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Golf: Local golfers compete in Minnesota Junior PGA events

Anna Eckmann, Mady Maninga, Nolan Eckmann, Carter Hillukka, Natalie Martin and Isabella Martin play well in summer tournaments.

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Park Rapids' Anna Eckmann played in four tournaments during the 2022 Minnesota Girls Junior PGA Tour and qualified for the Women's Championship Flight at the Birchmont.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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BEMIDJI – Three Park Rapids golfers competed in the 98th Birchmont held at the Bemidji Town & Country Club on July 24-29. The Birchmont is a six-day amateur match-play tournament.

Anna Eckmann and Mady Maninga competed in the Women’s Division while Nolan Eckmann competed in the Junior 17-U Division.

Anna Eckmann qualified for the Women’s Championship Flight after carding a 79 on the par-72 course to tie for fifth place during the qualifying round on July 26 while Maninga was placed in the Women’s Second Flight after carding an 88 to tie for 19th place. The low 16 of the 28 competitors earned spots in the Championship First Flight.

Nolan Eckmann tied for 12th place during the Junior 17-U qualifying round on July 25 with an 89. The low 8 of the 30 golfers qualified for the Championship Flight with Eckmann being placed in the First Flight.

Anna Eckmann lost her opening match to Carrie Lindgren of Chaska 2 & 1 and was sent to the First Flight. Eckmann followed with a 2 & 1 win over Emily Mallory of Grand Forks and a 2-1 win over Taylor Offerdahl of Bemidji before falling to Grand Forks’ Morgan Hitletved in the First Flight title match.

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Maninga opened with a 2-up win over Chaska’s Amber Koth before being eliminated with a 3 & 2 loss to Grand Forks’ Lily Bredemeier.

Nolan Eckmann captured the First Flight title by defeating Grand Forks’ Rylan Bures 8 & 6, Jackson Schumacher of New Rockford, North Dakota, 4 & 2, and Bemidji’s Nicholas Carlson 1-up.

Junior Tour, Junior Prep results

All three Park Rapids golfers also competed in several Minnesota PGA Junior Tour Series events this summer.

At the Minnesota State Junior Girls Championship at Fox Hollow Golf Club in St. Michael on July 11-12, Anna Eckmann tied for 21st with rounds of 77 and 82 for a 159. Madison Hicks won the title with rounds of 74 and 73 for a 147 on the par-72 course.

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Park Rapids' Mady Maninga won two titles during the 2022 Minnesota Girls Junior PGA Tour.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Anna Eckmann and Maninga tied for 24th place at the Minnesota Girls Junior PGA Championship at the Bemidji Town & Country Club on June 20-21. Eckmann had rounds of 82 and 87 for a 169 while Maninga carded rounds of 83 and 86 for a 169. Kathryn VanArragon of Blaine won that title with rounds of 66 and 73 for a 139 to top the 53-golfer field.

Eckmann earned a spot in the Girls Match Play Championship by tying for first place with a 78 during a qualifying round at the Alexandria Golf Club on July 13. At the Match Play Championship at Nisswa’s The Pines course on Aug. 2, Eckmann defeated Chanhassen’s Kieley Hanson 4 & 2 before being eliminated by Eden Prairie’s Sammy Youngquist 3 & 2 in the quarterfinals.

Both also competed in a Players Tour event at Duluth’s Northland Country Club on June 27 with Maninga taking first with rounds of 83 and 77 for a 160 on the par-71 course while Eckmann was second with rounds of 84 and 79 for a 163.

Maninga also won a Players Tour event at Wadena’s Whitetail Run on July 21 with an 81 on the par-72 course before placing sixth with rounds of 89 and 81 for a 170 in a Players Tour event at North Oaks Golf Club on Aug. 1-2.

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Nolan Eckmann played in four Junior Tour events. Eckmann tied for second place at the Bemidji Town & Country Club on June 28 with a 78, tied for ninth at Walker’s Tianna Country Club with a 91 on July 14, tied for sixth at Staples’ The Vintage Golf Club on July 18 with an 85, and was third at Whitetail Run on July 21 with an 83.

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Menahga's Carter Hillukka played in 12 Minnesota Boys Junior PGA Tour and Players Tour events during the 2022 season.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Menahga’s Carter Hrdlicka also competed in the Minnesota PGA Junior Tour and Players Tour Series. Hillukka finished ninth with a 73 on the par-64 Detroit Country Club’s Lakeview course at Detroit Lakes on June 14, was the runner-up at Deerwood’s Cuyuna Rolling Hills on June 15 with an 82 on the par-72 course, finished fourth at Superior National at Lutsen on June 17 with an 84 on the par-71 course, tied for 38th at Breezy Point’s Whitebirch course with rounds of 74 and 88 for a 162 on the par-72 course on June 22-23, carded an 85 on the par-71 course to tie for 21st place at a Junior PGA Qualifying event at Fargo’s Rose Creek on June 24, tied for second at the Fosston Golf Club with an even-par 73 on July 6, tied for 32nd with rounds of 85 and 77 for a 162 on the par-72 course at Fargo’s Rose Creek on July 11-12, tied for 39th with rounds of 80 and 83 for a 163 on the par-72 Minnewaska Golf Course on July 20-21, finished second with a 77 at the Mahnomen Country Club on July 26, tied for ninth with an 84 at Detroit Lakes’ Forest Hills Resort on July 27 and tied for 52nd at the Golden Valley Country Club with an 87 on Aug. 4.

Eckmann and Hillukka failed to qualify for the Boys Match Play Championship during qualifying at the Alexandria Golf Club on July 13. Hillukka had a 79 to tie for 20th place while Eckmann carded an 87 to tie for 42nd place in the 47-golfer field.

Park Rapids’ Natalie Martin and Isabella Martin competed in the Minnesota PGA Prep Tour. Both golfers went undefeated in six Prep Tour events.

Natalie Martin won all six events in the girls 10-12 division by carding a 41 on the par-33 course at Pokegama Golf Course in Grand Rapids on June 14, carding a 41 on the par-33 course at Fargo’s Osgood Golf Course on June 20, carded an 81 on the par-64 Detroit Country Club’s Lakeview course on June 21, carded a 43 on the par-36 Bemidji Town & Country Club course on June 28, carnded a 40 on the par-32 Tianna Country Club course on July 14 and had a 44 on the par-36 course at Whitetail Run on July 21. Natalie Martin also tied for third with a 77 on the par-62 course at Stillwater’s Applewood Hill Golf Course during the 12-U Junior PGA Championship on July 6.

Isabella Martin won all six events in the girls 7-9 division with rounds of 47 at Pokegama, 44 at Osgood, 94 at Lakeview, 47 at Bemidji, 45 at Tianna and 52 at Whitetail Run.

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The Park Rapids golfer wins the girls age 10-11 division during a Regional Qualifying event at Colorado's Castle Pines Golf Club.

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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