Defending champion Stephanie Herzog of Red Wing and medalist Alejandra Arellano of Wichita, KS rolled to quick victories in the opening round of the Women’s Division Wednesday.

Herzog’s younger sister, Leah, last year’s runner-up, also advanced, which could set up another sister-vs-sister shootout in the semifinals if Stephanie can get by Amanda Woodhull of Minnetonka and Leah can slip past Amanda Bigger of Alexandria. (At last year’s Resorters, Stephanie won the championship match against Leah, 4-3.)

Alayna Eldred of Osakis, a semifinalist last year and the division’s 2014 champion, is also still in the hunt after her down-to-the-wire 18-hole victory yesterday over Ciara O’Connor of Farwell.

Stephanie Herzog of Red Wing putts on the No. 6 green in the Women's Division Wednesday. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press)
Stephanie Herzog of Red Wing putts on the No. 6 green in the Women's Division Wednesday. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press)

Madison Herzog of Detroit Lakes also won her match yesterday to remain in contention.

And don’t count out the other member of the division’s “elite eight” – Alexis Guggisberg of Glenwood who survived an 18-hole battle with Alexandria’s Lauren Stockmoe yesterday.

The Women’s Division contenders will tee it up Thursday starting at 12:36 p.m. from No. 1. Here’s a look back at how they got there:

S. Herzog def. Nygaard

Unfortunately, we do not have details of Herzog’s victory over Kyla Nygaard of Maple Grove. A scorecard wasn’t turned in.

Woodhull def. Contreras, 3-2

Woodhull never fell behind in her match against Lauren Contreras of Maple Grove.

After both golfers halved the first two holes with par, Woodhull’s par won No. 3 and she added to the lead with another par win on No. 5, followed by a bogey win on No. 6. Woodhull kept the pressure on with a birdie win on the par-3 Minnesota Green and halved the next two holes to hold a two-hole edge at the turn.

Woodhull went to 3-up with a par on No. 10 but Contreras answered with a par on No. 11 to draw within two. Both women parred the next two holes and Contreras made a match of it by winning No. 14 with bogey to get within one.

Woodhull’s clutch par on No. 15 put her back to 2-up and she closed out the match by taking No. 16 with par.

Bigger def. Jacobson, 4-2

Bigger built a three-hole advantage on the front nine and posted a 4-2 victory over Amy Jacobson of Alexandria.

Jacobson took the first lead with a par on No. 1 but it was brief. Bigger won the next hole with par and then moved ahead with a par on the next hole. Bigger won four more holes on the front – Nos. 3 (par), 5 (par), 6 (birdie) and 9 (par) while Jacobson won one more hole, a birdie on No. 7.

Trailing by three at the turn, Jacobson struck for a bogey win on No. 10 and matched Bigger’s par on No. 11 but Bigger took the next hole with par to go 3-up again.

They halved the next three holes before Bigger put the match away with a birdie win on No. 16.

L. Herzog def. E. Stockmoe, 5-3

It just wasn’t Elise Stockmoe’s day. After halving the first hole with bogeys, Herzog took the second hole with par and after another tie on No. 3, Herzog was able to string together six straight wins with three pars, followed by two birdies and two more pars to take a 7-up lead at the turn.

Stockmoe didn’t give up easily, however. She won three holes on the back nine – Nos. 10, 11 and 13 with pars and cut the lead to four. Herzog matched her par on No. 14 and a par on No. 15 ended the match.

Arellano def. Thoreson, 8-7

Arelanno played near-flawless golf against Taylor Thoreson of Hastings. She was 1-under-par through 11 holes and won the first eight holes before Thoreson ended the streak with a birdie on No. 9.

Alejandra Arellano of Wichita, KS, concentrates on her putt on the No. 6 green Wednesday in the Women's Division. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press)
Alejandra Arellano of Wichita, KS, concentrates on her putt on the No. 6 green Wednesday in the Women's Division. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press)

Arellano’s par took No. 10 and she put a quick end to things by matching Thoreson’s par on No. 11.

Guggisberg def. L. Stockmoe, 1-up

The Guggisberg-Stockmoe match was a nail-biter the whole way. Stockmoe won three holes on the front – Nos. 3 and 4 with pars and No. 8 with a birdie. Guggisberg also won three holes – No. 1 with par, No. 7 with bogey and No. 9 with par, which evened the match at the turn.

The momentum shifted slightly to Guggisberg on the back nine when she won No. 10 to regain the lead. After halving the next two holes with pars, Guggisberg nailed a birdie on No. 13 to go 2-up, which was the biggest lead in the match. But Stockmoe stormed back with back-to-back par wins on the next two holes to deadlock the match.

Guggisberg surged back out from with a clutch par on No. 16 and was able to match Stockmoe’s pars on No. 17 and 18 to hang on to a 1-up victory.

M. Herzog def. Cummings, 4-2

Madison Herzog didn’t take her first lead against Caitlin Cummings of Minneapolis until the 8th hole but she was able to walk away with a 4-2 win.

Cummings jumped out to a 2-up lead with a par win on No. 1 and an eagle on No. 3. Herzog evened the match with par wins on Nos. 4 and 5, but Cummings regained the lead with a birdie on the par-5 6th. Herzog tied it again with a par on No. 7 and finally took the lead with a par on No. 8. Pars on No. 9 kept her lead at one.

Herzog won the 10th hole with par and halved Cummings on the next two holes before going to 3-up with a par on No. 13. Herzog also won the next hole with par but Cummings prolonged the match with a birdie on No. 15 to draw within three with three holes left to play.

Herzog wasn’t going to let the match slip away, however. She won No. 16 to seal a 4-2 win.

Eldred def. O’Connor, 1-up

Eldred rallied back from a two-hole deficit at the turn and didn’t lose a hole on the back nine to preserve a 1-up win.

O’Connor took the first two holes with par but Eldred quickly recovered in dramatic fashion – with an eagle on No. 3. After halving the next two holes, O’Connor regained her two-hole lead with a par on No. 6 and went 3-up with a birdie on No. 8. Eldred answered with a par win on No. 9.

O’Connor wasn’t able to win a hole after that. Eldred, meanwhile, won No. 11 with par to get within one and tied the match on the next hole with a par. From there, the match settled into a staring contest, with neither golfer blinking. They halved the next five holes before Eldred broke through with a birdie win on No. 18.

THURSDAY PAIRINGS - 1ST TEE
12:36 - Stephanie Herzog vs. Amanda Woodhull; Amanda Bigger vs. Leah Herzog
12:45 - Alejandra Arellano vs. Alexis Guggisberg; Madison Herzog vs. Alayna Eldred