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Alexandria girls' golf: Better than the weather

Emily Thul watched her birdie putt find the hole on the Ponds' second green out at the Geneva Golf Club on Saturday. Thul led the Cardinals with a fourth-place finish. (Eric Morken, Echo Press)

With the way this spring has gone, it was only fitting that the opener for the Alexandria girls' golf team would come with rain and temperatures in the upper-30s when things started on Saturday morning.

It was hardly ideal conditions as the Cardinals hosted a 10-team invite at the Geneva Golf Club. The important thing, though, was that they were on the course on a day when Alexandria finished second with a team score of 336. Top-ranked Detroit Lakes was the only team to better that after carding a 312 as a team.

"We were excited to play, despite the less than ideal weather conditions," Cardinals' head coach Tim Zupfer said. "All players handled the cold, wet and windy conditions very well. Our opportunity to hit real golf balls out of the hitting bays at the Geneva Golf Academy the past few weeks paid dividends. In addition, our opportunities to practice this past week at the Miltona Golf Club also paid dividends."

The Cardinals had two top-10 individual finishes from Emily Thul and Amanda Bigger. Thul got off to a strong start as she posted a 36 on the front nine and finished with an 80 for fourth place. Thul had three birdies in her first seven holes. Bigger was right behind her with a fifth-place finish of 81.

"She hit most of the fairways and nearly half of the greens in regulation," Zupfer said of Bigger. "She hopes to improve on her ball striking and lower her putts."

Natalie Amundson, Brynn Novotny and Bridgett Amundson added top-20 finishes. Natalie Amundson shot 41, 45 for an 86 that was 13th overall. Novotny carded an 89 after shooting a 42 on the front. Bridgett Amundson, an 8th grader, golfed in the sixth spot and shot a 91 (46, 45), while Shelby Iverson rounded out the Alexandria Black team with a 100 (47, 53).

The Cardinals played a second varsity team that finished 10th with a 427. Kalley Bistodeau paced that group with a 29th place finish after shooting a 96. The team score of 427 was 21 shots lower than Alexandria's second team has ever shot in the Geneva Invite.

It was a strong start to the season for Alexandria as the Cardinals look to carry that forward into a busy portion of the schedule. Alexandria had its first Central Lakes Conference meet of the season at Rocori on Monday. That will be followed up with three straight meets to close out this week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

GENEVA INVITE

TEAM STANDINGS - 1. Detroit Lakes - 312; 2. Alexandria Black - 336; 3. Elk River - 354; 4. St. Cloud Tech - 355; 5. Rocori - 363; 6. Brainerd - 386; 7. St. Cloud Apollo - 389; 8. Rogers - 402; 9. Fergus Falls - 406; 10. Alexandria Red - 427

ALEXANDRIA SCORES - Thul - fourth place, 36, 44 - 80; Bigger - fifth place, 40, 41 - 81; N. Amundson - 13th place, 41, 45 - 86; Novotny - 19th place, 42, 47 - 89; B. Amundson - 20th place, 46, 45 - 91; Bistodeau - 29th place, 44, 52 - 96; Iverson - 39th place, 47, 53 - 100; Madison Houska - 40th place, 47, 56 - 103; Sadie Kirckof - 42nd place, 50, 56 - 106; Madison Groettum - 51st place, 59, 63 - 122; Alexis Kokett - 51st place, 55, 67 - 122; Macyn Hagen - 56th place, 66, 64 - 130

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229
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