BEMIDJI -- Only three strokes separated the Bemidji State men’s golf team from a first-place finish at its home BSU Invitational Tuesday at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. Behind a second-place individual showing by Will Czeh, the Beavers totaled a team score of 591 (296-295) to trail only Minot State (295-293=588) at the conclusion of the two-day tournament.
BSU improved its score by a stroke Tuesday after enduring a rain-soaked first round Monday, but MSU bettered its score by two to clinch the win.
“It was good to see the guys play through the adversity of the weather, especially the driving rain the first day, and shoot 296 and then a stroke better today,” said BSU men’s head coach Ekren Miller. “That wasn’t quite enough to win as a team, but still respectable in second.”
Czeh, a senior from Roseau, tied for second by carding matching rounds of 72 to shoot 144 overall, four shots back of St. Cloud State’s Carter Doose (70-70=140).
Seth Schricker followed Czeh and tied for fifth with a 147 (76-71). Ben Corbid (72-78) and Chris Swenson (76-74) tied for 14th after each shot 150, and Matt Gregg rounded out the Beavers’ top five with 167 (82-85). Tanner Sperling cracked the top 10 individually by tying for ninth with a score of 148 (74-74).
Depth is no obstacle for this season’s BSU men.
“I think we have a pretty deep team,” Miller said. “We’re not sure really who our top five are yet. As you can see, Tanner Sperling was just 4-over for the tournament, and then Brandon Nelson was 6-over for the tournament, so he’s right there too. It’s a battle within our own squad here about who the top five guys are.”
The Beaver men will next travel to Grand Forks, N.D., for the Minnesota Crookston Invite at King’s Walk Golf Course, which is set for Sept. 15-16.
BSU women tie for fourth at Tracy Lane Memorial
The Bemidji State women’s golf team teed off the new season by tying for fourth place at the Tracy Lane Memorial Tournament on Tuesday. The Beavers concluded the two-day event level with Winona State, as each totaled team scores of 675 at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Erica Gartner led the charge for BSU by earning her first career top-10 finish, carding rounds of 83 and 81 to finish with 164 overall.
Augustana (324-310=634) claimed first place by 31 shots over Minot State (337-328=665). Augie’s Hannah Hankinson earned medalist honors with her 148 (75-73).
Like Gartner, the Beavers improved their day-one score by shaving 13 strokes off Monday’s 344 to shoot 331 Tuesday.
“I’m very pleased with the improvement from yesterday to today,” BSU head coach Jim Jensen said. “Yesterday, the rain had a little bit of influence.”
Four freshmen made their collegiate debuts, including Bemidji’s own Taylor Offerdahl who carded the lowest score of the bunch with a 171 (88-83) to tie for 21st overall.
“The freshmen, I was very pleased with,” Jensen said. “Not only their game, but their attitude. It’s going to be a real positive for the whole team.”
Besides Gartner and Offerdahl, also making up the team’s score were Lauren Stockmoe in a tie for 18th with a 170 (87-83), Kalley Wagner in a tie for 21st with a 171 (87-84) and Elise Stockmoe in a tie for 27th with a 172 (87-85).
“Our team’s got good distance off the tee driving,” Jensen said. “So we’re positioned to do very well. We’ve just got to (improve) that important part -- putting and chipping in the short game -- for better scores.”
The tournament, now in its fourth year, is named in honor of former BSU golfer Tracy Lane, who died of cervical cancer in 2013 at the age of 31. One of the tournament’s goals is to raise awareness for cervical cancer and early screenings for the disease.
Lake City is the next stop for the Beavers, where they’ll compete in the Golden Bear Classic on Sept. 15-16 at the Jewel Golf Club.