Midgets have home-course advantage todayPatience is a virtue and the Dickinson High boys golf team has been waiting all season to host the West Region Tournament.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Patience is a virtue and the Dickinson High boys golf team has been waiting all season to host the West Region Tournament.
That day is finally here and the Midgets couldn’t be more excited.
“We have home-course advantage,” Dickinson senior Tanner Halter said. “We play on it every single day. We just have to play smart golf. We’re all pretty excited.”
Dickinson takes its excitement and confidence to the No. 1 and No. 10 tee boxes starting at 9 a.m. today at Heart River Golf Course.
“Coming off the tournaments the last two weeks, they played well and have some confidence going into the West Region Tournament,” Dickinson head coach Sara Berglund said. “I’m really hoping for some good scores. They play a lot more relaxed at our home course and I’m really hoping that we take advantage of it being at home.”
The Midgets have already found success at home this season. In Dickinson’s lone home regular season tournament, Halter was the medalist, shooting an even-par 72 on April 20.
In that tournament, Dickinson finished runner-up with 312 strokes. Bismarck Century won with a 301.
Halter has strong feelings about returning to the course where he had his best finish of the season.
“I have to go hole-by-hole and stroke-by-stroke,” Halter said. “Not thinking about the bad holes, but thinking about good ones and just keeping looking forward.”
The state-qualifying standards at the West Region Tournament are the top six teams will punch their tickets to the state. Also, the top 10 individuals and ties will qualify while golfers can shot eight or less over par. Golfers scoring eight or less over the medalist will also qualify for state.
As of late, there’s no doubt the Midgets have been shooting well.
Halter and senior Austin Fournier both qualified for the state tournament after shooting 74 and 77, respectively, at the Bismarck Century Invitational on Saturday. Dickinson senior Luke Hanel shot a 79 and missed qualifying for state by one stroke.
“It’s definitely a relief,” Halter said.
Fournier said the main focus for the Midgets is putting. If the short game can be controlled, the scores will be there in the end.
“Basically, we just have to get our putts down,” Fournier said. “We’ve been doing really well in practice. It just has to come to the tournament too.”
Because the West Region Tournament is at home, Dickinson might feel some added pressure. But Berglund said performing well earlier in the year should alleviate some of that stress.
“When we played there earlier during the year and placed second, it’s a big confidence booster for them to do that,” she said. “At the same time, anything can happen on any given day. We need to make sure that we take how we are playing now into consideration.”
Fournier said the pressure to perform well is there every week, though practicing at Heart River Golf Course throughout the year should eliminate some of the burden.
“We’re really familiar with that course and that will help a lot,” Fournier said. “Hopefully we can just get it down again like we have in past.
“It will help to have all of our family there, so I don’t think there will be too much pressure.”