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SD high school golfer lauded for honesty after heartbreaking decision

Sioux Falls Christian's Kate Wynja, left, and teammate Lauren Tims pose with the South Dakota state Class A runner-up team trophy. Special to Forum News Service

DELL RAPIDS, S.D.—The final round of the South Dakota Class A state golf meet finished in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, June 5, when Sioux Falls Christian player Kate Wynja realized she was submitting an incorrect scorecard.

The senior had accidentally signed for a score of 4 instead of the 5 she actually had on the 18th hole.

Her play had put the Sioux Falls Christian girls golf team in a comfortable position in what would've be their first state title ever, but Wynja knew her confession would cost them first place.

After Wynja noticed the mistake, she understood she had to tell tournament directors Dan Swartos and Jeff Dvorak.

Swartos admits they had also written the wrong score when they were occupied with other players. It was Wynja that told tournament officials her score was wrong.

"She was more worried than anything about her team. She knew what it (her mistaken score) would mean for them so that was tough," said Swartos, the executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

Per golf's rules, by signing an incorrect scorecard, Wynja was disqualified and Sioux Falls Christian fell into second place.

"My heart broke for her because she played the tournament really well," Swartos said. "The courage, honesty and integrity was an incredible thing."

The disqualification cost Wynja a chance to repeat as the state Class A individual champion, but she said the worst part of all was disappointing her team.

"The thing that broke my heart was figuring out how to tell my team. I didn't want to let my team down or my coach on his last year," Wynja said.

After everything that happened with this state tournament, Wynja still remains positive as she looks back on her high school career.

"It was a tough situation, but I'm grateful for the sport of golf, the friends I have made along the way and the impact these people have had on my life," she said.

The Belle Fourche Broncs were declared champions with a 735 while Sioux Falls Christian dropped to second place at 747.

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