Emily St. Aubin didn’t get to be a four-time defending state Class B golf champion without knowing how to grind it out.

But she did get to be Class B girls’ division champion at the 2020 North Dakota Spring Golf Championships on Wednesday by grinding out a four-shot win over Kindred’s Avery Bartels at Riverwood Golf Course.

The tournament was held as a replacement for high school boys and girls whose spring sports season were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Aubin’s 6-over-par 78 left her four shots up on the field, exactly where she was when the day began.

“Down the stretch, I was definitely struggling mentally,” St. Aubin said. “I tried to stay true to myself that whole round.”

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And she had a little help when she needed it most. After taking a five-shot lead into the back nine, St. Aubin bogeyed four of the first seven holes while Bartels was shooting even par to climb within two shots with two holes left.

Avery hit the fairway off the tee and St. Aubin sprayed her tee shots right, into the canopy. But a fortunate bounce left her in the fairway from where her approach on the par-4 hole came up about five yards short of the green.

Bartels struggled getting up and down and bogeyed the hole. St. Aubin locked down the title by chipping in for birdie and a two-shot swing.

“Finally, I chipped in for a birdie. If I hadn’t made that, it may have gone over the green or been a long par putt. But I got it done,” St. Aubin said.

St. Aubin’s 78 was two shots back of her 76 on Tuesday. It included a double bogey on the ninth hole. Bartels’ 78 was two shots better than her 80.

There were no lead changes in the tournament. St. Aubin led the whole way, as did Fargo Oak Grove’s Grayson Wetch in Class B and Fargo Shanley’s Jacob Skarperud in Class A.

While they weren’t competing head to head, there were some players looking at the Class A versus Class B debate. In the end, Skarperud’s birdie on the 36th and Wetch’s bogey left Skarperud one shot better.

Skarperud fired back-to-back 72s to finsh even-par 144, while Wetch shot 145. Grand Forks Red River’s Koby Kuenzel shot 73 on Wednesday to finish with a 151.

East players dominated the boys’ races. Western Morton County’s Gehrig Geiss was the top-placing western golfer by taking seventh in Class B boys with a two-day total of 162.

South Heart’s Campbell Clarys (84-82 - 166) was third and Grace Nantt (91-95 - 186) was fourth in Class B girls.

Wetch entered the day with a five-shot lead and 18 holes to play. The only thing likely to keep Wetch from winning the title would be a Jean van de Velde-like meltdown (look it up).

Wetch instead turned in a 1-over-par 73, while all those chasing the Fargo Oak Grove senior-to-be faded away. He should have walked away with an even-par 72 on Wednesday but bogeyed the par-5 ninth (playing as the 18th on day two of the tourney).

“A three-putt. I knew going up 18 I needed to make a par to stay even,” Wetch said. “I three-putted last year on the 18th hole at state. I didn’t putt very well today.”

But he was steady. Knowing things were wrapped up by the turn, Wetch didn’t even pull a driver out of the bag on the bag nine.

“I didn’t look at the leaderboard, I just stayed in my own little zone and shoot as close to par as possible,” “Wetch said. “I did play cautious.”

Kindred’s Mark Olson was second with a 74 on Wednesday and a two-day total of 152.

The top 10 players in each class earned all-state honors.

Top finishers

Class A Boys

Jacob Skarperud, Shanley (72-72) E

Koby Kuenzel, Red River (78-73) 151

Zach Hinschberger, Red River (77-75) 152

Max Karnik, Davies (77-64) 152

Brandon McGarry, GF Central (79-75) 154

Ty Satter, Davies (78-78) 155

Bridger Hansen, Wahpeton (79-77) 156

Saylor Kuenzel, Red River (77-79) 156

Sam Suppes, Davies (78-79) 157

Tryce Halter, Bismarck (83-76) 159

Alex Wilson, St. Mary’s (79-81) 160

Gabe Benson, Davies (81-79) 160

Justin Lamp, Davies (77-84) 161

Zach Teske, West Fargo (79-82) 161

Grant Gardner, Red River (83-79) 162

Gavin Argent, Minot (77-85) 162

Class B Boys

Grayson Wetch, Oak Grove (72-73) 145

Mark Olsin, Kindred, (78-74) 152

Sam Henker, Kindred (77-77) 154

Rory Gentzkow, LaMoure (81-79) 160

Coy Card, Oak Grove (78-82) 160

Paul Olson, Kindred 78-83) 161

Gehrig Geiss, Western Morton (84-78) 162

Jade McCloud, Bottineau (79-84) 163

Champ Hettich, Beulah (84-80) 164

Zach Hendrickson, Our Redeemer’s (81-83) 164

Max McQuillan, Kindred (81-85) 166

Jacob Robb, Heart River (77-91) 168

Cole Fitterer, Dickinson Trinity (84-85) 169

Max Palmer, Bottineu (82-87) 169

Parker Bartels, Kindred (84-86) 170

Zach St. Aubin, South Border (83-87) 170

Class B Girls

Emily St. Aubin, South Border (76-68) 154

Avery Bartels, Kindred (80-78) 158

Ainsley McClain, Grafton (83-79) 162

Campbell Clarys, South Heart (84-82) 166

Grace Nantt, South Heart (91-95) 186

Gracie Tjernlund, Kulm (92-96) 188

Kathleen Vetter, Linton (95-93) 188

Libby Dulmage, Leeds (99-90) 189

Alexis Lamb, Beach (102-88) 190

Erin Kelsch, Linton (91-100) 191

Charli McQuillan, Kindred (95-97) 192

Carlee Sieben, Grafton (103-89) 192

Ashley Schmitt, Napoleon (92-100) 192

Mackenzee Schneider, South Heart (94-99) 193

Charmaine Haas, Napoleon (100-94) 194

Madisen Jarrett, South Heart (94-100) 194