BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s golf team is set to open the 2013-14 season Sept. 6 at the Cobber Open. The 18-hole, one-day event will feature more than 20 teams from NAIA to the NCAA Division I level ascending on Wildflower Golf Course in Detroit Lakes, Minn.
The anticipation of the new season is compounded by the lofty expectations of the team. In his third season as head coach of the BSU women’s golf team, Mark Bagaason returns the entire roster from a 2012-13 squad that set program records and made great strides in competing on a week in, week out basis.
“I am excited to get the season underway,” said Bagaason. “We set three school records last year and everybody is coming back. The big thing about this group and the addition of the new players for this year is that they all work very hard and want to get better.”
“This weekend, we are taking all 11 players to the Cobber Open and are going to have two teams competing so it is going to be a good measuring stick for us and for me to be able to see where we might be able to plug in our numbers,” said Bagaason.
The team will be led by the Rachel and Monica Wold. The sisters, originally from Crookston, Minn., developed a healthy sibling rivalry playing together last year and it served the team well as they pushed each other to become better individual players.
“This is Rachel’s fourth year here and she has been solid for the program since the beginning,” commented Bagaason. “I think it has really helped to have her sister on the team. It’s lit a new fire in her to really get after it. Monica is an excellent golfer and that has really propelled Rachel to take her game to a new level.
“This season she has earned a spot as a team captain. She is a go-to person and a good leader,” said Bagaason. “The team has a respect for her because they know she is a good golfer.”
Rachel finished the 2012-13 season less than two shots behind her sister’s team-best 84.9 stroke average, at 86.4, posted a school record 75 to open the season at the SCSU Husky Triangular. In addition to leading the team in average, she won the BSU Invitational.
Also among the probable leaders are Kelly Blair (International Falls, Minn.) and Olivia Knutson (Hatton, N.D.). Knutson finished the season third on the team with an 86.9 stroke average a year ago, which included a top-10 finish at the Mustang Invitational, while Blair, who is also a sophomore, was named as a captain this season.
“Kelly Blair has good leadership skills,” said Bagaason. “We needed someone younger in a leadership role and she has proven she can be a go-to person. She helped in many ways last year and both she and Rachel have been very open to voicing concerns about the golf team, whether it be fun things or how we should practice, so that is what led to my decision about their captainships.”
The Cobber Open is the first of five fall events for the BSU women’s golf team. September 15-16, the team will travel to Lake Elmo, Minn. to participate in the Concordia-St. Paul Invitational before making a trip to Marshall, Minn. to compete in the Mustang Invitational Sept. 21-22. The team then returns home to host the BSU Invitational Sept. 27 before traveling to Brainerd, Minn. for the first two rounds of the 2013-14 NSIC Championships. Oct. 5-6.
For more information on the Bemidji State women’s golf program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).