Girls to face challenging 18 holes
The RHS girls golf team has played 18-hole rounds all season, but the next 18 is a true 18.
The Class B girls state meet, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, will be played at the 18-hole CrossRoads Golf Club in Carrington. Region 4 meets are held at 9-hole courses, giving the girls a quick chance to rebound with familiar back 9s.
“With an 18-hole course you don’t get a chance to do that,” RHS coach Leah Johnson said, “so every hole is different and that’s just something we’re not used to. Water is not a huge problem on this course, neither are trees.”
Rugby advanced as the Region 4 team champion, beating Dunseith by 20 strokes. The RHS 404 was led by individual medalists Elizabeth Blessum and Darby Deckert at 98.
The team steadily improved as the short season progressed and Johnson is confident.
“I have a feeling there’s going to be a few holes where the girls won’t be able to use their drivers and have to pull out hybrids and irons,” Johnson said, “which can be hard because teeing off like that is not what you’re used to.”
Johnson said the bunkers are different than what they’re accustomed to, so chipping will be a focus during Monday’s practice round.
“Roughs are real thick and they’ve got some greens that are oddly placed behind trees and bunkers, so that’s where the challenges are,” Deckert said.
The team scrimmaged Dunseith on Friday as a final tuneup before traveling to Carrington.
“As the second-place team in our region, they match up pretty well with us and it’s good to just have that competition and not just play with teammates,” Johnson said.
Both girls said practice has gone well lately and the team has focused on shots within 100 yards of the hole. Members of the team were expected to play the course Thursday for practice before Monday’s official practice round.
“What we really need to do this week is get our game face on,” Johnson said. “We relaxed last week once we qualified and I think that helped, but we need to get ready to play.”
Rugby was seventh last year at state, which was played at Tom O’Leary Golf Course in Bismarck. Blessum led the team with a two-day score of 194 followed by Deckert’s 200.
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