As goes Gavin Argent, so goes Minot's golf team.
On Tuesday, Argent followed his worst score of the season at the Links of North Dakota with his second-best to win the West Region golf tournament at Hawktree in Bismarck.
Likewise, the Magicians followed their worst score of the season at the Links with their third-best outing to win the regional title.
The wheels fell off at the Links of North Dakota last week where Argent carded an 86 and the Magicians finished sixth with a 355. The Links is located 28 miles east of Williston.
But the Magicians showed up in fighting trim for Tuesday's state qualifier. Argent, who was named the West Region's outstanding golf athlete, carded a 35-34 -- 69, three shots ahead of the pack. That's three under par.
"I played some good golf today. ... I usually don't play well out here. It's good to do well here the week before state," Argent noted.
And the Magicians shot a 306 to win by 14 strokes.
"Clearly Century (which shot a 320) didn't have a great day. It's always been nip and tuck with them. ... Peyton (Bartsch) had his best score of the year today (75) and that gave us some breathing room," Minot coach Shane Hannegrefs observed.
The top six teams earned berths in the state tournament behind Minot and Century the other qualifiers are Bismarck (326), St. Mary's (329), Legacy (341), Dickinson (343) and Jamestown (347). They'll join Grand Forks Red River, West Fargo Sheyenne, Fargo Davies, Grand Forks Central, West Fargo and Fargo North in the state tournament field on Monday at Hawktree.
Behind Argent in Tuesday's medalist chase were Tarin Walker of Bismarck and Logan Schoepp of Century at 73 and Logan Barrett of Legacy at 74.
Others with state qualifying scores were Bartsch, Caleb Fix of St. Mary's and Trey Hohbein of Mandan at 75; Anders Alm of Century and Ian Jelsing of Bismarck at 77 and Jack Homiston of Dickinson at 78.
Golfers who scored within seven strokes of par -- 79 or under -- earned state berths.
Argent's tidy scorecard featured no big numbers. He carded six birdies and three bogies.
"The worst I made was a five on a par-four. That helps the score, and I had six birdies today," he noted.
He shot five or under on all 18 holes, including a birdie two on the 160-yard 17th hole. Golfers played from the Hawk tees, setting up a 6,420-yard layout.
Argent said he likes where his game is heading into the final week of the season.
"I'm in a good spot to shoot two good scores next week. ... My swing has been great," he said.
Argent picked up the outstanding West Region senior athlete award during Tuesday's post-tournament ceremony.
"It's a bonus. It's a consequence of just playing well all season. Just playing good golf," he said.
He recalled his first trip around Hawktree at the St. Mary's Invitational in early May. He shot an 81 that day, which was good for third place under chilly, windy conditions.
"I started with an eight on the first hole," he related.
Minot fashioned its 306 from Argent's 69, Bartsch's 75 and a pair of 81s by Brock Jones and Karsen Rostad.
Hannegrefs said that's getting close to what he wants to see at the state tournament.
"We need to find a way to get a couple more guys in the 70s. If we can do that, we've got a chance," he observed. "Next week, hopefully, we can put it all together. You can't play defense in golf. You have to focus on your own ball."
Hannegrefs said a 306 on a course like Hawktree was a good omen.
"It showed we had pretty good depth. We didn't have to take a high score (in the team total)," he said.