Kelli Ann Strand of Challis came home with the first-place trophy from the John Dropping Invitational Junior Championship golf tournament held June 9, 10 and 11 in Boise.
She has wanted to play in this tournament for junior golfers 18 and younger for years, according to her grandfather, Spencer Strand. Two years ago she entered and arrived at the golf course to find her name had been scratched from competition. Tournament officials told her she was too young to play. Last year, at age 14, she entered, caught pneumonia and lost the debate with her parents that they should let her play even though she was sick. So, she missed the tournament again.
Finally this year, shortly after turning 15, she got to play, Spencer said.
She won after shooting scores of 75, 70 and 71 on the three rounds, for a total score of 216. At the beginning of the final round, Kelli Ann was 1 stroke behind. She bogied the first three holes before getting tough and playing the last 15 holes with no bogies, rather with 3 birdies, for the score of 71.
Kelli Ann beat the field of 26 golfers by 7 strokes. Her 216 was the low score for all golfers — girls and boys.
She received a trophy and four stars, which entitle her to play in other prestigious national golf tournaments.
Her brother, Lane, competed and played well, but some double bogies prevented him from medaling, Spencer said.