Girls Golf: Olson wins at Classic on final trip around
Brainerd, Pequot Lakes and Pierz competed at The Classic at Madden's.
EAST GULL LAKE — It was a hectic morning for Izzy Olson.
The Brainerd senior celebrated with 27 of her classmates at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 17, by signing their NCAA National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers in college.
Then at 9 a.m. Olson and her Warrior teammates teed off at The Classic Invitational at Madden’s Resort. The quick turnout prevented Olson from getting in her normal warm-up, but that didn’t prevent her from posting a 6-over 78 to win the individual title and lead Brainerd to second behind Elk River.
“My warm-up was a little shortened, especially on the putting green,” Olson said. “I wasn’t hitting the ball great yesterday so I was kind of concerned heading into warm-ups today. I spent a little more time there, but it turns out my struggles were on the putting green and not with my long irons.”
Olson posted a double bogey on her first hole and shot 4-over on the front nine. She doubled the par 5 13th hole and added a bogey on the 15th before a birdie on 16 nestled her in at 6-over. Two pars closed out the round, including a juicy two-putt par on the par 4 18th to seal the win by one stroke.
“Today felt a lot higher than 6-over,” Olson said. “That gives me a lot of confidence knowing I was only 6-over. I did grind it out the whole way through. I mean, only carding one birdie and having multiple birdie opportunities is tough, but it gives me confidence that the putts will drop soon. The only thing wrong today was just a couple of holes.”
The Classic was playing 4,859 yards, but it was windy and the temperatures were cooler than the last week and a half. That coupled with the fact that The Classic is a difficult layout made for higher scores.
“This course is not an easy place to play,” Warrior head coach Todd Person said. “The greens are difficult. The course isn’t terribly long from the red tees, but you certainly have to have good placement off the tees and on your approach shots to be able to score here.”
Brainerd’s Marcella Timmons tied for sixth with an 85. The freshman eagled the par 5 16th hole to highlight her back nine.
Sophia Karsnia birdied her second hole to go out in 44. The junior came back in 42 for her 86, which placed her 10th.
Sophomore Madelyn Holmstrom rounded out Brainerd’s 340 with a 17th-place 91.
“Sophia was hitting the ball well, but had multiple three-putts,” Person said. “It’s all about where the ball ends up on the green and if you run something by and even a 3- or 5-footer coming back can have 8- or 10-inches of break on it. It can be tough out there.
“We talked about getting down on themselves and the comment, ‘Well, I can make it up on the next hole.’ That doesn't necessarily work. You have to go from this point on and stop worrying about what happened before. I saw some good things with Madelyn with that. She struggled a little bit at the end, but her mid-round play was good. Marcella struggled at the beginning, but had an eagle out there and followed that with a par.”
Pequot Lakes placed fourth with a 354. Sophomore Genevieve Birkeland shot 83 to place fourth. She posted a 40 on the back nine thanks to a birdie on the par 3 14th.
“For me, I just had to make sure I planned out my shots, especially my tee shots,” Birkeland said. “This is a course where you can’t just grab driver on every tee. You have to plan out your shots and hope for the best.”
Morgan Krieger, another Ms. Minnesota Golf candidate along with Olson, tied for sixth with an 86. She birdied her second hole and fired nines of 44-42.
Annie Neva posted an 89 to tie for 13th. The junior birdied three holes and Isabel Larson finished the scoring for Pequot with a 97.
“Obviously, our goal is always state,” Birkeland said. “I think we have a good shot, but we still have to go out there and play and we’ll do that. As a team, we have good confidence. We’re not overly confident, but enough that we have confidence in each other. If we have a bad day we know it’s not the end of the world.”
Pierz placed 14th with the best grouping of the day. Macey LeBlanc led the Pioneers with a 109 followed by 110s from Kari LeBlanc, Joleen Weyer and Kaylee Gruber.
Team scores: 1-Elk River 338, 2-Brainerd 340, 3-Detroit Lakes 349, 4-Pequot Lakes 354, 5-Moorhead 372, 6-Buffalo 379, 7-Minnewaska 382, 8-Bemidji 386, 9-Community Christian 417, 10-St. Cloud Crush 423, 11t-Grand Rapids 427, 11t-Litchfield 427, 13-Watertown-Mayer 435, 14-Pierz 439
Individual medalist: Izzy Olson (Brd) 78
Brainerd results: 1-Izzy Olson 78, 6t-Marcella Timmons, 10-Sophia Karsnia, 17t-Madelyn Holmstrom 91, 28t-Kiley Jendro 97, 55-Karley Dunham 108, 64-Beatrice Hartwig 111, 65t-Meredith Holmstrom 112
Pequot Lakes results: 4-Genevieve Birkeland 83, 6t-Morgan Krieger 85, 13t-Annie Neva 89, 28t-Isabel Larson 97, 38t-Charlee Sullivan 100, 69-Alexa Pietig 115
Pierz results: 56t-Macy LeBlanc 109, 58t-Kari LeBlanc 110, 58t-Joleen Weyer 110, 58t-Kaylee Gruber 110, 77-Cameryn Herold 121, 73-Addie LeBlanc 119
Next: Brainerd in Central Lakes Conference meet at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course, Sartell, 3 p.m. Friday, May 19; Pequot Lakes in Detroit Lakes Invite at Detroit Country Club 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 23; Pierz in Granite Ridge Conference meet at Pierz Golf Course noon Monday, May 22.