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GIRLS GOLF: Jacks sharpen up at Brainerd Invite

BRAINERD -- The Bemidji High School golf team used Wednesday’s Brainerd Invitational to learn a bit more about itself.

The Lumberjacks placed fourth with a 375 team score, but The Classic at Madden’s Golf Course also offered an opportunity for more players to get their feet wet.

“I brought three kids that are kind of gaining some experience and maybe trying for the sixth and final spot (on the Section 8-3A Tournament team),” BHS head coach Paul Daman said.

In particular, Daman said that Nettie Kimball and Eva Laituri have played similarly this season, and both have a chance to earn a roster spot come tournament time.

“I’m looking to see who strikes the ball the best, who makes the best decisions, who keeps their emotions in check the best,” Daman said. “There are a lot of things I look at. But ultimately, in golf, if a person can get it done on the scorecard, that outweighs a lot of things, too.”

And as far as scorecards go, Nicki Son had the best round among Bemidji individuals. The sophomore fired an 85 on the day to put her eighth on the 86-player leaderboard.

“She actually played very well. Her short game wasn’t very sharp, but she played some really good golf,” Daman said. “She really struck the ball well for 18 holes. … If she would’ve had a (better) short game today, she probably would’ve shot in the 70s.”

Kylen Fenson finished with a 95 for the Jacks, and Kimball was close behind with a 96, to tie for 24th and 29th, respectively. Damaris Berg’s 99 closed the team score, while Laituri shot a 103 and Macy Hietala a 126.

Minnewaska took first place as a team with a 328, while Detroit Lakes (345) and Brainerd (354) also beat out Bemidji in the 15-team field.

Three individuals shot an invite-best 78 for six-over-par: Anna Cihak and Shelby Busker of DL, and Madi McGinig of Minnewaska.

For Bemidji, the section tournament is looming less than two weeks away. Daman said the team still has work to do, but he’s hoping a solid work ethic will bring out solid results.

“We don’t need to peak for another two weeks, and that’s when I hope it happens,” he said. “I hope the girls will put in the time over the next two weeks to get their short games a little sharper and build their confidence so, in two weeks, they can show how good I think they are.”

The Lumberjacks are next off to Fergus Falls for a Friday, May 17, invitational that starts at 9 a.m.

Team results

1-Minnewaska 328; 2-Detroit Lakes 345; 3-Brainerd 354; 4-Bemidji 375; 5-Litchfield 383; 6-Marshall 385; 7-Sartell-St. Stephen 387; 8-Pierz 390; 9-Moorhead 393; 10-Brainerd B 394; 11-Pequot Lakes 404; 12-Fergus Falls 413; 13-Morris Area 418; 14-Rocori 456; 15-Grand Rapids 471.

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