The rain came and it left and came back again, but the weather was a non-factor during the Fall Kickoff Tournament hosted Monday by North Dakota State at the Fargo Country Club.
Senior Connor Holland did not play in the team’s first tournament of the 2015-16 season, and head coach Steve Kennedy said he isn’t completely sure when the team leader will be back on the links.
“(Holland) is still probably a week or two or maybe more away; we don’t know,” the third-year men’s head golf coach said. “It just hurts when he takes a full swing with the driver, so we are going to be patient with him.”
With Holland out, freshman Will Holmgren took over the reins, finishing with the best score for the Bison and tied for third overall with a one-over-par 73.
Sophomore teammate Nick Myhre was close behind with a two-over-par 74, placing him in fifth place.
“(I) started off a little slow, and then I started hitting a few fairways and greens, and I thought that was the biggest thing thing for me today because I hit a lot of greens. That gave me a lot of opportunities for birdies,” the Rockford, Minnesota native said.
The NDSU Bison were awarded with the team title after shooting a 15-over-par 303, but another Bison squad finished close behind.
The University of Manitoba Bison brought two teams to the NDSU’s men’s home course, and its second team finished one stroke behind the leaders with an 18-hole 304. Jamestown University and U of M’s first team tied for third with a score of 306.
“In our starting lineup today we had three true freshman,” Kennedy said. “So, there were a lot of nerves there, and I was please with the guys that competed.”
Jake Herdine finished tied for ninth for the Bison, the junior carded a 5-over-par 77.
The individual crown winner was Aaron McIntyre of U of M, shooting a two-under-par 70.
The Bison men will next tee up Monday and Tuesday at Arbor Links Golf Club in Nebraska City, Nebraska at the Omaha Invitational.
Sophomore Natalie Roth picked up right where she left off last season.
Last season’s Summit League Newcomer of the Year won her first collegiate tournament after finishing with an 18-hole score of two-under par.
At one point during her round she was four-under through 11 holes, but she finished with a final score of 70.
“I went into the tournament with a lot of confidence; my main goal was just to go out there and have a lot of fun and shoot a good score,” Roth said. “My shots were pretty accurate; I was getting close to the pin, and I just needed to roll in a couple putts, and I knew I could do that.”
Roth’s teammate Hailey Boner, who missed some time with a back injury late last season, tied for third with a score of five-over-par 77. Women’s head coach Matt Johnson said the team is going to need her to perform well in her final season with Bison.
The NDSU women also shot a total score of 303, a 15-over-par performance, winning the team title. The University of North Dakota’s first team came in second with a team score of 309, and UND’s second team finished in third place.
The two Jamestown University teams finished fourth and fifth.
Bison senior Cassie Wurm and junior Maggie Crippen tied for fifth both carding a six-over-par 78.
“She’s put in a lot of work,” Johnson said about Crippen. “(She’s) definitely worked hard over the summer to correct a couple things with her swing and the work is paying off.”
Sophomore Trisa Hutchinson and freshman Emma Groom both competed in the tournament as individuals and both placed in the top-10 after shooting a six-over-par 78 and a seven-over-par 79, respectively.
The Bison women will head southeast Sunday to compete in the William and Mary Invitational at Kingsmill Resort Golf Course in Virginia.