Riverwood has been called many things, among them demanding, unforgiving and a man's golf course.
Monday, in the Bismarck High School Invitational, it lived up to its reputation.
Nobody reached par 72 and only five golfers broke 80. Meanwhile, 14 players watched their scores skyrocket in to triple figures.
Mandan's Trey Hohbein took individual honors with a round of 36-37 -- 73. His scorecard was clean with not a double-bogey to be found.
The only other players to finish under 80 were Minot's Gavin Argent with a 74, Bismarck's Ian Jelsing (78) and Century's Logan Schoepp and Dylan Nosbush (79s).
Only three teams slogged around 18 holes on the south Bismarck course without somebody shooting 100 or more. Not coincidentally, those teams ran near the front of the pack. Century won with a 321, Minot carded a 323 for second and Jamestown finished fifth at 355.
"This course will separate the teams, because it takes a really good round to get around this course in the eighties, or better," Century golf coach Preston Brown observed.
Minot coach Shane Hannegrefs was in agreement.
"This is a tough golf course, especially getting four good scores on it. There are so many areas where you can get into trouble," he said.
Century, playing without a senior, cobbled together its winning score by relying on depth. Two of the usual suspects, Schoepp and Nosbush, led the way with 79s, but the other two scores came from less likely sources. Freshman Lucas Schoepp shot an 81 and sophomore Cameron Wittenberg posted an 82.
The Patriots were the only team to log two sub-80 rounds.
"We had some good backup today. That's why it's so important to have six good players, especially with this course today, The Links next week and then Hawktree (the regional and state tournament site)," Brown noted.
Monday's tournament was the second of two regular-season state qualifiers. Thus, any golfers shooting within seven strokes of the medalist, or within seven strokes of par, earned a berth in the state tournament. Six varsity golfers met that standard by shooting 80 or under, and Ashton Heilman of Minot also qualified with an 80 in the junior varsity tournament.
Hohbein, a senior, claimed his third medal of the spring. He previously won at Tom O'Leary and Dickinson. He did so by staying out of big trouble. His round consisted of 13 pars, two birdies and a pair of bogeys. He shot par-36 on the front nine and had a one-over 37 on the back nine.
He said consistency is the only way to stay out of trouble at Riverwood, where one mistake can be compounded into an ugly number.
"It's a hard course that teaches you to play consistent," he said. "You just have to leave (a mistake) behind you. Put it in the past. ... I really didn't put myself in trouble. ... I was in some situations, but I played smart to get out of them."
Hohbein said playing smart is matter of "taking it one shot at a time. Don't let (a mistake) get into your head."
With just three weeks remaining of the season, Hohbein said Monday's performance was a good omen.
"I felt pretty good with my game today. I'm right where I want to be," he said.
Brown, too, liked what he saw at Riverwood, but noted there's 72 holes of difficult golf straight ahead.
"I'm happy with our scores as they are today, but we've still got some double bogeys we're working on to get ready for WDA and state," he noted. "We know what we've got to work on. It's not a guessing game. We've got to get better at our short game."
Hannegrefs said his players learned a hard lesson on Monday.
"Outside of Gavin (Argent) every kid had two or three holes with double or triple bogeys. You can't do that and win," he observed.
"We shot a 304 at Mandan (last week) and a 323 here. Yes, this is a demanding golf course, but there are ways to manage that," he added. "But we're not that far away. We're where we want to be. We don't have a tournament for another week so we can have a good week of practice."