Esko’s Sami Mattson notched the first tournament victory of her short golf career with a three-hole playoff victory Wednesday, July 24, over Duluth’s Nicole Frederickson in the 73rd annual Nemadji Women’s Invitational at Nemadji Golf Course.

“This is my first competitive win, so it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Mattson, a standout softball and basketball player in high school who didn't start playing golf until after graduating from Concordia-St. Paul.

For about an hour, the 30-year-old thought she was the outright winner of the tournament with 2-over-par 73 on the North-South course.

It was then discovered that Frederickson’s score was registered wrong by course officials and her 77 was correctly changed to 73.

“I wasn’t really shocked because I knew there some pretty good golfers out there,” Mattson said. “But to hear it an hour after was, not upsetting, but it was surprising it wasn’t found out earlier. It is what it is and it’s still satisfying.”

When the tie was brought to the attention of tournament director Barb Hoag, she said a playoff was needed to declare a winner.

After both golfers parred No. 9N (100 yards) and bogeyed No. 17S (290 yards), they had near identical drives right down the middle on No. 18S (253 yards).

Mattson’s second shot then landed 4 inches from the cup, leaving her with a short attempt for birdie.

Frederickson also hit the green on her approach, but was about 35 free away from the cup. Her birdie attempt missed just left and she tapped in for a par.

Mattson officially completed the win by tapping in for her birdie.

“It was a grind on the second playoff hole, but I figured if I could get it up and down (out of the bunker) I could put the pressure on her, because she still had a long putt,” Mattson said. “Then after our drives on 18S, I was hitting first and thought I just had to stick it close and put the pressure on. I had a really good yardage for the club I had in my hand (50-degree wedge).”

Nicole Frederickson, of Duluth, tries to will her ball in the hole while putting on No. 17S during the 73rd annual Nemadji Women’s Invitational Wednesday, July 24, at Nemadji Golf Course. Frederickson lost a three-hole playoff to Sami Mattson for the invite crown.   (Jed Carlson /
Nicole Frederickson, of Duluth, tries to will her ball in the hole while putting on No. 17S during the 73rd annual Nemadji Women’s Invitational Wednesday, July 24, at Nemadji Golf Course. Frederickson lost a three-hole playoff to Sami Mattson for the invite crown. (Jed Carlson /

Mattson’s round included a double bogey on the first hole.

“The first six holes or so were up and down,” Mattson said. “I had three bogeys, but I was able to par the ninth hole and then come back with a couple of birdies early on the second nine. That gave me confidence, I was striking it well and my putter starting working as well.”

Frederickson, a former Duluth East Greyhound who calls Ridgeview Country Club her home course, also started off slow and her round (35-38) included a triple bogey on the first hole.

“About an hour after we finished, I took a look at the scoreboard and thought ‘something isn’t right,’” said Frederickson, who played golf at the College of St. Benedict. “The playoff was exciting. It was a bummer to lose, but it was still fun. She played great, especially with her approach on the third playoff hole.”

Finishing a stroke behind Mattson and Frederickson was Duluth’s Diana Mueller, who could have forced a three-way tie, but missed a birdie putt on 18S, leaving her with a 74.

“I knew I needed a birdie to tie Sami, but didn’t know I needed a birdie to tie for the overall lead,” said Mueller, a good friend of Mattson and her scramble partner. “It might have been a little different if I had known that, but that’s the way golf goes.”

Finishing tied for fourth place with 76s were Norma O’Leary (Silver Bay) and Deb Showalter (Hermantown). O’Leary has 11 Nemadji titles to her credit and Showalter six.

Also in the championship flight, Superior’s Patty Lier won the first flight; Brenda Milinkovich (Duluth) and CJ Johnson (Proctor) tied for first in the second flight; and Anastasia Ernset (Chisago Lakes) won the third flight.

Duluth’s Barb Olson won her seventh Renna Rychlak Memorial Senior Invitational title with an 80. Superior’s Deb Mayhew, a two-time winner, was second at 83, and Grand Rapids’ Jan Maki was third at 86.

Other senior flight winners were Jane Hauser and Debbie Anderson.

DIVOTS: South Range’s Tricia Ronchi, who won last year with a tournament record 68, finished in eighth place with an 80. … There were 42 golfers in this year’s event, including 17 in the senior division … Proceeds from the women’s invitational support the Superior High School girls golf team. … The NWGC is once again sponsoring a food drive for the Salvation Army. The drive runs through next week. Nonperishable donations may be dropped off at the golf course. … Mrs. Julius Juel won the first invitational on July 9, 1947.

73rd annual Nemadji Women’s Invitational

Wednesday, July 24

Championship Flight — 1. Sami Mattson, Esko, 78 (won three-hole playoff); 2. Nicole Frederickson, Duluth, 78; 3. Diana Mueller, Duluth, 74; 4. (tie) Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay and Deb Showalter, Hermantown, 76s; 6. Hannah Cornwell, Duluth, 77; 7. Pat Kelly, Superior, 77; 8. Tricia Ronchi, South Range, 80; 9. Amy Patenaude, Duluth, 82.
First Flight — 1. Patty Lier, Superior, 80; 2. Vicky Schold, Superior, 83; 3. (tie), Linda Habel, Chisago Lakes, Minn., and Moe Miller, Superior, 88s.
Second Flight — 1. (tie) Brenda Milinkovich, Duluth, and CJ Johnson, Proctor, 88s; 3. Judy Davern, Superior, 90; 4. Jeri Sylvester, Cloquet, 92; 5. Lyn Larson, Superior, 95; 6. Michelle Rieder, Superior, 98.
Third Flight — 1. Anastasia Ernest, Chisago Lakes, 91; 2. (tie) Barb Hoag, Superior, and Deb Kozloqski, Wrenshall, 94; 4. Stubby Nyquist, Duluth, 97; 94; 5. Penny Graskey, Superior; 6. Sandy Fogo, Superior, 102.

Senior Division

Championship Flight — 1. Barb Olson, Duluth, 80; 2. Deb Mayhew, Superior, 83; 3. Jan Maki, Grand Rapids, Minn., 86.
First Flight — 1. Jane Hauser, Bayfield, 86; 2. Vicky Haley, Rice Lake, 88; 3. Cathy Meysman, Superior, 93; 4. Marilynn Hrouda, Grand Rapids, Minn., 94; 5. Delores Graden, Superior, 95; 6. Colleen Hasforth, Duluth, 101; 7. Janet Knutson, Rice Lake, 106.
Second Flight — 1. Debbie Anderson, 95; 2. Kathy Nelson, Superior, 96; 3. Linda Gallatin, Lindstrom, Minn., 106; 4. Judy Holden, Carlton, Minn. 106; 5. Pat Turcotte, Thunder Bay, 110; 6. Sheila Lysak, Thunder Bay, 111; 7. Sandra Kallik, Thunder Bay, 114.

Nemadji Women’s Invitational Champions

1947—Mrs. Julius Juel, Nemadji, 86
1948—Mrs. Glen St. Julien, Hibbing, 90
1949—Miss Ione Ogren, Ridgeview, 96
1951—Mrs. R.W. Johnson, Northland, 88
1952—Carol Ink, Lester Park, 90
1953—Miriamm Anderson, Nemadji, 90
1954—Jean Seaquist, Nemadji, 89
1955—Hazel Leland, Nemadji, 85
1956—Mrs. R.W. Johnson, Northland, 90
1957—Hazel Leland, Nemadji, 86
(Minnesota Public Links Tournament)
1958—Carol Marshall, Lester Park, 89
1960—Mrs. Kenneth Berklin, Hibbing, 95
1961—Mrs. Kenneth Berklin, Hibbing, 89
1962—Mrs. Phalin Johnson, Two Harbors
1963—Miss Carol Wilson, Bemidji, 92
1964—Mrs. P.H. Stromquist, Ridgeview, 22
(Score for three holes of rain-shortened tournament)
1965-60 — Unavailable
1970—Pamela Berry, Mpls., 76
(Minnesota Public Links Tournament)
1971—Lynn Ferr Reiff, St. Louis, Mo., 92
1972—Marilyn Magie, Duluth, 80
1973—Katie Bell, Northland, 88
1974—Mrs. James Stuard, Northland, 88
1975—Linda Hanson, Hurley, 95
1976—Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 84
1977—Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 80
1978—Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 79
1979—Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 79
1980—Sara Asta, Northland, 75
1981—Kim Kaiser, Hayward, 86
1982—Kim Kaiser, Hayward, 77
1983—Carol Marshall, Lester Park, 87
1984—Jean Hall, Grand Rapids, 90
1985—Margo Waletzko, Nemadji, 94
1986—Dana Scheff, Cloquet, 83
1987—Jean Gaske, Cook, 85
1988—Sarah Elton, Burnsville, Minn., 79
1989—Debbie Stocke, Enger Park, 82
1990—Deanna Brown, Danbury, 80
1991—Kelly Steen, Luck, 77
1992—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 79
1993—Tricia Wollack, Hermantown, 77
1994—Evelyn Newton, Trout Lake, 78
1995—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73
1996—Sue Moline—Liberty, 77
1997—Monica Haag, 79
1998—Debbie Stocke
1999—Kelly Steen, 75 (Five-hole playoff with Debbie Stocke)
2000—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 72
2001—Kelly Steen
2002—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73
2003—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73
2004—Deb Showalter, 70
2005—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 75
2006—Deb Showalter, 77
2007—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73
2008—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 76
2009—Deb Showalter, Hermantown, 73
2010—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 74
2011—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 71
2012—Deb Showalter, Hermantown, 78
2013—Maggie Lattery, Poplar, 78 (one-hole playoff with Deb Showalter)
2014—Maggie Lattery, Poplar, 72
2015—Tricia Glanville, 76
2016—Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 75
2017—Norma O’Leary, 73 (one—hole playoff win over Trish Ronchi)
2018—Trish Ronchi, 68 (tournament record)
2018—Sami Mattson, Esko, 73 (3-hole playoff with Nicole Frederickson)

Renna Rychlak Memorial Senior Invitational

1996—Pi Peterson, 82
1997—Barb Fetzek
1998—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids
1999—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids
2000—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids
2001—Pi Peterson
2002—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 77
2003—Cindy Raab, 76
2004—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 74
2005—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 78
2006—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 77
2007—Mary Meierotto, Nemadji, 88
2008—Cheryl, Mortensen, Turtle Back, 85
2009—Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 79
2010—Carol Carlson, Lakeland, Fla., 81
2011—Barb Olson, Duluth, 86
2012—Barb Olson, Duluth, 82
2013—Barb Olson, Duluth, 82
2014—Barb Olson, Duluth, 84
2015—Barb Olson, Duluth, 76
2016—Deb Mayhew, Superior, 87
2017—Deb Mayhew, Superior, 84
2018—Barb Olson, Duluth, 79
2019—Barb Olson, Duluth, 80