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Resorters Golf: Eagle turns the tide in Carpenter’s win

Skaar, Monty, Boraas join top seed in the semifinals of the Women's Championship division.

Emma Carpenter lines up a putt on the No. 8 green during her qua
Emma Carpenter lines up a putt on the No. 8 green during her quarterfinal match on Aug. 5, 2022. Carpenter holed out for eagle from 131 yards on No. 5, and that helped give her the momentum she needed to beat Samantha Sommers in a 2-1 match.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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Top-seeded Emma Carpenter had a lot of respect for former University of Minnesota standout Samantha Sommers even before these two went head-to-head in the Women’s Division quarterfinals on Friday afternoon.

She left the match even more impressed. Carpenter, a current golfer for the Gophers, had to play as well as she has all week to beat Sommers in a 2-1 final.

“It was super fun and a crazy day,” Carpenter said. “I had six birdies and an eagle, and I won on 17. If that doesn’t tell you it was a good match, I don’t know what does. She played for the Gophers, and she was a part of the team that competed at national championships. I knew she was a really good player.”

Carpenter is playing at the Resorters for the first time, and she has a chance to finish off a memorable first impression on Saturday. She will face North Dakota State University junior Leah Skaar, who rolled in her semifinal match by a 6-5 score.

“Taking it one hole at a time,” Carpenter said of her focus going into Saturday. “I feel like I did a good job of staying patient (on Friday) and not panicking. (Saturday), it’s just going to be about playing my game and staying patient. Even today, as well as I feel like I played, I still feel like I left some out there. It’s just having that confidence that even if I get down a hole or two, I can make some birdies and get them back.”

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On the bottom half of the bracket are a couple of talented younger golfers. Alexandria’s Hannah Boraas won 2-1 over MacKenzie Olsen of Upper Iowa. Stillwater’s Caroline Monty knocked off defending champion Alayna Eldred by that same 2-1 final.

Here is a look at how all four got here before they step to the first tee box at 7:10 a.m. on Saturday with a trip to the finals on the line.

Carpenter def. Sommers, 2-1

Carpenter birdied her first hole to take a quick 1-up lead before Sommers responded with a birdie and a par on Nos. 2 and 3 to grab her only lead of the day.

It did not last long after Carpenter made the shot of her tournament so far on the par-four fifth hole. She had a strong wind blowing right to left that she compensated for as she perfectly placed her approach shot that spun into the cup from 131 yards out for eagle.

Emma Carpenter watches her tee shot at the "Minnesota Hole" (the
Emma Carpenter watches her tee shot at the "Minnesota Hole" (the par 3 7th) land on Aug. 5, 2022. Carpenter, the top seed in the Women's Championship advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 win over the 8 seed Samantha Sommers.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“I kind of aimed right and tried to hit it with almost a little cut spin,” Carpenter said. “The wind just kind of helped it fall left, and then it spun back a foot or something into the hole. I needed it because she put it to like seven feet on that hole.”

It was the turning point in Carpenter’s round.

“That was to get the match back to all square. From then on, it was her and I getting birdies and pars,” she said. “I was 4-under on 17, and I believe she was probably 2-under. That’s the way you want to win. It was not easy. It was stressful, but it was a great time. She’s a great person.”

Carpenter followed up the win on 5 with a par win at 6. Her only bogey the rest of the day came on hole 9, and Sommers was quick to pounce on the opportunity with a par win. That took things to the turn all square.

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Sommers shot 2-under through seven holes on the back, but still could not steal enough wins. Carpenter won Nos. 11 and 14 with birdies. Sommers got one back with a birdie win at 15, but a win for Carpenter on 17 ended the match at 2-1.

“I had such a good time,” Carpenter said. “It’s days like these that make me want to keep competing. I look at her, she’s obviously an alumni and she’s still out here competing and giving me a heck of a match. I know I’m going to want to be the same way.”

Skaar def. Stockmoe, 6-5

Leah Skaar took control of her match against Alexandria’s Lauren Stockmoe early on by taking a 4-up lead into the turn.

Leah Skaar pushes her tee shot at the No. 9 hole down the fairwa
Leah Skaar hits her tee shot at the No. 9 hole down the fairway on Aug. 5, 2022. Skaar made the Women's Division semifinals at this year's Resorters by getting a 6-5 win on Friday.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Skaar, a junior at North Dakota State University, got par wins right off the bat on holes 1 and 2. Both players shot 2-over par over the next three holes, but Skaar righted the ship with a birdie win at the par-five sixth. She added another win with par on hole 9 to take all the momentum to the back.

Stockmoe’s lone win of the match came with a birdie at 11. Skaar made sure it wasn’t enough. She was steady over the last four holes, taking 10 and 13 with par, and adding a birdie win at the par-five 12th hole to secure her spot in the semifinals.

Monty def. Eldred, 2-1

Caroline Monty just graduated from high school in Stillwater this past spring, and she has shown a lot of calm in tight matches this week.

She was at it again on Friday, storming back from a strong three-hole stretch from two-time Resorters champ Alayna Eldred and winning 2-1.

Monty was 2-up at the turn after shooting even-par 37 on the front, but she ran into some trouble on holes 10-12. Two bogeys allowed Eldred to pull even with par wins, and a birdie by Eldred at the par-five 12th gave her a 1-up lead.

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Caroline Monty launches a shot from the tee box towards the par
Caroline Monty launches a shot from the tee box towards the par 3 7th hole on Aug. 5, 2022, during her quarterfinal match. Monty, a Stillwater native who graduated from high school this past spring, got a 2-1 win over defending champion Alayna Eldred on Friday to advance to the semifinals in the Women's Division.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Monty stayed the course. She came right back with a par win at 13, and then did the exact same on 14 and 15 when Eldred opened the door a bit with bogeys.

That 2-up advantage is how things ended after both players parred holes 16 and 17.

Boraas def. Olsen, 2-1

Hannah Boraas will add to her Resorters title she won in the Junior Division a couple of years ago if she can finish off two more wins.

Hannah Boraas attempts to make an uphill putt on the No. 6 green
Hannah Boraas attempts to make an uphill putt on the No. 6 green during her quarterfinal match on Aug. 5, 2022 in the Women's Division at the Resorters. Boraas won her match 2-1 to advance to Saturday's semifinals.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Boraas took hole 17 with a par against MacKenzie Olsen to finish off her 2-1 win in the quarterfinals. Olsen led early by taking the first hole with a par, but Boraas struck right back with par wins at 2 and 5 and a birdie win on hole 3. Olsen stayed close with a couple of par wins at 7 and 9, but Boraas had an answer throughout the day.

She won 10 with a birdie before Olsen took 11 and 12 with birdies of her own. Boraas again answered, this time with a par win at 13 to go 1-up. She never trailed again as the win at 17 sent her to the semifinals.

WOMEN’S DIVISION SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS - SATURDAY ON THE FIRST TEE

7:10 a.m. - Emma Carpenter vs. Leah Skaar; Caroline Monty vs. Hannah Boraas   

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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