GRAND FORKS — Playing in her final tournament as a high school golfer, Century’s Annie Nelson was willing to take a few risks.

The gamble Nelson took on the 10th hole at the Grand Forks Country Club in Monday’s first round of the state tournament paid off big time.

Instead of using her 3-wood off the tee on the 225-yard par-4, the Century senior grabbed her driver. She put her tee shot within 3 feet of the pin and recorded an eagle.

That memorable hole propelled Nelson to a first-round 76, putting in her a tie for second two strokes off the lead heading into today’s final round.

“(Sunday) during practice I used the 3-wood, but I decided to go for it,” Nelson said. “... I wanted to take some risks.”

Nelson, the West Region champ, is two strokes back of Ashley Bixby of West Fargo, who shot a 74. She is tied with East Region champion Kathleen Marsh.

Nelson also helped put Century in contention for the team championship, a race that looks wide open. Grand Forks Red River grabbed the first-round lead with a score of 351. Fargo Davies and Fargo North are tied for second two strokes back. Century is fourth at 357, with West Fargo at 358. The teams in sixth through 10th, including Bismarck in ninth, are bunched between 362 and 368.

“It’s very, very close,” Century coach Cherlene Nelson said. “It’s really exciting. I guess in the West this year, it’s been like you never know who’s going to win. It’s fun to come out here and have it be the same.”

Aside from her eagle, Nelson shot a steady round, without any birdies, but not many bogeys, either.

“I just got up and down in a lot of places,” Nelson said. “I’m really proud of the way I played.”

The Patriots, who lost No. 2 player Lauren Bischof to a back injury midseason, managed to stay in the title mix.

Alexis Blazek shot a 52 on the front nine, but rallied with a 41 on the back nine. Sydney Smith, an eighth-grader, shot a 94, as did Kayla Smith, Century’s No. 6 player.

“It was a really fun day,” said coach Nelson.

Bismarck was led by Katie Kasper, who carded an 80. Kasper is in a five-way tie for fifth. Taylor Miller shot a 92, and Gretta Gilje and Irelyn Huntley both carded 97s, giving the Demons a team score of 366.

Mandan was in 12th place with a 391. Kayla Helbling shot a 93. Sydnie Mongeon shot a 95, KayCee Schulz a 99 and Megan Broeckel a 104.

Team Scores

1. G.F. Red River 351. 2. (tie) Fargo Davies and Fargo North 353. 4. Century 357. 5. West Fargo 358. 6. Dickinson 362. 7. Fargo Shanley 363. 8. Jamestown 364. 9. Bismarck 366. 10. Minot 368. 11. Wahpeton 370. 12. Mandan 391. 13. G.F. Central 398.

Individual Results

Top 10

1. Ashley Bixby, WF, 74. 2. (tie) Annie Nelson, Cen, and Kathleen Marsh, FD, 76. 4. Rachel Jahner, Dic, 79. 5. (tie) Katie Kasper, Bis; Jennifer Marsh, FD; Riana Cooper, Dic; Sierra Bennion, Jam; Casey DeBeltz, GFRR, 80. 10. Jessica Vig, Shan, 82.

By Team

G.F. Red River (351): Casey DeBeltz 80, Morgan Hetletved 87, Alexis Caoili 92, Hilary Whalen 92, Betsy Seaver 93, Samantha DeBeltz 108.

Fargo Davies (353): Kathleen Marsh 76, Jennifer Marsh 80, Anna Davison 98, Amber Kosir 99, Lexa Brossart 103, Jenna Forknell 107.

Fargo North (353): Abby Sklebar 84, Keely Spiess 88, Addie Long 90, Hanna Berg 91, Kally Kvidera 96, Kenzie Jenson 100.

Century (357): Annie Nelson 76, Alexis Blazek 93, Sydney Smith 94, Kayla Smith 94, Lauren Fleming 101, Grace Doppler 101.

West Fargo (358): Ashley Bixby 74, Ashley Peterson 91, Sierra Peterson 95, Brittany Rheault 98, Kennedy Kraft 104, Katie Froemke 106.

Dickinson (362): Rachel Jahner 79, Riana Cooper 80, Rachel Lantz 101, Kelsey Yon 102, Katherine Kessel 106, Sydney Charchenko 112.

Fargo Shanley (363): Jessica Vig 82, Payton Thimjon 92, Hannah Ohm 94, Marcela Hanson 95, Abby Armstrong 96, Aly Corbid 99.

Jamestown (364): Sierra Bennion 80, Kaitlin Mullowney 93, Maria LeFevre 95, Sarah Azure 96, Mara LeFevre 106, Savannah Kramlich 115.

Bismarck (366): Katie Kasper 80, Taylor Miller 92, Gretta Gilje 97, Irelyn Huntley 97, Kylie Bergan 102, Carissa Craven 104.

Minot (368): McKinley Bender 88, Paige Argent 89, Evie Reynolds 92, Hallie Williamson 99, Makensy Arlien 99, Marley Foltz 115.

Wahpeton (370): Leslie Hibl 86, Savonnah Haselhorst 88, Kelsey Darwin 94, Emma Rubish 102, Jessica DeVillers 105, Laken Breuer 107.

Mandan (391): Kayla Helbling 93, Sydnie Mongeon 95, KayCee Schulz 99, Megan Broeckel 104, Cortnie Mongeon 110, Micaela Higlin 116.

G.F. Central (398): Sami Marshall 93, Frankie Good 96, Shaylee Ferguson 100, Jordan Reiter 109, Alizjah Swenson 110, Sadie McGee 133.

Fargo South (no team score): Emily Grothmann 94.

Devils Lake (no team score): Mallory Vose 114.