The focus is on Blaine senior Kathryn VanArragon.
VanArragon will attempt to become the sixth girls golfer to win three individual titles in state history when the Class 3A two-day tournament begins Tuesday at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids. The Class 2A tournament will be held at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, and Class 1A will take place at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.
Kate Smith of Detroit Lakes holds the state record with five championships, consecutively starting in 2012.
She tuned up for the state tournament by winning the Section 5 tournament by 15 strokes, shooting a 10-under-par 134 at the Links at Northfork. On Sunday she was named Ms. Minnesota Golf, designating her the state's top senior girls player.
Her foursome will include another past champion, Simley junior Reese McCauley. She shot a 5-under 139 to earn medalist honors in 2021 and registered the same score a year ago while finishing third.
McCauley won the Section 3 championship with a two-round total of 138 at Bunker Hills. She committed to the Gophers in January and will join older sister Isabella with the team.
VanArragon is ranked first in the state by the Minnesota Golf Association, and McCauley is second.
Legacy Christian junior Emily Brandt will try to repeat as Class 1A champion.
The boys state tournament also has two individual champions returning, but one makes a jump up in classification.
Cretin-Derham Hall sophomore Sam Udovich, ranked fifth in the state, won the Class 2A title at St. Croix Lutheran in 2022 before transferring this year. Udovich was one of five golfers the Minnesota State High School League said would be suspended for playing too many rounds in outside events during the high school season, but the league reconsidered that decision. The MSHSL had previously approved the players' participation in those events.
The other four players involved were Totino-Grace brothers Andrew and Collin Ramos, a junior and a freshman; Spring Lake Park junior Jake Birdwell; and Rochester Mayo sophomore Isaac Ahn. All five qualified for the state tournament. Birdwell is ranked second in the state and Andrew Ramos eighth.
Maple Grove junior Ryan Stendahl was the only underclassman to crack the top six in Class 3A a year ago, finishing fifth with an even-par 144. He is ranked No. 1.
Two golfers turned in dominating section performances and raised their profiles: Edina sophomore Torger Ohe and Eastview senior Joe Rohlwing. Third-ranked Ohe shot a 13-under 131 in winning the Section 6 tournament at Braemar Golf Course, and No. 4 Rohlwing captured the Section 3 title with a 9-under 135 at Bunker Hills. On Sunday he was named Mr. Minnesota Golf.
New Life Academy senior Cole Witherow is back to try to defend his Class 1A championship.