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After 'rough' start, Kolbas' bounce-back performance leads to A-3 win; East girls take team title
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PREP GIRLS GOLF

After 'rough' start, Kolbas' bounce-back performance leads to A-3 win; East girls take team title

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Nicole Kolbas was on her game Monday at the A-3 district at Holmes Golf Course, even if the defending Class A state champion and Lincoln Pius X junior started in the rough.

Kolbas carded three consecutive bogeys on the front nine before shooting an overall 4-under-par 70 to win the A-3 district girls golf individual title.

Lincoln East won the team race with an overall 317, while the Thunderbolts finished runner-up with a 328.

"First three holes were rough," Kolbas said. "I was just kind of getting started and my swing wasn't feeling the greatest at the start, but I knew what was going on with it. I was able to bounce back and fix it slightly and be able to manage it a lot better. The first few holes were rough, and definitely a mental challenge to get back after those."

Kolbas went on to birdie four of the next six holes, and found that line she has had all season.

"I don't think I actually ever got out of my game," Kolbas said. "I think I stayed in it and knew that you have to be patient. It will come when it comes; staying in the moment and knowing it will eventually happen and just staying patient."

Girls district golf glance: Strickland, Adler pace Southwest to state record performance

Then there is the separation of a mother and a head coach.

Steph Kolbas has seen her daughter do amazing things, but as the Bolts head coach, it is sometimes hard to separate.

"As her coach, I can see she's on the cusp of something," Steph Kolbas said. "But then the (the first three holes) I was like 'Jeez, it really is hard to watch your own kid play.'

"I knew we had a ton of golf to play, and I've always seen her come back strong."

But as Kolbas was dominant individually, Lincoln East controlled the leaderboard as a team.

The Spartans finished with four golfers in the top six to claim an 11-stroke win.

"It's a culmination of working hard," Lincoln East co-head coach Brian Bullington said. "These kids work extremely hard during our practices times, but also off the course on their own time. It's great to see the fruition of that hard work coming to play in a team setting. I've always view golf as a team sport. This is a process goal, to win districts, and we won districts last year."

Kaitlyn Dumler led the Spartans with a third-place finish, firing a 78, and Lincoln East teammate Elly Honnens also had a 78. Emma Moss (80) and Hailey Bayne (81) helped put the Spartans on top again.

"It's a situation where we've got five team members," Bullington said. "We score four, but we've got five team members. They all know they are an important part in what we are doing. We had that happen today. We have our No. 5 step up and she made a career-low score, Hailey Bayne. We are extremely happy for her and she's always been outside looking in on us using her score." 

The Spartans and Bolts will be joined by Columbus as all three teams qualified for the Class A Championship in Norfolk Oct. 14-15.

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