GRAND FORKS — Morgan Hetletved finished with a flourish — both for the day and for her career as a high school golfer.
Hetletved shot the low round of her career Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, to clinch medalist honors at the North Dakota Class A girls state tournament at King's Walk Golf Course. In doing so, she led the Roughriders to the program's first state title since 1997.
Red River finished the two-day tournament with a 627 team score. Defending champion Bismarck St. Mary's shot a 644 to edge Bismarck Century by one stroke for second place.
Sydney Smith, the defending tournament champion, rallied from 10th place after round 1 to finish alone in second. Smith, headed to UND to play golf next fall, shaved five strokes off her opening round to finish with a 75.
Tonya Dvorak also finished in the top five. Her two-day total of 157 knotted her with Century's Hannah Herbel and Betsy Seaver of Red River in fourth place.
Century's earned Amber Domres placed seventh at 160.
Hetletved, who was named Class A senior golfer of the year, had a 141 to beat defending champion Sydney Smith of Bismarck St. Mary's by 14 strokes.
"Morgan's scores made everybody on our team breath a little easier,'' said Red River's Eric Sanders, who was named Class A coach of the year. "It's super close if she doesn't have that good of a performance. She had a fantastic tournament.
"Morgan had the two best rounds of her career. No words describe how clutch that was.''
Hetletved, who entered the tournament with the state's season-low average, had a career-best two days. She shot her career-low score of 71 on Monday, then beat it by a stroke Tuesday. She capped her prep career with an eagle on No. 17 and a birdie on No. 18.
"I've never played better than this,'' Hetletved said. "I was hitting the ball really well. My putting was really good. And I chipped in for an eagle twice today; I haven't had an eagle all year.
"I was expecting my best — mid-70s rounds like I usually shoot here. I never have shot below par before. To do it two straight days, that's crazy.''
Hetletved wasn't a one-person team.
The Roughriders had three of the low eight scores. Betsy Seaver tied for fourth with a 157 and Lily Bredemeier was eighth with a 161. Both earned top-10 all-state designation. Rounding out Red River's state scoring was Lexi Laframboise, who shot a 168 to tie for 18th.
"If you're going to win, you have to have that,'' Sanders said. "You don't win state without quality depth.
"To play on your home course is a big advantage. Golf is all about being comfortable and confident. It's pretty clear the girls were that.''
For Hetletved, there was more satisfaction in the championship as a team rather than as an individual.
“Winning as a team, it’s so awesome,’’ the senior said. “We worked so hard for this. We’re so close. I think we all picked up our game a notch.’’