It was an open invitation.
Megan Ross of Fort Frances attended a golf tournament in Baudette, Mn. on July 26 and it was in the clubhouse where she made mention of the upcoming Kitchen Creek Ladies Open.
“Linda [Morris] and her friend asked if they could sign up, so I took their names and took their handicaps and brought them to [Kitchen Creek pro] Steve [Wood],” noted Ross.
Morris arrived at Kitchen Creek on Saturday for the Ladies Open—and left as the winner. She carded an 82, which was six strokes better than her closest challenger—Ross.
So would Ross have changed her mind about making that invitation considering she would have won if Morris had not come?
“No,” Ross said a laugh. “This tournament is more or less about going out with the ladies and having a good time.”
Morris, who is not really long with her drives but places the ball very well in the fairway, according to Ross, and is about 30 years Ross’ senior (Ross is 32) couldn’t be reached for comment.
Thirty-six golfers took part in the annual event, which is about the average, although organizers always are looking for more numbers. And they’re always looking for people like Ross to help spread the word about Kitchen Creek and any upcoming tournaments it may have.
Ross has been playing the game for eight years and thoroughly enjoys the sport that pegs an individual against the course.
She sports a 17-handicap and though she is confident in her game, Ross was surprised when she peaked at the leaderboard to see her name underneath Morris’.
“I really didn’t think that I was playing that well because I had a couple of triples and I had a quadruple on another hole, and then I’d come back and make par and things like that,” noted Ross.
That quadruple bogey came at the 14th hole, which was her third of the day after the shotgun start. Ross sprayed her drive into the bush on the 334-yard par-four, so she took a drop.
“Hit my next shot and hit a tree and it ricocheted back into the hazard, so I had to take another shot,” she recalled.
But she collected herself, which was more difficult than usual because of the Venice Beach-like temperatures on Saturday. In fact, the sweltering heat caused her and most who are used to walking the course to switch to carts.
“I enjoy the walking part because you get a chance to focus more on your game instead of sitting in the cart chatting with someone,” she reasoned.
But what helped her play was playing with a good group in Donna Lee, one of the better golfers in town, Virginia Big George, Leena Copenace, the first low gross winner with a 96, and Kim Hekl, the first low net winner (78).
“It’s nice to playing with someone that is hitting the ball well because it kind of brings the group together and then everyone has good karma,” said Ross.
“Where if you have someone with a 40-handicap and they keep hitting it into the bush all the time, then you’re spending all your time in the bush and it kind of gets your focus off,” she added.
Here are the top finishers:
•Overall champion—Linda Morris (82)
•Overall net champion—Krista Ballard (62)
< *c>Championship flight
•First low gross—Megan Ross (88)
•First low net—Kim Hekl (78)
< *c>First flight
•First low gross—Penny McComb (95)
•First low net—Maureen Thompson (71)
< *c>Second flight
•First low gross—Leena Copenace (96)
•First low net—Arlene Georgeson (65)
< *c>Third Flight
•First low gross—Linda Laroque (112)
•First low net—Julie Lowry (76)
It was an open invitation.