Milton's Knudsen finishes 15th at state despite torn ACL
MADISON--CheyAnn Knudsen stared at the official scoring posters with tears in her eyes.
Her score was not the issue—at least not a major one. The Milton sophomore would have loved to shoot her first official round in the 70s, but an 80 matched her career-best score, and she did it at the WIAA Girls State Golf Championship.
But there, about 50 yards past the No. 9 green at University Ridge, Knudsen realized her golf career was about to be put on hold for a few months.
Knudsen played all season on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, but advanced to the state tournament as an individual and finished tied for 15th in the Division 1 field.
“CheyAnn’s awesome; she’s one of my best friends, and she is just an inspiration,” said Milton junior Maddie McCue, who shot a second-round 74 to finish in 11th place. “Most people would be like, ‘I’m done.’ But she toughed it out.”
Knudsen tore the ligament while playing AAU basketball on May 19 and said she nearly passed out when first given the official diagnosis.
Once the realization of surgery set in, she convinced doctors that she could put the procedure off until after golf season.
“I kind of learned to walk and learned to swing without it hurting,” Knudsen said. “I couldn’t golf for about three weeks, then I finally got to where I could actually swing a club.”
Her competitiveness only complicated the early frustrations.
She wrapped up her freshman year shooting scores in the low 80s and was hoping to progress into the 70s this season.
Knudsen never quite got there, but saved her best for last. An 80 at the Janesville Craig Sectional tied her career-low and sent her on to the state tournament as an individual qualifier. Then she matched it again on high school golf’s biggest stage.
She says she’ll be back to swinging clubs when the courses open next spring, and she’ll bring with her a new attitude.
“I’m going to work 10 times harder,” Knudsen said. “My (goal) is to be just like Adrian Peterson. He tore his ACL playing football and now he plays football without a brace. So eventually I want to be 10 times better and hit the ball 10 times farther.”
McCue goes low
Milton junior Maddie McCue tied for the second-lowest round of the second day during the Division 1 state tournament.
McCue used three birdies to shoot 2-under on her first nine holes and shot a 2-over 74, despite teeing off in pouring rain. She finished in 11th place individually with a 158 total.
“At the beginning, it was horrible,” she said. “You’re cold and wet, but you think, ‘Everyone else has to play in the same conditions.’ But most of the teams hadn’t teed of yet, so it was a little frustrating, but it worked out fine.”
McCue will carry three top-20 state finishes into her senior year.