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Stahlhut leads Jays in second round

Jamestown High School golfer Jakobi Lux rolls a putt during the second round of the East-West Classic on Saturday at the Jamestown Country Club. John M. Steiner The Sun

Jamestown senior Brandon Stahlhut figured out the Jamestown Country Club on Saturday, but his teammates struggled.

Stahlhut tied for the best score on the second day of the East-West Classic with a 76, helping him overcome a first-day 84 and finish in a tie for fifth place overall in a meet that featured every team in the state. He was also the top finisher from the West Region.

“Brandon played a great round in tough conditions,” Jamestown coach Dean Kraft said. “Brandon has all the tools to go low, he hits it a mile, he has a soft touch around the green and has developed a good mind for the game.”

But Stahlhut still had to overcome issues at times, not uncommon for the Blue Jays. Sophomore Austin Rene had the best west score the first day with a 79, but followed up with a 94, which ballooned his score up to 173 and out of the top 10. Nick Stockert was consistent with only a stroke worse the second day, also finishing with a 173.

Kraft said, again, the Jays need to find a way to manage big scores. Stockert was a prime example, Kraft said, as he shot 4-over on both of his final holes. Rene finished his round with a triple and quadruple bogey, and Jakobi Lux shot an 11 on No. 6.

“On five holes out of 72, we went 21-over par,” Kraft said. “We bogey those five holes and we have the best score of the day. Every school posted big numbers like that I’m sure. But for us, the first order of business is to figure out a way to manage the bad holes and turn big numbers into bogeys and no worse. Some of that is execution and some of that is between the ears.”

Though it didn’t meet high expectations on its home course, Jamestown didn’t fare all that bad. The Blue Jays took sixth place in a meet that mirrors the state meet in terms of competition. They finished with a two-day total of 683, with St. Mary’s (679) and Bismarck Century (680) not far ahead.

Grand Forks Red River won the team title with a 653, besting Fargo Davies (655) and West Fargo (660). Riley Johnson of West Fargo overcame an 80 on day 2 to earn medalist honors with a 153.

For Jamestown, Jakobi Lux (92-87—187) joined Stahlhut, Rene and Stockert as the Jays’ top four. Ben Harris (188) and Cole Bennion (199) also participated.

After two meets, Jamestown has had the best west finisher and has been in contention with every team in the West Region.

“We are definitely competitive in the west,” Kraft said. “We have had the top west scorer in all three rounds this season and Rene and Stahlhut have proven they can go pretty low. Having two that can do that is a luxury no other west team has shown yet.”

The Jays are back in action on Friday at Prairie West Golf Course in Mandan.

Complete results can be found in the scoreboard

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached                  at (701) 952-8462 or