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Magic at first swing: Mattson’s strong start leads to medal, Heart River wins home event

Heart River senior golfer Jett Mattson putts on the 16th hole of the Pheasant Country Golf Course during the Heart River Invite on Friday, April 26. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)1 / 5
Dickinson Trinity sophomore Cole Fitterer chips onto the 15th green of the Pheasant Country Golf Course during the Heart River Invite on Friday, April 26. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)2 / 5
Western Morton County sophomore Gehrig Geiss rips a drive from the 18th tee of the Pheasant Country Golf Course during the Heart River Invite on Friday, April 26. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)3 / 5
Bowman County junior Andrew Narum chips onto the green of the 15th hole at the Pheasant Country Golf Course during the Heart River Invite on Friday, April 26. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)4 / 5
Western Morton County sophomore Gehrig Geiss (left) and Heart River senior Jett Mattson (right) walk to their balls near the green of the 15th hole at the Pheasant Country Golf Course during the Heart River Invite on Friday, April 26. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)5 / 5

SOUTH HEART — Competing on his home course in the Heart River Invite, an event in which he is the defending champion, Heart River senior Jett Mattson immediately staked his claim to go back-to-back.

Ripping his first tee shot, which landed within feet of the cup, Mattson hit an eagle, or two under par, on the first hole of the Pheasant Country Golf Course. From there, it was smooth sailing on the front nine, pacing the field with a blistering score of 32, four shots under par.

"The first shot of the day, that's what really set the tone," Mattson said. "I drove the green on hole one and had a 3-footer for eagle. That really just set the day off. I didn't have any bogies and had a lot of ups and downs. It was just pretty consistent."

Finishing his day with a score of 68, Mattson won his second medalist award on his home course at the Heart River Invite on Friday, April 26. With four scores in the top 10, Heart River took the event with a team mark of 318.

"The day, actually, was a really good day," Cougars head coach Ronnie Stewart said. "The weather cooperated a lot better than what we anticipated. The boys were really anxious for this. ... It's always good to be able to play on your home turf. So overall, I'm very happy with the boys. I know that some of them left some shots out there and they are kind of upset with where they left off, but that's a really good first tournament of the year for us to win."

Mattson was four strokes better than the rest of his competition on the front nine, posting two birdies in addition to the eagle on one. Running into some danger on the ninth hole, he saved par after working his way out of the rough and through some trees.

The senior also had the best mark on the back nine, parring the rest of his holes.

"On the front nine, it wasn't too windy, but towards the end of the back, it really started to pick up," Mattson said. "I had to break out some longer clubs than I usually do on this course just to get it to the hole."

Dickinson Trinity was second overall, 17 shots off Heart River's pace. Titans sophomore Cole Fitterer was second individually, completing his 18 holes in 74 strokes. Admittedly inexperienced on the course, Fitterer shaved 11 strokes off of his score from a year ago.

"I started hitting my driver good and on line, so when you hit fairways, it makes it a lot easier to get the greens in regulation," Fitterer said. "That way, you don't put pressure on yourself and you can try and two-putt for par. If you want to putt for birdie, then great."

Victorious in each of the first two meets of the season, Western Morton County claimed third with a score of 350. Sophomore Gehrig Geiss, who has won two medalist awards this season, was third individually. Beulah's Champ Hettich followed in fourth, while Heart River sophomore Nick Fagerberg and Killdeer sophomore Zack Andersen were deadlocked for fifth.

"My first nine went well. My second nine didn't go as well as planned," Andersen said. "I shot a 37 in the front nine and a 42 on the back nine. It could've been better, but I'll take it."

Two other Cougars captured spots in the top-10. Sophomore Jacob Robb shot a score of 85, tying him with Grant County-Flasher sophomore Jon Bogert for eighth. Tanner Jarrett was one shot behind in tenth.

"Anytime you can win a tournament is good, but what makes it more exciting is that we didn't even play to the best that we could," Stewart said. "We did have our No. 1 golfer play to the best of his ability, but some of the boys left some shots out there, too. They should be eager. We are capable of hitting in the low 300s. ... It's going to be a tight race, Western Morton has had our number a couple of times, but today was very good."

Heart River Invite

At the Pheasant Country Golf Course

Team scores: 1, Heart River, 318. 2, Dickinson Trinity, 335. 3, Western Morton County, 350. 4, Beulah, 360. 5, Hazen, 368. 6, Killdeer, 375. 7, Shiloh Christian, 411. 8, Bowman County, 463. 9, Beach, 485.

Individual top 10: 1, Jett Mattson, HR, 68. 2, Cole Fitterer, DT, 74. 3, Gehrig Geiss, WMC, 76. 4, Champ Hettich, Beu., 77. T5, Zack Andersen, K, 79. T5, Nick Fagerberg, HR, 79. 7, Tyler Brusseau, DT, 82. T8, Jacob Robb, HR, 85. T8, Jon Bogert, Grant County-Flasher, 85. 10, Tanner Jarrett, HR, 86.

11, Mason Wick, H, 88. T12, Shane Baardson, H, 89. T12, Grant Gerving, WMC, 89. T12, Chris Schneider, DT, 89. T12, Eli Heyen, BC, 89. T16, Brandan Berger, DT, 90. T16, Luke Feil, Beu., 90. 18, Andrew Narum, BC, 91. T19, Ryan Zastoupil, K, 92. T19, Nate Boehm, BC, 92. T19, Tyus Thomas, WMC, 92.

T22, Tayt Wolding, WMC, 93. T22, Jake Driscoll, H, 93. T24, Kolby Hauser, Beu., 94. T24, Ethan Hickel, DT, 94. T26, Brett Gabrielson, GCF, 95. T26, Shay Olson, HR, 95. T28, John Tomjack, K, 97. T28, Jaxon Voller, SC, 97. T30, Evan Henke, WMC, 98. T30, Tyson Wick, H, 98.

T32, Chauncey Dittus, WMC, 99. T32, Evan Eliason, Beu., 99. T34, Karsen Kulseth, BC, 100. T34, Cody Hirschfeld, DT, 100. T36, Brooks Vigesaa, Beu., 103. T36, Lance Kostelecky, HR, 103. 38, Dawson Kaylor, H, 104. 39, Braxton Bowers, SC, 105. 40, Devon Hestekin, BC, 106.

41, Carl Thorson, K, 107. 42, Daniel Murray, SC, 108. 43, Ben Niemuth, SC, 111. 44, Kevin Fischer, BC, 113. 45, Gabe Wyckoff, Bea., 116. 46, Linken Hegel, Bea., 117. 47, Kyler Frank, Bea., 123. 48, Wyatt Tczap, Bea., 129. 49, Griffin Gunkel, Bea., 137. 50, Ethan Helsper, Bea., 152.

Patrick Bernadeau

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press. He can be reached at his office number (701) 456-1211 or email him at pbernadeau@thedickinsonpress.com. Joining the Dickinson Press in July 2017, he was previously a freelance sports writer for Treasure Coast Newspapers (TCPalm.com) in Stuart, FL as well as carrying bylines from the Associated Press, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today and Naples Daily News. Prior to his move to Dickinson, he resided in Port St. Lucie, FL, earning a Bachelor's Degree from Florida Atlantic University. Patrick was born and raised in Brockton, Mass and is an avid Boston sports fan. Born to Haitian parents, Patrick's favorite meal is Griot with Banana Peze, Pikliz (Fried pork with smashed plaintains and a spicy vegetable relish) and a tall glass of Cherry Coke.

(701) 456-1211