Marinette’s Abby Dufrane tees off the scenic fifth hole at University Ridge Golf Course near Madison at the state golf tourney Tuesday. <br><i>EagleHerald/Jody Korch</i>
Marinette’s Abby Dufrane tees off the scenic fifth hole at University Ridge Golf Course near Madison at the state golf tourney Tuesday.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
VERONA, Wis. - Generations of good golfers have come and gone at Marinette High School, and Abby Dufrane put her name on the top of the list Tuesday.

Dufrane tied for second at the Wisconsin Girls' State Championship, a two-day, 36-hole event held at University Ridge Golf Course.

"Words can't describe how happy I am to end this way," Dufrane said. "Taking second, that still hasn't hit me yet."

There's a long list of quality former Marine golfers - Missy Walker, Amy and Molly Diemer, Dufrane's former coach Justine Braatz, Alesia Nordahl, Allie Parthie and Casey Labarbera to name a few.

Caryn Walker's fifth-place finish was Marinette's best-ever finish before Tuesday, when Dufrane posted the highest finish at state in Marine girls' golf history.

Dufrane followed up Monday's 78 with a 79 in the rain on Tuesday to tie Fox Valley Lutheran's Kayla Priebe for second.

"She was worthy of it," Marinette coach Stephanie Haines said. "She's a great golfer."

Her second round couldn't have started off much worse. In a driving rainstorm, Dufrane played the back nine first, hit her tee shot between two large trees for an unplayable lie, and double-bogeyed No. 10. Then, she bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12.

"I always go back to one round I had my sophomore year," Dufrane said. She triple-bogeyed her first hole but came back with her best-ever round, 74.

"I just look back on that 74 and I push myself to do much better," Dufrane said.

She regrouped for three straight pars and finished the nine with a bogey-birdie-bogey for a 41.

"After that first nine I was like, 'oh boy,'" Haines said. "After being in third place and starting like that, I was nervous."

Dufrane's front nine was solid - two three-putt bogeys but seven pars. She reached greens in regulation and had no bad shots. The rain stopped for her second nine.

"I only shot 2-over on the second nine, so I was really happy with that," Dufrane said. "I started drying out. Everything just seemed like it was going pretty well."

A little help from her friends and family did the trick, too. Haines relaxed her with some small talk. Marine teammates Cassie Hilbert, Kayla Thielen and Lexi Bretl followed her both days and lightened her up with some signs.

"Whenever I had a bad hole they brought the signs out," Dufrane said. "They had my back."

Caroline Lake fired an amazing 3-under-par score of 141 to win the Division 2 individual title, and she led Edgewood to the team title. Her teammate, Tess Hackworthy, signed an incorrect scorecard and brought it to the attention of officials. She would have placed second but was disqualified.

A four-time state qualifier, Dufrane was pleased to score back-to-back rounds under 80 for the first time at state.

Her parents, Jim and Lynn, have been at her side every step of the way.

"Through my worst rounds, through my best rounds," she said, "They're always supporting me. It's nice knowing my parents came. They've been supporting me since I was a little kid."