FARGO -- Nick Beaty drove down from Wayzata, happily and willingly for the love of the game.
"It's just a good situation for me to come play," he said. "I love competing. I love playing the game and it's good for me."
Beaty is one of 64 competing in the Red River Open this weekend in Fargo.
"I've played here the last couple of years. I've had just a great time," said Beaty, a sixth-year senior at the University of Michigan.
Beaty isn't alone. Competitors at the college and high school level are flooding the Fargo area this weekend to compete in the open. Beaty says the level of competition continues to rise every year.
"It's good, cause it keeps all of us sharp, and makes the matches more fun to watch and more fun for us to play."
It's not just national talent, but a flood of local talent as well.
"There's been a lot of really good players to come out of not only this area but all across the Dakotas, Minnesota that are playing at a really good level," said Beaty.
Among the few high schoolers competing, Grand Forks Central's Logan Sandberg.
"It's kinda fun to compete with them and be on the same court with them," said Sandberg, an up and coming senior. "It also makes me feel good, cause I'm keeping up with these guys."
A state champion with the Knights last year, Sandberg relishes the opportunity to compete with college-level players. On Friday afternoon, Sandberg played on the court next to Beaty.
"Seeing what I should do to try to play at the college level," said Sandberg of watching the collegiates. "He might be on the pro tour some day. I actually got to watch [Beaty] play. It's really fun to watch."
For Beaty, a top-100 player this past season, who knows when his time will come to an end. This tournament, and summer, is his chance to take everything in, perhaps one final time.
"Could be one of the last summers I'll really be going super hard and competitively training wise - you never know. I still love playing, obviously, so I may keep going but it's just great to be out here for sure," he said.
The tournament runs through Sunday. The winner will take home $15,000 - the most prize money the tournament's ever offered.