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Blue Hawks take second, fifth at Jamestown Invite

Photo by John M. Steiner / Forum Communications Dickinson State sophomore Tristen Long looks down his putt during the Jamestown College Invitational on Monday. The Blue Hawks finished in fifth place on the men's side with 660 total, while the women finished in a tie for second with an 840.

JAMESTOWN -- Dickinson State first-year head coach Thadd O'Donnell said the Jamestown Country Club has its number.

The Blue Hawks finished in a tie for second on the women's side and fifth on the men's side after the two-day Jamestown College Invitational on Monday.

"It definitely makes you play within yourself," O'Donnell said of the tight Jamestown Country Club course. "The first time around, a couple of the guys played with drivers and that got them in trouble. Then in the second round, they put the drivers away and played with a little more course management."

DSU played the Jamestown Country Club on Aug. 29 for the Jimmie Open, but there were a couple new challenges, especially on the women's side.The course added nearly 700 yards and O'Donnell said when the yardage goes up, the scores also start to increase.

"When you add 700 yards to them, that's like adding two holes to the course," he said. "That's definitely going to increase scores a little bit."

Minot State University won the women's side handily, shooting a 699 as the Beavers took six of the top 10 spots. Mackenzie Nagel led the way for MSU winning with a 169.

Caitlin Hurlock led the Blue Hawks with a seventh-place finish for a two-day total of 195, while teammate Stef Bohrer took 10th with a 203. The senior and junior helped DSU to a team total of 840, which was tied for second place with Valley City State. The Blue Hawks also had Paige Kamminga place 16th (214) and Danielle O'Donnell in 19th (228).

"They rebounded well," O'Donnell said. "We scored better than the day before. The women came back and ended up tying for second."

On the men's side, DSU placed fifth with a total of 660, while Jamestown College won the invitational with a 607. The Jimmies' Tommy Rockis fired a 145 to win medalist.

Chandler Pender was the lone Blue Hawk to finish in the top 10. The junior from Dickinson supplied a 158 in a three-way tie for 10th place. DSU also had Matt Altner finish 17th (163).

"The biggest thing we learned talking with some guys individually is when we do have a bad hole, we don't have to come back with a birdie right away," O'Donnell said. "We got to recover, but we can't do things we aren't capable of doing."

Not only did the players have to learn from a new coach, but O'Donnell had to learn different quirks about his players.

"The first year is to evaluate where we are at and really get to know the kids," O'Donnell said. "In that first meet, you go up and watch them and they shank it into the weeds. You find out later that you make them nervous as heck standing there, so you stand back in the shadows and watch that way."

DSU's fall season is over, but O'Donnell knows both the men and women will use their time in the offseason to work on different areas of their game.

"In this offseason, we have places like the (West River Community Center) and the players that want to get better will use that time to put the reps and swings in," he said. "The spring brings new challenges."

However, O'Donnell said there's one area of their game that can't be mastered on the driving range or on the putting green -- the mental aspect.

"One the guys had to say, 'Golf is played on a course four inches between your ears,'" O'Donnell said. "It really is being mentally prepared to play in all type of conditions. They all know how to golf. It's really the mental aspect of putting the whole game together."