Bison bounce back strong after poor opening round
Led by Madi Hicks and Leah Skaar, the North Dakota State University women’s golf team opened the spring portion of their 2022-23 season with a fifth-place finish at the 17-team Grand Canyon Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. Bouncing back from an opening-round 17-over par 301, the Herd followed up with rounds of 291 and 287 to finish at 879 (+27). The 879 was good enough for a three-way tie with Seattle and the University of Texas–El Paso. The tournament was played on the Grand Canyon University Golf Course, a 7,269-yard, par 71 facility.
Hicks, the left-hander from Victoria, Minn., carded back-to-back even par 71s after an opening round of 76 (+5). That 218 put Hicks into a tie for 17th place. Skaar finished tied in 19th place just one stroke behind Hicks at 219 (74-73-72).
The Bison, playing on grass in their first competition of the spring season, struggled in the first round as a team. Skaar and Elise Hoven matched each other with three-over 74s in the opening round. However, the women came back well, playing the next eight individual rounds at a +13 pace, an average of 72.6 on the par 71 layout.
The Bison set several personal lows in the tournament as well. Placing for the Bison was Hoven (74-75-71–220) who notched a career-best 54-hole total of 220 to finish tied for 26th place. Jo Baranczyk (77-72-76–225) tied a career-low 225 to come in tied for 46th place. Catherine Monty (79-76-73–228) closed out the group tied for 58th place.
Cora Larson (74-75-72–221), who competed as an individual, notched a season-low 221 to finish tied for 32nd place.
Next up for the Bison is a trip to Utah and the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational on March 9-11 at the Sunbrook Golf Course in St. George.