Ronchi lives up to her promise

Prior to playing in Wednesday's 72nd annual Nemadji Women's Invitational, Tricia Ronchi dedicated her round to her morning golf partner, Jerry Rychlak, and his late wife, Renna.

Tricia Ronchi
Tricia Ronchi receives a hug from Jerry Rychlak after completing the final round of the Nemadji Women’s Invitational on Wednesday at Nemadji Golf Course. Ronchi, who won the event with a 3-under-par 68, had dedicated her match to Rychlak and his late wife, Renna. (Steve Kuchera /

Prior to playing in Wednesday’s 72nd annual Nemadji Women’s Invitational, Tricia Ronchi dedicated her round to her morning golf partner, Jerry Rychlak, and his late wife, Renna.

Ronchi of South Range followed through with her dedication by cruising to a five-stroke victory with a 3-under par 68.

“We have a fun group that golfs together on weekday mornings, when I’m not working, and the tournament is kind of named after Jerry’s wife,” Ronchi said. “I told him a couple of weeks back that I really hope I can this for you, so it makes me feel a little bit prouder to be able to win it for him.”

Renna Rychlak was a longtime member of the Nemadji Women’s Golf Club who passed away July 27, 2011. In 2012, the senior portion of the Nemadji tournament was renamed the Renna Rychlak Memorial Senior Invitational.

Not only was the 68 a personal best for Ronchi, but it set a new tournament record. The previous record was a 70 by Hermantown’s Deb Showalter in 2004.


There was a 22 recorded by Mrs. P.H. Stromquist in 1964, but that tournament was rained out after just three holes.

Ronchi’s rounds of 34s on the North and South courses included four birdies. The only blemish on her card was a bogey 4 on No. 5N.

“I was hitting ‘em well,” Ronchi said. “I had a couple more birdie putts that could have fell, but pars are good.”

Showalter, a six-time winner at Nemadji, and Amy Patenaude of Duluth tied for second with 73s.

Ronchi’s recent success at Nemadji includes winning the 2015 title. She also finished second last year to 11-time winner Norma O’Leary, the course superintendent at the Silver Bay Golf Course.

Ronchi and O’Leary were tied after 18 holes last year before O’Leary was one stroke better on the first extra hole.

“This feels pretty good,” said Ronchi, a 1995 graduate of Northwestern High School. “I was pretty excited, but also nervous. There were a number of younger golfers out this year so there was a good group of ladies to golf with and it was pretty competitive.”

Barb Olson, who golfs out of Duluth’s Enger Park, won the senior title with a 79, three-strokes better than Superior’s Deb Mayhew.


“It was nip-and-tuck for quite a few holes,” Olson said. “Deb got into a bit of trouble right at the end, but other than that, she really played well. It could have gone either way.”

It was the sixth senior title for Olson, who won five straight from 2011-2015. She missed the tournament in 2016 and then lost by one stroke to Mayhew last year.

“I got to the green fine, but where I got in trouble was I missed a few putts I should have made,” Olson said. “My chipping also could have been better, where Deb’s was very good. Her trouble came off the tees.”

Championship flight winners included Vicky Shold, Moe Miller and Michele Reider, all of Superior.

Senior flight winners were Rice Lake’s Cheryl Mortensen, Superior’s Delores Graden and Thunder Bay’s Sandra Kailik.

DIVOTS: There were 50 golfers in this year’s event, including 21 in the senior division.  Last year’s tournament included 21 golfers in the open division and 27 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 Saturday. Nonperishable donations may be dropped off at the golf course. … Mrs. Julius Juel won the first Invitational on July 9, 1947.


72nd annual Nemadji Women’s Invitational


Championship Flight

Tricia Ronchi, 68; Deb Showalter, Amy Patenaude, 73s; Sami Mattson, 74; Diana Mueller, 75; Maddy Schintz, Norma O’Leary, Nicole Frederickson, 77s; Pat Kelly, 81.

First Flight

Vicky Shold, 77; Carissa Kunst, 81; Patty Lier, Jan Maki, 85s.

Second Flight

Moe Miller, 86; Julie Hines, 89; Brenda Milinkovich, Trish Anecki, 91; Judy Davern, 93; CJ Johnson, 94; Jeri Sylvester, 99; Nan Sauter, 102.

Third Flight

Michele Reider, 81; Stubby Nyquist, 87; Penny Grasky, 90; Barb Hoag, 93; Deb Kozlowski, 94; Lynn Larson, 95; Phyllis Dalgleish, 99; Renata Skube, 102.



Renna Rychlak NWGC Senior Women’s Invitational

Championship Flight

Barb Olson, 79; Deb Mayhew, 82; Ginger Hartse, 95.

Second Flight

Cheryl Mortensen, 89; Vicky Haley, 94; Kathy R. Olson, 95; Kathy Nelson, Barb Buhr, 98s; Cathy Meysman, 105; Janet Knutson, 112.

Third Flight

Delores Graden, 95; Debbie Anderson, 98; Sheila Lysak, 99; Colleen Hasforth, Judy Holden, 103s; Linda Craig, 105.


Fourth Flight

Sandra Kailik, 105; Pat Turcotte, 109; Judy Johnson, 113; Audrey Miller, 116; Becky Schmidt, 125.


Nemadji Women’s Invitational

Tournament Champions

1947-Mrs. Julius Juel, Nemadji, 86

1948-Mrs. Glen St. Julien, Hibbing, 90

1949-Miss Ione Ogren, Ridgeview, 96


1950 - Unavailable

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-Tricia Ronchi, South Range, 68


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

What To Read Next
Get Local