With an almost unheard of 308 total, Fargo Davies rode away with the Red River Invitational at King’s Walk on a gusty and chilled Tuesday morning. On the other end of the leaderboard, Grand Forks Red River struggled and finished outside the top five for the first time this season.
Ava Olson (73), Rose Solberg (76), Lexi Bartley (78) and Livia Karnik (81) solidified the Davies lineup that recorded a score that hasn’t been seen in Eastern Dakota Conference girl’s golf in quite some time. It is the lowest team total in the EDC since at least 2006, which is as far back as the EDC website archived scores go.
In terms of the entire state, it is the second-lowest score since Century’s 305 in 2010 behind St. Mary’s 304 in 2017.
“I was actually looking back to check what the lowest score was and it was close if not it,” Red River head coach Eric Sanders said.
Despite the dominant performance from Davies, the day was one to forget for the Roughriders. The hosts, who have been consistently the next team in line to knock off Davies or Shanley, dropped all the way to seventh with a 376.
“Mentally we didn’t handle it like we needed to. We didn’t have our best, but then we acted like we didn’t have our best,” Sanders said. “This is going to be one where we look back and it will be on the schedule and we’ll go ‘oh yeah, we played that day.’”
A big highlight for Red River, though, was being able to qualify eighth-grader Ella Speidel with an 84 -- the second-lowest score on the team. Speidel was even through her first five holes after a birdie on 17. Despite a string of double bogeys after that, she was able to clinch a top 10 position on the individual leaderboard.
Red River sophomore Jaya Grube was the only non-Davies golfer in the top five of the individual leaderboard. She registered an 80 and was almost able to break that after a birdie on 17, but followed that up with a double bogey on 18 and final hole.
Jadyn Arel would round out the Roughrider top three with a 92, but all other scores were over 100 strokes.
“It was our first cold morning and sometimes it messes with your setup a little bit. So then all of the sudden you are questioning your swing and there isn’t that belief in ‘I know exactly what I’m doing,' ” Sanders said.
While there has been an ongoing theme this year of Davies and Shanley finishing at the top of each leaderboard, Sanders is pushing his squad to fight through the adversity and not fall into the trap of looking at third as the peak.
“It’s hard to keep finishing in the same spot and then never make a jump. For us, it can be a bit defeating to know we played our best and not get somebody you’re trying to get,” said Sanders. “But, that’s golf and that’s going to be the biggest test for us in the next month. Can you continue to grind it out even when you don’t have your best?”
There are three matches remaining before postseason tournaments begin. The Sheyenne Invitational at Village Green tees off on Sept. 13, the Shanley Invitational will be at Fargo Country Club on Sept. 20 and the West Fargo Invitational from Maple River is scheduled for Sept. 22. The East regional tournament will be at Edgewood on Sept. 27
Red River Invitational Leaderboard
Fargo Davies, 308
Fargo Shanley, 347
Fargo South, 362
West Fargo, 363
Fargo North, 366
Grand Forks Red River, 376
West Fargo Sheyenne, 376
Grand Forks Central, 422
Valley City, 449
Individual Top 10
Ava Olson, Davies (73)
Rose Solberg, Davies (76)
Lexi Bartley, Davies (78)
Jaya Grube, GFRR (80)
Livia Karnik, Davies (81)
Adie Wagner, South (81)
Kate McComb, North (82)
Hallie Miller, Wahpeton (83)
Lindsey Astrup, Shanley (84)
Ella Speidel, GFRR (84)