Kraft beats conditionsTypically, coming into the clubhouse with an 80 on her scorecard isn’t ideal for Jamestown senior golfer Laura Kraft. Thursday, that was her goal. Fierce winds and gusts up to 40 mph whipped through Heart River Golf Course during the Dickinson High Invitational girls tournament and made some of the state’s top golfers lower their expectations.
By: By Dustin Monke, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Typically, coming into the clubhouse with an 80 on her scorecard isn’t ideal for Jamestown senior golfer Laura Kraft.
Thursday, that was her goal.
Fierce winds and gusts up to 40 mph whipped through Heart River Golf Course during the Dickinson High Invitational girls tournament and made some of the state’s top golfers lower their expectations.
“It was really tough out there,” said Kraft, the two-time defending Class A state champion. “There were a lot of changes that needed to be made because of the wind.”
Kraft’s 8-over-par 80 was more than good enough to take medalist honors. She beat Minot High’s Emma Kusick by seven strokes.
She had 10 pars and, after getting a birdie on the short par 4 at No. 14, closed out her day with four consecutive pars.
Kusick helped the Majettes, who all kept their scores under 100, to the team win with a 364. They had been averaging a 334.8 through five rounds this season.
Breanna Benjamin (92), Haili Duchscherer (92) and Danielle Foster (93) rounded out Minot’s team scoring.
“It was tough,” Kusick said. “It was windy and we just kind of decided to go out and have fun no matter what was going to happen. I was happy and everybody had to play in it, so just try and do your best no matter what.”
“You had to play a different game,” she added.
Interestingly, 17 of the 44 varsity golfers had scores under 100. That amount is about average in the West Region this season.
Century’s Krissy Aasen and Adrianna Harris each had a 91 to help their team to a second-place 369.
Dickinson senior Jenna Wellenstein’s 93 tied for seventh place. The Midgets finished in third with a 387, about 25 strokes off their average.
Wellenstein, who was in the lead group with Kraft, Kusick and Century’s McKenzie McMillan (93) said the golfers adjusted to the conditions as the day wore on.
“You didn’t really where the ball was going to go or end up because of the wind,” she said. “Some of my shots were super high.”
Riana Cooper (96), Rachel Jahner (97) and Kira Haag (101) rounded out Dickinson’s team scoring.
Dickinson coach Olivia Wellenstein was impressed with her team’s performance, especially considering the uncontrollable factors that played into the round.
“The winds as strong as they were, the mechanics of your swing seem to go a little bit and to get back into that groove, sometimes it takes a few holes to get back there,” Olivia Wellenstein said. “I think they did a really good job trying to keep everything under control, especially their attitudes when you get frustrated. I think they did a good job doing that.”
Minot High 364, Bismarck Century 369, Dickinson High 387, Williston 417, Jamestown 431, Mandan 445, Bismarck High 500, Belcourt 509.
Top 15 individuals
1, Laura Kraft, Jamestown, 80. 2, Emma Kusick, Minot, 87. 3 (tie). Krissy Aasen, Century, 91; Adrianna Harris, Century, 91. 5 (tie), Breanna Benjamin, Minot, 92; Haili Duchscherer, Minot, 92. 7 (tie) Jenna Wellenstein, Dickinson, 93; Danielle Foster, Minot, 93; McKenzie McMillan, Century, 93. 10 (tie), Alexa Dvorak, Century, 94; Anna Helmers, Mandan, 94. 12 (tie), Caremella Johnson, Minot, 95; Kayla Barke, Wlliston, 95. 14, Riana Cooper, Dickinson, 96. 15 (tie) Rachel Jahner, Dickinson, 97; Brooklyn Bender, Minot, 97; Megan Larson, Century, 97.
Other JHS results
Alyssa Mangin 110, Sierra Bennion 116, Maria LeFevre 125.
Monke is the sports editor at the Dickinson Press, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.