Morgan Hawkins has qualified for the Iowa state golf meet twice in her terrific prep career at Dubuque Hempstead.

But she’s yet to win the Dubuque city meet.

The Mustangs’ standout senior has put herself in position to check that one off her list.

Hawkins fired a 76 and tops the leaderboard after the opening round on Wednesday at Dubuque Golf & Country Club, holding a 6-stroke lead over Dubuque Wahlert’s Ava Kalb.

“I played really well on the front, parred a lot of holes and had one birdie and one bogey to even it out there,” Hawkins said. “That kind of saved me on the back, as I had a few blow-up holes on the back late, but all-in-all I’ll take it.”

While reaching the state tournament is the ultimate goal, there’s still a sense of pride involved in being able to say you’re the best prep golfer in the city.

“It’s important because you’re playing with a bunch of people that you’ve been playing with since you were younger,” said Hawkins, who will continue her career at the University of Dubuque, while also playing basketball for the Spartans. “You want to play well and it’s all these courses that you’re familiar with and play all the time. It’s the pressure of doing well in the city. It gives you an outlet to prepare for the pressure of playing at conference and at regionals.”

Ava Kalb is right behind her with an 82, with WD’s Hannah Fangmann in third (83), Wahlert’s Anna Kalb in fourth (84) and Hempstead’s Annika Neumann fifth (85). The final round will be held next Thursday at Thunder Hills Country Club in Peosta.

“I have to play well again and throw another low score out there,” Hawkins said. “We’ve played Thunder earlier this year, so we know what to look for and what to do and what not to do. Just throw another good score out there and hopefully play well.”

Ava and Anna Kalb, along with Katelyn Vaassen (87) and Julia Busch (103) helped the Golden Eagles play to one of their best rounds of the spring. Wahlert and Western Dubuque are tied atop the team standings at 356, with Hempstead right there at 358 and Dubuque Senior in fourth with 389.

“It was a beautiful day to play golf and it was fun to get out there,” Ava Kalb said. “It was great to compete against rival Dubuque schools and see the competition. It feels really good to know that we have a chance. We had some really good scores today and it’s great to be tied with Western Dubuque. We played really well today and did a great job all-around.”

Fangmann led the Bobcats, who also counted scores from McKenna Stackis (87), Hanna Kluesner (91) and Ella Kluesner (95).

Behind Hawkins and Neumann for the Mustangs were Emma Daughetee (98) and Ava Swenson (99).

The Rams were led by Kylie Felderman’s 91. Sadie Richter and Megan Ludovissy added 96s, and Paige Lewis and Olivia Duschen chipped in 106s.

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