Optimal opportunities: Jahner shoots 68 as Trinity wins Region 5 title with a 303
MEDORA — The biggest topic this spring was the weather.
Instead of rain and gale-force winds, golfers experienced sunny skies and a light breeze.
No one used the optimal scoring conditions better than Dickinson Trinity sophomore Willy Jahner at Bully Pulpit Golf Course.
“There was maybe 5 mph wind and it was warm,” said Jahner, who won medalist after shooting a 68. “The course played really well today and the greens were rolling nice. It was a good scoring day.”
The rest of the Dickinson Trinity boys golf team followed suit, winning the Region 5 title with a score of 303.
Trinity’s other three scores came from sophomore Jaret Lee (73), junior Connor Friske (80) and senior David Pokorny (82). The Titans also received scores came from Koty Pokorny (91) and Phillip Fisher (103).
“I’m very impressed with the guys,” Dickinson Trinity head coach Tyler Reisenauer said. “We finally got a nice day and the scores showed. All of the hard work we’ve been doing with these guys and the changes we’ve been making to their games paid off today.”
Jahner’s attempt to score under 70 dates back to last season. After shooting a 36 on the front nine, Jahner followed with a 32 in the final nine holes including a birdie on Hole No. 18 to close out his round.
After hitting a chip shot onto the No. 18 green, Jahner knew all he needed was two putts to ensure at least a score under 70. He rolled his uphill putt, which found the bottom of the cup.
“Last year, I wanted to shoot something in the 60s and never got it,” Jahner said. “This year I’ve wanted to and still didn’t until now and it just feels really good.”
Lee didn’t have any trouble on the front nine either. He posted a 36 and followed up with a 37 on the back nine. The sophomore was pleased with how the entire team played.
“I knew I could finish well, because I had already played the tough stretch 14, 15 and 16 and I was only one over,” Lee said. “I was hitting pretty much every shot today well. That’s exactly how I wanted to.”
Along with Trinity, Beulah and Heart River were the two other teams to qualify for the Class B state tournament, which begins May 27 at Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo. The Miners finished with a team score of 335, while the Cougars shot a 343.
Heart River senior Zach Miller, who sat out the last two weeks due to a left shoulder injury, said it was a little tough getting back to form. He hit 20 golf balls each on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Miller played four holes Wednesday to prepare for the meet.
“It was really tough out there,” said Miller, who was named Region 5 senior athlete of the year and finished in a tie for third with an 80. “I just tried to stay loose and stayed pretty warm. It’s been a pretty short season for me, but all in all it turned out well for us.”
The Dickinson State golf recruit said it wasn’t easy watching his team. He said he played four tournaments this season.
“It’s awesome to come back and shoot pretty low,” Miller said. “We are a young team. We have me, two freshmen and three eighth-graders. It was tough to sit back and watch for two weeks, but you have to do what you have to do to get everything healed up.”
The golfers that finished in the top 10 received automatic bids to the state tournament. Heart River’s Joey Wagner, Beulah’s Connor Candrian, Miller and Friske all placed in a tie for third (80), while Austin Kautzman of Mott-Regent took seventh (81). The Miners’ Derek Morris and Pokorny placed in a tie for eighth (82) and Beulah’s Michael Schmidt rounded out the top 10 with an 83.
After posting their best team score of the season, the Titans are entering the final week of practice before traveling to the state tournament in high spirits.
“You can’t ask to go into state on a better note than how we did here,” Reisenauer said. “We shot our best score of the year and the guys are feeling a little more confident in themselves and their games.”
Jahner added: “We had four solid scores today and that’s good momentum going into state.”
Region 5 Invitational
At Bully Pulpit Golf Course
State qualified teams: Dickinson Trinity 303, Beulah 335, Heart River 343, Hazen 372, Southern McLean 395, Western Morton County 397, Beach 428, Bowman County 437, Hettinger-Scranton 453, Standing Rock 494.
Individual state qualifiers: 1, Willy Jahner, Trinity, 68. 2, Jaret Lee, Trinity, 73. 3 (tie), Joey Wagner, HR, 80; Connor Candrian, Beulah, 80; Zach Miller, HR, 80; Connor Friske, Trinity, 80. 7, Austin Kautzman, Mott-Regent, 81. 8 (tie), Derek Morris, Beulah, 82; David Pokorny, Trinity, 82. 10, Michael Schmidt, Beulah, 83.
Dickinson Trinity (303): Willy Jahner, 68. Jaret Lee, 73. Connor Friske, 80. David Pokorny, 82. Koty Pokorny, 91. Phillip Fisher, 103.
Beulah (335): Conor Candrian, 80. Derek Morris, 82. Michael Schmidt, 83. Hunter Schroetlin, 90. Alec Schroetlin, 105. Joe Swenson, 12.
Heart River (343): Zach Miller, 80. Joey Wagner, 80. Jayden Ewoniuk, 88. Trace Jacobson, 95. Mathew Zarak, 97.Tayden Jacobson, 100.
Hazen (372): Kyle Lindquist, 88. Brandt Vernon, 90. Alex Burling, 96. Robbie Philon, 98. Jakob Parisien, 105. Rory Olson, 112.
Southern McLean (395): Jack Zimerman, 92. Gunnar Hyttinen, 93. Coltan Hyttinen, 102. Nolan Teigen, 108. Dylan Kaul, 118. Braydee Hanson, 120.
Western Morton County (397): Andrew Hulm, 96. Weston Miller, 97. Erik Kautzman, 101. Seth Bittner, 103. Alex Leingang, 138. Braden Wheri, 151.
Beach (428): Alex Novotny, 90. Ty Farstveet, 93. Scott Lund, 119. Troy Steele, 126. Lucas Nistler, 158.
Bowman County (437): Jayden Hofland, 87. Tyler Hansey, 103. Jacob Boehm, 123. Brayden Jorgensen, 124. Bradley Abraham, 134. Mason Moran, 155.
Hettinger-Scranton (453): Denby Lueck, 99. Logan Robinson, 109. Jacob Joppa, 119. Daniel Pretzer, 126.
Standing Rock (494): Montel Carlow, 112. Cody Yellow Fat, 123. Taran Fox, 126. Dawson Yellow Fat, 133. Trevor Kuntz, 154.
Mott-Regent (NTS): Austin Kautzman, 81. James Warner, 87. Michael Mayer, 138.
Killdeer (NTS): Bubba Roshau, 93. Tyler Henderson, 101. Ben Bell, 127.
Grant County-Flasher (NTS): Peyton Gabrielson, 96. Hunter Roth, 115. Grant Schafer, 149.
Center-Stanton (NTS): Logan Staigle, 103. Lane Erhardt, 105.
Shiloh Christian (NTS): Nick Reynolds, 103.