After Monday’s opening round of the North Dakota Class A high school girls state golf tournament, three competitors cannot separate themselves from the first-place lead at Jamestown Country Club.
West Fargo Sheyenne’s Maggie Manson, Minot’s Becca Tschetter and Bismarck Century’s Hannah Herbel all tied for the top spot at 7-over-par (79) after 18 of 36 holes played. All three will be playing in the final group today at noon.
“It’s going to be a dog race for the top spot,” Tschetter said. “I just hope I’m a part of it and can pull off a good round tomorrow.”
Tschetter could arguably be the biggest surprise of day 1 as she finished sixth in the West Region with a 79.57 scoring average. The junior scored three birdies on the afternoon and seven pars.
“I’ve been working on it a lot this week, so to come out here and have some good drives was really rewarding,” Tschetter said. “My last putt on Hole 18 was really exciting because I had a downhill lie.”
Herbel, an eighth grader, rebounded after losing to her sister, Leah, in a playoff during the West Region tournament last week. The lowest-scoring golfer in the state coming in, Hannah Herbel, finished the front nine with a 5-over (41), but rebounded on the back nine with a birdie, bogey and double-bogey to earn her 79.
“I think I played decent today,” Hannah said. “I just didn’t hit many greens in regulation.
“I’ve been having a really great season so far, so I hope that I play to my potential tomorrow, as well.”
Lastly, Manson, who had the lowest scoring average in the East Region (79.6) going into Monday, was sitting 9-over with two holes remaining but managed to birdie back-to-back holes to finished tied for first.
“I was proud with how I played because I had to grind out some holes, especially at the end.” said Manson, a senior. “It was a tough day because it started out pretty cold and then the wind picked up towards the end.”
The holes most girls struggled with Monday were 13 through 15, where numerous bogeys and doubles were scored. Manson was the lowest scorer with a 2-over, while Tschetter and Herbel both had a 3-over card.
“The back nine here can be a challenge because of the water and out of bounds that typically can come into play,” said Jamestown coach Tracy Gustafson. “The fairways are narrow on some of those holes and can be challenging.”
Patriots’ Leah Herbel finished two shots behind her sister with an 81, which is currently good for fourth. St. Mary’s Gabby Easton was 3-over heading into No. 13 but shot 7-over-par down the back stretch to finish the opening 18 holes fifth at 82.
“I started off good but I had a few holes that threw me off and I couldn’t really get it back,” said Easton, a senior. “The wind picked up, there was a lot of waiting around and I had a few unlucky bounces. I still have tomorrow so hopefully I can keep it together.”
Tuesday’s second round at Jamestown Country Club begins at 10 a.m. with the final group heading out two hours later.
“I’m really excited because I get to play with some of the top golfers in the state,” Tschetter said. “I’ve golfed with them all season in the WDA so we really gel and work well together.”