesday and match play was scheduled to begin today. Golfers now must win to remain alive in the tournament.
Ritter shot rounds of 95 and 86 in qualifying and, while she didn't make the 64-player championship flight, she will compete for a championship in the second flight. Weather permitting, she was scheduled to tee off at 12:37 p.m. today in a second flight first-round match against Kelsey Hughes of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
"I had a decent (college) season, but I definitely have work to do this summer," Ritter said. "Our team will be even better next season."
Anderson is medalist
First-day leader Amy Anderson of Oxbow, N.D., was one of just three golfers to break par on Tuesday. She shot a 3-under-par 69, which, combined with her first round 68, gave her a two-shot victory in stroke play over Cyna Rodriguez of Santa Cruz, Philippines.
Anderson, Rodriguez (70-69—139) and Juliana Murcia Ortiz (70-71—141) of Tempe, Ariz., were the only three players to break par in both rounds of stroke play in the 95-golfer field.
Mia Piccio from Long Beach, Calif., shot consecutive rounds of even-par 72 to place fourth.
Anderson, an NCAA Division I honorable mention All-American as a freshman this past spring at North Dakota State University, was scheduled to tee off at 8:30 a.m. today against Meghan Potee of Noblesville, Ind., in a first-round match in the championship flight.
The second and third rounds of match play in the championship flight are scheduled for Thursday. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches will take place on Friday, with the 36-hole championship match scheduled for Saturday.
Three Minnesota natives qualified for championship flight match play — Gretchen Huhnerkoch (Burnsville), Katie Detlefsen (Eagan) and Michele Edlin (Jackson).