Strain sizzles in opening sweep for UJ golf team
Michael Strain couldn’t have started his season off much better.
“I just wasn’t making many mistakes,” the junior from Motley, Minnesota said. “I had five birdies and no bogeys. It was a pretty good day.”
Strain’s sizzling round topped a strong day all around for the University of Jamestown golf program.
The men’s and women’s teams swept the small meet. The Jimmies also had the winner on the women’s side in Annie Nelson from Bismarck Century.
“It’s definitely a good starting point for both teams,” UJ head coach Dustin Jensen said. “There were a lot of good things by both teams today. Things we can build on and hopefully take off from here.”
There were few chinks in Strain’s armor. He was hitting it straight off the tee and had just 24 putts in the entire round.
“I was really rolling the putter pretty well,” he said. “I was getting up and down from anywhere.”
It was the second win for Strain, both coming at the country club.
“He proved to be what we thought he’d be — an absolute dude,” Jensen said of Strain.
Brandon Stahlhut, a freshman from Jamestown, had the team’s No. 2 score at 75, which included a double bogey on the last.
“I wasn’t surprised with the way Brandon played. He has a lot of ability. … We’re going to see a lot of really good golf out of him the next four years,” Jensen said.
As a team, the Jimmies finished with a 302. Jensen is hoping for scores in the 290-300 range, so they’re in the ballpark early.
Freshman Nathan Kapaun of Fargo had the other sub-80 round with a 78. He played on the Jimmies’ JV team.
As expected, the Jimmie women came out of the gate fast.
Their winning total of 324 shattered the school record by upwards of 30 shots.
“It was an absolute blowout,” Jensen said of the team setting the new school record. “The girls played great. They were consistent. They brought a couple of scores down that weren’t as low as we wanted in qualifying.”
The top six scores in the meet all came from Jimmies.
Nelson, a freshman, posted a 78, two better than fellow freshman Reagan Ritchey (80).
“Annie’s a very good player,” Jensen said. “She’s going to be a force in the NAIA for a number of years in the same way all of these girls could be.”
Dickinson’s Rachel Jahner, along with Emma Thompson, both freshmen, each posted 83s. Savanna Nesemeier, another first-year player was fifth at 88. Returning sophomore Emily Larson struggled to a 94, which was still good for sixth, although Jensen is not worried about his top returner.
Scores in the 320s are typical for teams in the top 15 in the NAIA rankings.
The Jimmie women will compete in a big meet this weekend in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
“I’m really excited to take this group of girls to (Wisconsin) to see how they stack up against some really good golf teams,” Jensen said.
University of Jamestown Fall Kick-off
At Jamestown Country Club
6,598 yards, Par 72
1, University of Jamestown 302; 2, Bismarck State 303; 3, MSUS-Fergus Falls 310; 4, Dickinson State 318; 5, Bismarck State 320; 6, Valley City State 321; 7, University of Jamestown II 336.
1, Michael Strain, UJ, 67; 2, Jayden Gimbel, BSC, 71; 3T, Mitch Scrimgeour, FF, 74; 3T, Joey Manthis, FF, 74; 5T, Trenton Schwehr, BSC, 75; 5T, Austin Harper, DSU, 5T, Brandon Stahlhut, UJ, 75; 8, Benji Crippen, DSU, 76; 9T, Ben Sorenson, VCSU, 77; 9T, Daniel Sam, VCSU, 77; T9, Matt Schirado, BSC, 77; 12T, Laramie Keplin, BSC, 78; T12, Nathan Kapaun, UJ, 78; 14T, Nick Stavn, BSC, 79; 14T, Nick Glass, BSC, 79; 14T, Paul Brannan, DSU, 79; 14T, Shane Ost, VCSU, 79; 18T, Austin Schauer, BSC, 80; 18T, Frank Lundquist, FF, 80; 18T, Trent Hagenson, UJ, 80; 18T, Mitch Hagenson, UJ, 80; 18T, Nolan Frank, UJ, 80.
24, Brandon Ly, FF, 82; 25T, Jordan Wolfe, FF, 83; 25T, Trevor Justesen, VCSU, 83; 27, Nick Nustad, BSC, 84; 27T, Colton Schneider, FF, 85; 27T, Benji Miller, UJ, 85; 30T, Zach Buntrock, FF, 86; T30, Daniel Stacy, FF, 86; T30, Riley Sisson, UJ, 86; 33T, Hunter Anderson, UJ, 87; T33, Jake Richels, VCSU, 87; 35T, Tyler Stevens, VCSU, 88; 37T, Nathaniel Knopik, BSC, 93; 37T, Parker Robinson, DSU, 93; T39, Conner Palmer, BSC, 96; T39, Nathaniel Easton, DSU, 96.
5,735 yards, Par 72
1, University of Jamestown 324; 2, University of Jamestown II 389; 3, Bismarck State 415; 4, Dickinson State 437.
1, Annie Nelson, UJ, 78; 2, Reagan Ritchey, UJ, 80; 3T, Rachel Jahner, UJ, 83; 3T, Emma Thompson, UJ, 83; 5, Savanna Nesemeier, UJ, 88; 6, Emily Larson, UJ, 94; 7T, Laura Duppong, DSU, 95; 7T, Danielle O’Donnell, DSU, 95; 9, Sydnie Mongeon, BSC, 96; 10, Kiley Fuller, UJ, 97; 11, Kayle Bjornstad, UJ, 101; 12, Alyssa Hildebrand, DSU, 102; 13, Mackenzie Schwartz, UJ, 103; 14, Abby Warcken, BSC, 104; 15, Kati Brandt, BSC, 105; 17, Callie Lawrence, BSC, 110; 18, Nicole Heinitz, VCSU, 113; 19, Abrielle Baumann, BSC, 129; 20, Casey Pearson, DSU, 145; 21, Hannah Gress, VCSU, 177.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com