Minneapolis’ Betsy Aldrich is no stranger to winning at the Alexandria Golf Club. On Saturday, she picked up her sixth Resorters championship with a 4-3 win over Alexandria’s Nancy Syverson.
Aldrich's Women's Executive championship is her third in four years. In those four years, she's noticed how much stronger the field has become.
"I think more and more women want to play in this division," Aldrich said. "Next year, it's going to be hard for some people to get a spot. I think over the last few years, there have been some really good players who have come through and have elevated this division."
Syverson gave the perennial power a challenge. She started the match with a birdie on the first hole before Aldrich made par on No. 2. Syverson regained the one-hole lead with a par on No. 4, only to see Aldrich tie the match again on No. 5. Aldrich took her first lead of the afternoon with a birdie on hole eight.
"Nancy and I have been coming out here for a long time, and we had a fun back-and-forth going there," Aldrich said.
Aldrich extended her lead on No. 10 with a par before winning the final two holes to clinch the win. Her par on hole 15 clinched her fourth Women’s Executive championship.
Over the last five Women’s Executive championship matches, Aldrich has been in every one of them. Her first came in 2007 before the division went away for nine years. When it came back, she was still on top in 2017.
"I've been playing in this tournament for about 35 years," Aldrich said. "This week isn’t about winning and losing. This is a vacation week for my family and a lot of other families. Winning is just a bonus. As long as they keep having this tournament, I'll keep coming back."
While Aldrich dominated nearly every match he played in, there was a point where she almost dropped out of the tournament. After an accident last Tuesday off the course, she woke up with extreme back pain and contemplated giving up her spot.
"When I tell you I couldn't move, I'm serious," Aldrich said. "Even when it started to get better, I couldn't tie my shoes it hurt so bad. Thank God for (Alexandria chiropractor) Larry Novotny for being able to get me ready to play. My back was really tense earlier in the week. I laid up a lot of shots, but I was scoring better than I had been. I think I learned how to play smarter golf."
After a victory and overcoming a nagging injury, Aldrich was happy to make the trip up to Alexandria.
“Golf is one of the only sports that we can stay distanced in with all of this Coronavirus stuff,” Aldrich said. “For the most part, I think people did a really good job of following the rules and staying safe this week. We had other opportunities to go other places, but we will always choose Resorters over everything else.”