Resorters golf: Gophers senior shoots 3-under in first time at AGC during women's qualifying
Three players finished at even par or better in a talented field.
ALEXANDRIA — Emma Carpenter had little trouble navigating the Alexandria Golf Club during her first round ever playing the course during the Women’s Division qualifying round on Monday afternoon.
Carpenter, a Dekalb, Illinois native who plays in the Big Ten at the University of Minnesota, shot a 3-under par 70. She will take the top seed into match play that starts on Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 from the first tee box.
“I was driving the ball well all day,” Carpenter said. “I wasn’t really able to capitalize on it on the back nine, but on the front I was able to hit some better wedges in there and take advantage of some more of those tee balls.”
Carpenter started on the back and got her first of five birdies at the par-five 12th. She was steady the rest of the way, parring Nos. 13-16, along with 18, around a bogey at 17.
Carpenter is good friends with Resorters regular Lincoln Johnson of Chaska, with Johnson also playing his college golf at the University of Minnesota. He joined up with Carpenter as her caddie near the middle of her round, and she credited him with helping her navigate the course for the first time.
Carpenter converted more birdie opportunities after making the turn to the front. It started on No. 1 before adding three more birdies at Nos. 3, 5 and 6. She took advantage of the par fives, birdying three of the four holes.
“I shot even on that first nine with a three-putt. That was super disappointing because a lot of times I just had a little wedge into the green and wasn’t able to capitalize,” Carpenter said. “I think I just did a really good job of staying patient. It’s really easy to get frustrated in those situations where you feel like you should be making birdies and you’re not. I stayed patient and tried to keep being aggressive off the tee and was able to dial in much better on those wedges.”
Carpenter will be a senior this year for the Gophers. She is also planning on using a fifth year of eligibility that college athletes have the option to use due to missing a year during COVID.
Carpenter had never played in the Resorters until this week, but she had heard plenty about the week-long match-play event from others.
Leah Herzog of Red Wing is a good friend and one of Carpenter’s teammates at Minnesota after Herzog transferred to the Gophers from the University of Nebraska.
Alayna Eldred, another former teammate of Carpenter’s at Minnesota before Eldred transferred to Ferris State, also sold her on coming to Alexandria. Herzog is the 2019 Women’s Division champion, while Eldred has two Resorters titles in this division from 2014 and 2021.
Eldred enters match play this week as the No. 2 seed in the division as the defending champion, while Herzog got in as the 15th seed after shooting a 79 in qualifying. Lincoln Johnson shot 5-under through two rounds of qualifying to take the fifth seed into the Men’s Championship match-play tournament.
“I had heard really good things about (the Resorters) from those three people saying it was their favorite week of the summer,” Carpenter said. “They love it so much, and I typically go back to DeKalb for the summer, but this is my first summer staying up north. It worked out really well to go ahead and register for this event and spend the week up here with so many great people.”
Carpenter adds to a talented women’s field at this year’s tournament. Detroit Lakes native Madison Herzog is playing well and searching for her first Resorters title after taking second in 2019 and 2021.
Madison is the third seed after shooting a 2-under par 71 during qualifying. She had just one bogey and added birdies at Nos. 3, 6 and 11 around 14 pars on Monday.
The cut to make the championship flight was an 80. Alexandria native Amanda Bigger carded that to earn the 16th seed and the right to face Carpenter in the first round.
Alexandria’s Lauren Stockmoe shot an even-par 73 during qualifying to earn the fourth seed. Leah Skaar, a junior this coming year at North Dakota State University, shot 74 to round out the top five seeds.
Carpenter has a better feel of the course now after playing it once as she heads into match play. She is ready to enjoy the week and see how far she can advance.
“There’s no doubt that this field is really good this week,” Carpenter said. “It’s just going to be about me and the golf course, not necessarily about me and another player. I’m just going to enjoy the good company. All of these girls are great girls. I’m going to play my own game and try to go as deep as I can every round. I’m going to try to get the most out of every hole.”
WOMEN’S DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT QUALIFYING SCORES (Par 73) - 1. Emma Carpenter - 70; 2. Alayna Eldred - Defending champion; 3. Madison Herzog - 71; 4. Lauren Stockmoe - 73; 5. Leah Skaar - 74; 6. Hannah Boraas - 75; 7. Lauren Contreras - 75; 8. Samantha Sommers - 76; 9. Catherine Monty - 76; 10. Caroline Monty - 77; 11. Avery O’Donnell - 77; 12. Cora Larson - 78; 13. Ale Heinen - 79; 14. MacKenzie Olsen - 79; 15. Leah Herzog - 79; 16. Amanda Bigger - 80
WEDNESDAY PAIRINGS - 1ST TEE
12:05 p.m. - Emma Carpenter vs. Amanda Bigger; Samantha Sommers vs. Catherine Monty
12:15 p.m. - Lauren Stockmoe vs. Ale Heinen; Leah Skaar vs. Cora Larson
12:24 - Alayna Eldred vs. Leah Herzog; Lauren Contreras vs. Caroline Monty
12:33 - Madison Herzog vs. MacKenzie Olsen; Hannah Boraas vs. Avery O’Donnell