Northerly winds gusting into the 30s and temperatures in the 50s never make golfers happy. And things were especially fierce for high school golfers on Monday at Hawktree Golf Club.
"Northerly or northwesterly winds would probably be the worst (at Hawktree). It was tough, especially the par-threes today because of the side winds," said Century's Logan Schoepp.
Nonetheless, Schoepp navigated the 6,420-yard layout in 79 strokes to take medalist honors in the St. Mary's Invitational tournament.
His teammates followed suit, posting a 334 to edge Minot by three strokes for the team title. Bismarck, Jamestown and Dickinson completed the top five in the 10-team field with scores of 360, 364 and 370, respectively.
The victory was Century's third of the season. Minot has won once.
Schoepp was the medalist for the first time. His previous best was a third-place tie at the East-West Classic two weeks earlier in Jamestown.
Although Schoepp's seven-over-par 41-38--79 was not eye-popping, CHS coach Preston Brown said a closer glance at the scorecard tells a tale.
"Logan had no big numbers. He didn't have a six on his card. That's unbelievable. ... Some of the holes out there are brutal with winds like this," Brown observed.
Schoepp's round consisted of a birdie and eight bogeys, the type of consistency Brown appreciates.
"We've been preaching that we've got to find a way to get rid of the big numbers, the doubles and triples," Brown said.
The birdie came on the par-five, 519-yard seventh hole.
Schoepp, a 5-foot-6, 205-pound junior, said Monday's round was a mental war with the wind.
"It's a grind for each par, and birdies are a little extra," he said. "You're almost willing to accept bogeys because the conditions are so tough."
Staying away from real trouble was something of a feat on Monday, but Schoepp said consistency has been his forte as a golfer.
"Usually I don't have many sixes, maybe a six every other round," he noted. "I know my strengths and weaknesses pretty well and I play off that."
Schoepp was the only golfer to break 80. His teammate, Duncan Tufte, took second with an 81. An 86 earned a place in the top 10.
When he got to Hawktree Monday morning and discovered the conditions with which he'd be dealing, Schoepp said he had a modest goal.
"I was hoping to get below 80," he said.
For awhile it appeared a round in the low 80s would win it. Tufte's and Scheopp's scores were among the later ones to be posted on the scoresheets.
Brown said he was impressed with the way his team maintained its resolve in the face of the persistent winds.
"In order to win a grind like this in these conditions you have to have grit. It shows the mental toughness to get it done. It's a good sign," Brown noted. "We had two, three, four kids who found a way to get it done today."
The wind aside, Brown said out-shooting Minot is never easy.
"Any time we can edge them we know we've accomplished something," he observed.
NOTES: Minot sophomore Brock Jones logged a hole in one on the 179-yard eighth hole and carded an 84, which gave him a share of seventh place. ... Hawktree will play host to the West Region and state Class A tournaments early next month.