Heart River Golf Course to serve as the battleground for West Region Tournament
DICKINSON — The season was a quick one, with the snowy inclement weather lingering well into April, but the time has come for Western Dakota Association golfers to get their final swing for a state qualifier at the West Region Tournament, to be hosted in Dickinson on May 30, at the Heart River Golf Course.
The Midgets, the hosting team, have struggled to break into the top five, their best meet finish being eighth, but the fairly young squad are not likely to give in to the overwhelming odds and could see a handful move on to state.
“It is a short season, we started practice in April and were in the simulator for two or three weeks,” John Spry, DHS head coach, said. “I want to cut seven strokes out of each of the players to make them more competitive.”
The big hitters will of course be the large rostered team in Century, who collected five first place finishes over the regular season, being crowned regular season champions for the second year in a row. Their best regular season performance didn’t come until the final invite, in Williston, where the Patriots shot a team score of 296, taking to the top of the winners podium for the fourth consecutive time.
Minot is certain to bring a big performance, having three first place finishes and four second place. St. Mary’s are on the cusp of greatness, tying second with the Magicians in Williston and finishing the regular season with six third place finishes.
The top six teams at region will advance to state, as well as the top 10 individual finishers, regardless of their team advancing. Also advancing will be the 10 All-WDA athletes and golfers who score seven or less over par or over the medalist.
Currently, there are 20 individuals qualified for state, Century are already near a full team with five. St. Mary’s and Mandan each have four state qualifiers, followed by Minot, with three then Jamestown with two. Minot North, Legacy and Williston round out the list with one apiece.
Patriots’ junior Lucas Schoepp and Magicians Kasen Rostad have both been medalist twice in the season, but will be fighting it out to collect the trifecta in Dickinson.
Dickinson lost a pool of golfers from last year and are going into the regional tournament without a single individual state qualifier.
They will need to take home advantage in order to keep their season going. Senior Ty Nelson is capable of breaking 90, and according to Spry, has proven to be an exceptional leader for the team despite not playing the previous season. Junior Owen Bittner will be another strong player for Dickinson on the course, who has finished 84 twice in the season, sophomore Emersyn Lee is consistently in their top four and freshman Jace Belland can be the wildcard for the team, showing tremendous potential.
“I tell all the guys, I want to play boring golf,” Spry said. “Boring golf is exciting, boring golf is a fairway hit, green in regulation, two put and which is par. … That is our goal, our goal is to play boring golf.”
West Region State Qualifiers:
May 20 - Jamestown
Caden Willer - St. Mary's - 73
Easton Romsdal - Jamestown - 76
Afton Bartz - Century - 79
Jorey Johnson - Mandan - 80
Logan Renner - Mandan - 80
Kane Shannon - Williston - 80
May 16 - Mandan
Kasen Rostad - Minot - 68
Lucas Schoepp - Century - 72
Quinn Shillingstad - St. Mary's - 73
Brock Jones - Minot - 73
Cameron Wittenberg - Century - 74
Jayce Johnson - Mandan - 75
Caden Willer - St. Mary's - 77
Tyler Bast - Minot - 77
Braden Bosch - Mandan - 78
Matt Souther - Legacy - 78
Parker Beck - Century - 79
Aidan Kaufman - Century- 79
Ryker Landers - St. Mary's - 79
Walter Langhans - Minot North - 79