Area Girls Golf: Pequot Lakes in the hunt after Day 1

Pequot Lakes and five area players opened up the Class 2A and 1A State tournaments.

A golfer tees off
Pequot Lakes junior Morgan Krieger tees off on Day One of the Class 2A state girls golf tournament Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at the Ridges at Sand Creek.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!
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JORDAN — Pequot Lakes head coach Savannah Smith said she hoped for at least a top 3 finish.

After the opening round of the Class 2A State Tournament Tuesday, June 14, at Ridges at Sand Creek, that’s exactly where her Patriots are.

Pequot opened with a first-round 362 to land in a tie for third with Providence Academy and behind second-place Fergus Falls, which shot a 357, and leader Lake City, which posted a 330 first-round score.

“I knew it was going to be tough for every team out there so I wasn’t sure where we were going to stack up and seeing that we were tied for third I was very pleasantly surprised,” Smith said. “Plus, just knowing that wasn’t our top performance, for sure, so I’m hopeful we can move up more.”

Freshman Genevieve Birkeland led the way on a hot first day with an 80. She opened with a front nine 43 as she started 5-over after the first two holes. She birdied the 420-yard seventh hole, but finished bogey-bogey for a 43 on her front.


She then played 1-over for the final nine holes as she posted a birdie on the par 4 14th to go with two bogeys and six pars for a back nine 37. Her 80 has her sitting in fifth place individually.

“I think one of the main things for her was she never let herself get too high or too low,” Smith said. “She stayed right in that middle ground and didn’t let her emotions get the best of her even though she started with a triple. She put two in the water on the first hole, but she came back and just ground it out. That’s what we talked about a lot with the whole team. We knew it was going to be a struggle for everybody with the conditions.”

A golfer hits a sand shot
Pequot Lakes' Genevieve Birkeland hits out of the sand Tuesday, June 14, 2022, during the first round of the Class 2A State girls golf tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek.
Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

Teammate Morgan Krieger is in 10th place individually with an opening-round 83. The junior opened with a 43 and shot 40 on the back.

Annie Neva fired a 99 and Charlee Sullivan shot a 100 for Pequot’s 362.

Pierz’s Emily Virnig fired a 94 Tuesday to find herself in 43rd place after Day One. Virnig started on hole 10 and opened with a 49. She improved by four strokes on the second nine for a 45 and her 94.

Little Falls junior Abby Turkowski kept it under triple digits with her opening-round 97 which has her tied for 56th place. Turkowski shot nines of 47 and 50 for her first-round score. She posted one par on the 122-yard par 3 fifth hole.

Staples-Motley’s Mallory Uselman was one stroke back at 98 to land in a tie for 58th place. The sophomore posted two pars on the sixth and 12th holes.

“She actually hit a lot of good shots, but wasn’t getting a lot of good results,” S-M head coach Glen Hasselberg said. “She’s seeming to have a way of adding one stroke or more on most holes. You have to be able to get up and down from a lot of different places and that’s not been her game today.


“It’s her first time here, but I suspect she’ll show what she’s capable of (Wednesday). I’m sure after leaving the course today she’ll be going to want it to be better tomorrow.”

Team scores:1-Lake City 330, 2-Fergus Falls 357, 3t-Pequot Lakes 362, 3t-Providence Academy 362, 5-Minnewaska 366, 6-St. Croix Lutheran Academy 382, 7-Jordan 397, 8-Mesabi East 401

Individual first-round leader: Mallory Belka (Perham) 76

Pequot Lakes results: 5-Genevieve Birkeland 80, 10-Morgan Krieger 83, 60t-Annie Neva 99, 64t-Charlee Sullivan 100, 75-Kate Stephens 107, 83-Bahati Gibbs 119

Little Falls results: 56t-Abby Turkowski 97

Pierz results: 43t-Emily Virnig 94

Staples-Motley results: 58t-Mallory Uselman 98

Next: Class 2A State Tournament final round at Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 15.

Class 1A

BECKER — In almost triple-digit heat, the Pine River-Backus pair battled.

Junior Cate Travis hit 100 in the first round of the Class 3A State Tournament Tuesday, June 14, at Pebble Creek Golf Club.

That has her sitting in 34th place heading into Wednesday’s final round. Teammate Hannah Barchus was five shots back with a 105 that has her in 53rd place.

Travis opened with a front-nine 47. She had a stretch of three holes that saw her score go from 1-over to 11-over. She righted the ship with back-to-back pars to close out the front. Travis shot 53 on the back nine.

Barchus was a bit more consistent as she shot nines of 52-53 for her 105. She finished with one par on the 355-yar 15th hole.

Team scores: 1t-Legacy Christian Academy 354, 1t-Lac Qui Parle Valley 354, 3-Park Christian 368, 4-Fillmore Central 393, 5-North Woods 395, 6-Fertile-Beltrami 410, 7-Sleep Eye United 446, 8-Murray County Central 450

Individual first-round leader: Emily Brandt (Legacy Christian Academy) 81

Pine River-Backus results: 34-Cate Travis 100, 53-Hannah Barchus 105

Next: Class 1A State Tournament final round at Pebble Creek Golf Club, Becker, 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 15.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at


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