NISSWA -- What a difference a year makes for Crosby-Ironton Ranger Sam Welle.
The senior matched first-round leader Brittany Williamson's 8-over-par 80 Friday at Grand View Lodge's Pines Golf Course to finish second individually at the Pequot Lakes two-day, girls' golf Invitational.
Williams led Bemidji to the team championship as well.
Pequot finished third with a 734 behind Moorhead's second-place 725.
Brainerd Warrior golfer Jenny Olson putted for par Friday at the Pines Golf Course at Grand View Lodge. The Warriors finished seventh in the Pequot Lakes Invitational.
C-I placed fifth thank to Welle's 159 and teammate Sarah Uglem's ninth-place 180.
Welle shot a first-round 79 at the Preserve Golf Course Thursday for her two-day total 159, five strokes behind Williamson. Despite being paired with the eventual winner, Welle said she wasn't stressing to get back those five strokes. She just wanted to match the medalist.
"I've played with her in the past so I knew what she could shoot and how she played," said Welle. "I didn't feel any pressure. I was hitting the ball really well. My driving was good, I had some trouble putting, but I also hit a couple of putts to save par."
Welle, who has a second and a third-place finish already this season, is happy with her game. That's a change from last year when she struggled out of the gates.
Brainerd Warrior Danielle Vickerman chipped onto the green Friday at The Pines Golf Course at Grand View Lodge during the Pequot Lakes Invitational. (Dispatch Photos by Nels Norquist)
"This year, I just think everything has clicked for me right away," Welle said. "My game is pretty much on right now.
"I feel real well and I have a lot of self-confidence when I go out and play. I feel like I can shoot anything."
The Patriots, last year's Class 1A state champions, look poised to repeat. Pequot shot six strokes better than their 370 on Thursday.
"I'm happy with them," said Patriot coach Judy Heslop. "I went out and watched and our putting on both days wasn't the best. We were a lot better putters last year, but we really haven't had any place to practice.
"We worked on our short game enough and it showed. Our focus from now on is going to be our short game."
Ashley Meschke led the way with a 177 for seventh individually. Her sister, Val Meschke, shot a 179 for eighth. Kim Larson was 11th with a 182 and Ali Gravdahl, who shaved 18 strokes off her first-round score, finished with a 196.
"Ali's parents bought her new clubs and took her to play all summer and she spent a lot of time on her game," said Heslop. "The Pines and Preserve are hard courses and I just think she forgot what to do to help herself out.
"She practiced 45 minutes after her round Thursday. She just needed a little refresher."
Ashley Messerschmidt finished sixth individually with a 175 leading Little Falls to eighth place. Brainerd, led by Jenny Olson's 186, was seventh.
Team scores -- 1-Bemidji 707, 2-Moorhead 725, 3-Pequot Lakes 734, 4-Grand Rapids 754, 5-Crosby-Ironton 758, 6-Roseau 768, 7-Brainerd 771, 8-Little Falls 781, 9-Monticello 785, 10-Pierz 819, 11-Wadena-Deer Creek 849, 12-Staples-Motley 874
Individual medalist -- Brittany Williamson (B) 154
Brainerd results -- Jenny Olson 93-93-186, Kate Bjornson 101-94-195, Sarah Christensen 99-98-197, Megan Owens 93-105-198, Katie Diiro 99-108-207, Danielle Vickerman 105-102-207
Crosby-Ironton results -- Sam Welle 79-80-159, Sarah Uglem 89-91-180, Amanda Kobberdahl 110-100-210, Kate Gaffney 102-114-216, Kelly Bauer 103-116-219, Hanni Johnson 105-118-223
Little Falls results -- Ashley Messerschmidt 86-89-175, Paige Johnson 101-90-191, Kayla Kluver 101-97-198, Katie Faufau 110-107-217, Angela Gau 110-112-222, Sarah Herold 115-113-228
Pequot Lakes results -- Ashley Meschke 85-92-177, Val Meschke 91-88-179, Kim Larson 87-95-182, Ali Gravdahl, 107-89-196, Kali Welu 115-113-228
Pierz results -- Diane Stangl 100-102-202, Beckie Loidolt 110-94-- 204, Christy Virnig 107-98-- 205, Kim Stangl 108-106-214, Jenny Jamma 106-114-220, Casey Otremba 106-122-228
Staples-Motley results -- Ashley Longbella 95-100-195, Sarah Domier 117-103--220, Lacey Peterson 114-109-223, Alicia Ulring 110-127-237, Brittany Froman 117-123-240, Kayla Peterson 127-125-222
Wadena-Deer Creek results -- Chassy Dreger 95-95-190, Megan Sorenson 105-109-214, Sarah Tabery 117-105-222, Kayla Gustafson 109-121-230, Chelsea Pettit 110-122-232, Kayla Stone 143-154-297
Next meet -- Crosby-Ironton in Aitkin Invitational at Ruttger's Monday, Pequot Lakes, Staples-Motley at Pelican Rapids Invitational Tuesday, Brainerd, Little Falls in CLC meet at Alexandria, 9:30 a.m.
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