EAST GULL LAKE -- Even without her own driver, Val Meschke plays her best golf at the Classic at Madden's.
Similar to last year's Brainerd Co-ed Girls' Invitational, Val Meschke led the Pequot Lakes Patriots to the team title with an 88 Thursday.
"She broke her driver (Wednesday) on the sixth hole at Wildflower (in Fergus Falls)," said Pequot coach Judy Heslop. "So then she was playing with her 3-iron because her 3-wood went kind of weird on her. Then here she was using my driver so it was a little different equipment but I saw her have a lot of really good shots."
The Patriots scored a 368 to win by 11 strokes over Brainerd. Kim Larson shot a third-place 89, Ashley Meschke shot a fifth-place 94 and Ali Gravdahl was close behind with a 98 for Pequot.
"It's basically all four girls rotating for the best score," Heslop said. "Slowly as they get more experience and gain more confidence their scores will get better."
It was the fourth invitational victory for Pequot and its third in as many days.
The Patriots have not lost to a Class 1A team this year. The team isn't phased by its early success, but the team's confidence is growing.
"I think our team can do it," Val Meschke said about Pequot going back to the 1A state tournament, which the Patriots won last year. "I think we're getting good scores and we've won a couple of meets. There's pressure, but I think we can do it."
For Val Meschke, it was the same story just a different year. Meschke shot a career-best 82 last year at Madden's only to lose in a scorecard tiebreaker to Staples-Motley's Mary Hasselberg. This year she tied Crosby-Ironton's Sam Welle with an 88 but lost again on the scorecard playoff to finish second again.
The sophomore didn't mind. She just loves playing the course.
"I was looking forward to playing this course," said Val Meschke. "I think when you play a course good, then you look forward to playing it and your mental game is there.
"My irons were really good. From 100 yards in it was very good, except for my putting."
Welle shot a front-nine 47 but came back with a 5-over-par 41 on the back nine for her 88. Welle, along with 97s from Hanni Johnson and Sarah Uglem, helped C-I to third place with a 387.
Brainerd was led by Emily Dunphy's 90. The Warriors shot a 379 with Kate Bjornson's 94, Jenny Olson's 95 and Megan Owens' 100.
Team scores -- 1-Pequot Lakes 368, 2-Brainerd 379, 3-Crosby-Ironton 387, 4-Little Falls 408, 5-Staples-Motley 421, 6-Wadena-Deer Creek 443, 7-Aitkin 474
Individual medalist -- Sam Welle (C-I) 88
Top five -- 2-Val Meschke (PL) 88, 3-Kim Larson (PL) 89, 4-Emily Dunphy (B) 90, 5-Ashley Meschke (PL) 94
Aitkin results -- Melissa Hasskamp 109, Melissa Welshons 115, Erin Eno 123, Emily O'Neil 127, Emily Eisenbraun 129
Brainerd results -- Emily Dunphy 90, Kate Bjornson 94, Jenny Olson 95, Megan Owens 100, Sarah Christensen 106, Nikki Bender 108
Crosby-Ironton results -- Sarah Uglem 97, Hanni Johnson 97, Kate Gaffney 105, Amanda Kobberdahl 105, Kelly Bauer 109
Little Falls results -- Paige Johnson 97, Ashley Messerschmidt 100, Kayla Kluver 103, Katie Faufau 108, Sarah Herold 113
Pequot Lakes results -- Ali Gravdahl 98, Kendra Larson 114, Brooke Keys 129
Staples-Motley results -- Lacey Peterson 94, Ashley Longbella 102, Brittany Froman 109, Sara Domier 116, Alicia Ulring 119, Kayla Peterson 145
Wadena-Deer Creek results -- Chassy Dreger 102, Megan Sorenson 104, Sarah Tabery 107, Kayla Gustafson 130, Chelsea Pettit 131, Tracy Gustafson 140
Next meet -- Brainerd, Little Falls, Aitkin, Pequot Lakes, C-I, W-DC in Rangers Invitational, Cuyuna Country Club, Deerwood, 9 a.m. Saturday.
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