Tommies on Top as Davies and Foley Shoot 66 to Lead MGA Women's Four-Ball
July 31, 2023 | 4 min.
By Nick Hunter
FARIBAULT, Minn. – An eagle and four birdies helped University of St. Thomas teammates Emma Davies and Katie Foley to a round of 6-under 66 Monday at Faribault Golf Club, jumping out to an early lead to begin the 2023 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
The two Tommies will look to improve on a third-place finish a year ago as they take a two-stroke victory over Jovie Ordal and Lily Vincelli to Tuesday’s final round.
“Emma was playing great, and it was just a very relaxed round,” Foley said following the opening round Monday. “The eagle on the first hole gave us some good momentum.”
Davies, an Eden Prairie High School alum, rolled in her eagle opportunity at the par-5 first to quickly put her team into red figures for the round, and followed it by sinking a 5-footer for birdie at the third.
Foley contributed at the par-4 fifth when she knocked her approach to six feet and sank her uphill birdie chance to move her and Davies to 4-under.
Davies countered by sinking an 8-footer at the eighth and then two-putter for birdie at the ninth to turn in 6-under.
But the two would run into trouble with their ball-striking down the stretch by carding three bogeys during the final nine holes to offset three birdies, carding a 6-under 66 to move one step closer to a first state championship win for the both of them.
“We struggled on the back—I couldn’t hit a fairway to save my life,” Davies said. “I just didn’t have looks into the greens. I kept getting stuck in the woods.”
“I was struggling to hit the green,” said Foley, a 2022 graduate of Brainerd High School. “If I would’ve hit more, I would’ve had a few more birdies. I just wasn’t trusting myself as much. I had some funky shots at the beginning of that back nine.”
Sinking three birdies over a four-hole span helped Ordal and Vincelli turn in 4-under for the round Monday, before the two slowed their scoring pace by taking bogey at the par-4 11th.
Vincelli helped keep her team in contention by sinking her par putt from 25 feet at the 13th, then managed to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the 15th to record a fifth birdie of the opening round for her and Ordal, finishing two shots off the lead at 4-under 68.
“We never really played a hole well together, but we ham-and-egged it,” Vincelli said. “We were able to get some good reads on the greens because we both had some really good putts that went in.”
“We had a few testers, but we didn’t miss any putts that we needed,” Ordal said. “On our back nine we didn’t pour in much—we had to battle a bit.”
No strangers to success when teaming up together, Ordal and Vincelli qualified for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in Puerto Rico, shooting rounds of 74 and 76, respectively to miss the cut for match play.
“We need to stay confident tomorrow, and now that we’ve played a round, we know where you need to be off the tee,” Vincelli said.
A soon-to-be senior at Cretin-Derham Hall, Vincelli earned her first state victory last season, teaming up with her father, Tony, to win the MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship at Northfield Golf Club.
In her five appearances at state events over the past four seasons, Ordal has never placed worse than sixth. She'll begin her senior year at Lakeville South High School this fall.
Recent Edina High School graduate Kate Burke combined with Rose Baynes, an Eden Prairie grad, to post a 1-under 71 Monday, and the two will begin the final round five shots off the lead.
The mother-daughter team of Nikki Reuterfeldt and Krista Larsen fired a 9-over 81 Monday to take a one-stroke lead in the First Flight.
They will need to fend off Christina Payton and Sheryl Raithel for the top spot when the championship resumes Tuesday. Denise Crosgrove and Nikki Heilskov tallied five birdies and one eagle during their opening round Monday to take a four-shot lead in the Net Division.
The final round of the 2023 MGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Faribault Golf Club.