Tom O'Leary Golf Course has a reputation for being friendly to stroke averages.
As such, high school golfers normally relish the opportunity to play the venerable course.
Not so Tuesday, though.
Golfers who gathered for the wind-swept Bismarck Public Schools girls invitational started in a rain shower. They finished five hours later chilled by temperatures that barely crept over 60 degrees.
Scores reflected the conditions. Hannah Herbel of Century and Minot's Becca Tschetter tied for top billing at 80, Herbel winning medalist honors in a one-hole playoff. That's 11 strokes over par.
Herbel and Tschetter matched the tendency of the day's scores. Herbel shot a 44-36 and Tschetter logged a 43-37.
Tschetter's drive on the first playoff hole, No. 1, found the trees. Herbel made a bogey putt for a 5, and Tschetter finished with a 6.
Only five girls broke 85 over O'Leary's 2,855 yards. Abby Schmidt of St. Mary's finished third with an 81. Leah Herbel of Century carded an 82 and Jaci Jones of Minot posted an 84.
Century remained undefeated, edging Minot 341-342 for its fifth victory of the season. The Patriots shot their second-highest total of the year.
The key to playing in such trying conditions, according to Century's lone senior, Riley Ball, is to maintain focus.
Ball, who also plays soccer and is an all-region hockey player, says the playing conditions are essentially irrelevant.
"It wasn't very fun, but we had to play through it," said Ball, who shot an 46-42 -- 88. "You have to play your game and not have any excuses out there."
Ball said that type of mental toughness is ingrained in her approach to sports.
"It comes naturally. I'm a super-competitive person," she noted.
You have free articles remaining.
During Tuesday's round, Ball said she had no way of knowing the tournament would come down to one stroke. But it wouldn't have made much difference. She said she plays like every shot matters.
"I put pressure on myself, because when I put pressure on myself I tend to do better," she observed.
Fortunately for the Patriots, the day didn't end in a deadlock. Minot would have enjoyed a 101-97 edge in the fifth-score tiebreaker.
CHS coach Lindsay Reede said Tuesday's outcome is a object lesson in how important it is to play every stroke for keeps.
"It shows how important every shot is. ... On a day like today anything can happen. You've got to play through it," she noted. "Our kids played through (the rain) and worked hard the rest of the tournament."
Reede said she doesn't think Tuesday's one-stroke win was an aberration. She expects Minot to be running neck-and-neck with the Majettes the rest of the season.
"I expected it. They're going to be great competition for the rest of the season. This will push us to work hard at practice. They definitely are strong competition for us," she said.
Minot coach Scott Foltz sees things much the same way.
"We closed the gap under terrible conditions. I like our progress," Foltz said. "It was their home tournament on their home course. I'm very happy with the way we played."
Foltz said Century is the measuring stick, and Minot has placed second behind the Patriots three times, including margins of one and three strokes.
"If you want to be state champions you've got to beat the state champion, and that's Century," he said.
The teams take a six-day break before returning to action next Tuesday at Riverwood for the St. Mary's Invitational.
NOTE: Six girls were disqualified for inadvertently using an incorrect tee box.