DeForest edges Halter for titleThe West Region tournament was full of “oohs” and “aahs.”
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The West Region tournament was full of “oohs” and “aahs.”
The biggest “aah” came on the No. 18 green during the second playoff hole when Dickinson senior Tanner Halter hit his 12-foot birdie putt. The putt had perfect speed and almost perfect line.
“I thought, right as it came off the club face, it was going in the hole,” Halter said.
The putt lipped out and Bismarck St. Mary’s sophomore Jake DeForest tapped in his birdie putt to seal the West Region individual championship.
“The course was playing really tough,” DeForest said. “I had some good holes and then I had a couple holes that I screwed up, but you are going to have that. I thought I played pretty well.”
Six teams and one lone individual punched their tickets to the Class A state golf tournament on Wednesday at Heart River Golf Course.
Bismarck Century won the team title with a 308.
“It’s a good golf course, it’s in great shape and unfortunately the weather wasn’t great, but we all had to play in it,” Century head coach Lynn Gress said.
DeForest set himself up for the birdie putt after a long drive to the right side of the fairway. He then nailed a solid three wood from 250 yards out to the bottom left of the green. All he needed was a two-putt for the win and he made sure that was going to happen.
Halter on the other hand had a solid drive, but came up short on the ensuing second shot. His three wood didn’t fade back to the right and hit the cart path, but took a favorable bounce to the left side of the green.
“He really has been having a good year,” Dickinson head coach Sara Berglund said. “He’s been playing well and he definitely likes his own course.”
The two golfers shot 74 to lead a group of 11 that made the all-West Region team.
The other big “aah” of the day was the rainy and windy weather conditions. Rain steadily fell throughout the morning and into the mid-afternoon. Once the clock struck 1:20 p.m., the rain let up and the sun started to shine.
“It was rough playing this morning in that wind and rain,” Halter said. “It started clearing up at the end of the day and it wasn’t too bad. That helped out.”
The Patriots’ luck at Heart River continued. Century also won the Dickinson Invitational on April 20 with a 301.
“We had lost the last three tournaments,” Gress said. “This one was kind of a ‘do or die’ situation. I felt if we really didn’t play well here, it would be tough to take any momentum into state next week.”
The St. Mary’s golfers made head coach Vern Brew’s final West Region Tournament a special one, finishing second at 314. Brew will retire at the end of this season and was named West Region Coach of the Year.
“It’s a really nice honor,” Brew said. “It’s touching and very emotional. I didn’t expect it.”
Minot finished third (318), Bismarck High took fourth (325) and Mandan and Dickinson tied for the fifth spot (331) to reach the Class A state tournament. Though the Midgets were playing on their home course, Berglund said the finish was nerve-wracking enough.
When the first nine-hole scores were brought into the clubhouse, the day didn’t look promising for Dickinson.
The Midgets’ best score was Halter’s 37, followed by senior Austin Fournier’s 42. Other than that it was slim pickings for Dickinson. But the second nine proved to be the deciding factor.
“It was definitely one of those days,” Berglund said. “It came down to one day and you’ve got to play on that one day and some of our players did not show up today. That made us a little nervous.”
Fournier finished with an 81, while Shay Ridl tallied a 38 on his second nine to end with an 85. Luke Hanel posted a 91, Carter Donnan had a 92 and Alex Priebe rounded out Dickinson’s golfers with a 95.
“Shay (Ridl) had a tough first nine,” Berglund said. “It was a big mental day. He came in with a 38 and that was huge score. When some of the first nine scores came in, I was breathing pretty hard.”
Not only did Century end the tournament as West Region champions, but Jacob Dehne was named West Region Senior Athlete of the Year. Dehne three-putted on No. 18 to score a 75, Century’s top score.
“To have everyone vote him senior athlete, it’s an honor,” Gress said.
The lone individual qualifier was Jamestown’s Austin Rene. The rest of the top golfers qualified with their teams. Williston’s BJ Mahar qualified for the state tournament after winning the Bismarck Century Invitational on Saturday.
The thought process for the all six teams and two individuals headed to the Midgets thoughts are simple — score a better. The state tournament starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Heart River Golf Course.
“We are feeling comfortable here,” Berglund said. “Even though some might not have had the greatest day, they know that they can do better. When it comes down we just have to step up and score at the tournament.”
West Region Tournament
At Heart River Golf Course
Team scores: Bismarck Century 308, Bismarck St. Mary’s 314, Minot 318, Bismarck High 325, Mandan 331, Dickinson 331, Jamestown 338, Williston 344, Belcourt 367.
Individual top 10: 1, Jake DeForest, BSM, 74 (two-hole playoff). 2, Tanner Halter, Dickinson, 74. 3, Jacob Dehne, Century, 75. 4 (tie), Troy Ressler, Century, 77. 4 (tie), Josh McCormick, BSM, 77. 6 (tie), Drew Lingle, Century, 78. 6 (tie), Tyler Miller, Century, 78. 6 (tie), Tyler Kast, Minot, 78. 9 (tie), Ty Jones, Minot, 79. 9 (tie), Derek Weininger, Bismarck, 79. 9 (tie), Austin Rene, Jamestown, 79.
Belcourt: Clarence Davis 83, Jackson Davis 86, Seth Gillis 94, Seth Azure 104.
Bismarck Century: Jacob Dehne 75, Troy Ressler 77, Tyler Miller 78, Drew Lingle 78, Jordan Beyer 80, Sean Ternes 82.
Bismarck High: Derek Weninger 79, Nick Nustad 81, Trenton Schwehr 82, Matt Schirado 83, Sam Wangler 84, Nick Stavn 88.
Bismarck St. Mary’s: Jake DeForest 74, Josh McCormick 77, Thomas Gilchrist 81, Jordan Smith 82, Grant Dvorak 90, Joe Kassian 98.
Dickinson: Tanner Halter 74, Austin Fournier 81, Shay Ridl 85, Luke Hanel 91, Carter Donnan 92, Alex Priebe 95.
Jamestown: Austin Rene 79, Ty Spitzer 84, Jakobi Lux 85, Brandon Hart 90, Nick Stockert 93, Brandon Stahihut WD.
Mandan: Colton Murphy 80, Taylor Trenda 82, Jake Kist 84, Zach Vollan 85, Tucker Bruington 89, Casey Kautzmann 90.
Minot: Tyler Kast 78, Ty Jones 79, Braxton Heupel 80, Taran Albright 81, Jersey Kelly 84, Cody Reynolds 86.
Williston: BJ Mahar 83, Keaton Leininger 84, Paul Suess 88, Trevor Powell 89, Jacob Kvernum 92, Taylor Wagner 98.