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Lentz wins second tourney at Jamestown CC this week

Valley City State University senior Jared Lentz watches his shot Monday at Jamestown Country Club during the 80th Annual Elks Labor Day tournament on Sept. 3. John M. Steiner / The Sun 1 / 2
Jamestown native Austin Rene watches his approach shot Monday at the 80th Annual Elks Labor Day tournament at Jamestown Country Club. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

Valley City State University golfer Jared Lentz's path to the 80th Annual Elks Labor Day championship match was far from easy.

Lentz was down two holes with only a pair to go during his first match of the tournament on Saturday. He rallied to win the final two holes and the extra hole to advance in the event. His second match also went extras.

"To get here after maybe being eliminated from championship contention after Round 1 is pretty crazy," Lentz said.

After winning his third match, Lentz cruised to a two-shot victory over Napoleon's Kaleb Katterling, a former North Dakota State University golfer, to win the title Monday at Jamestown Country Club.

"It feels good to win," Lentz said. "I shot 68 to qualify, some balls rolled my way and it worked out for me. I'm pretty happy about that."

The shot of the match came on the Hole 14, where Lentz had a difficult 240-yard Par 3 with 15 mile-per-hour winds blowing into his face. The senior at VCSU chose a 3 Wood that rolled to the front of the green, while his opponent shot into the bunker.

Lentz went on to go two holes up on Katterling and cruised from there to end the match after Hole 17.

"I didn't think 3 Wood was enough," Lentz admitted. "My shot rolled up to the front, which pretty easily let me two putt. That easily turned the tide."

The Viking could arguably be playing the best golf of his career after shooting a collegiate-best 68 during the UJ Fall Kickoff at Jamestown Country Club on Aug. 28. The 68 was the lowest score of the day.

Lentz has built up a long resume through his three years and one tournament this season. He has 12 Top 10s, six Top 5s, two victories, the North Star Athletic Association Golfer of the Week as a sophomore and a NSAA All-Conference Honorable Mention as a junior.

"The two victories gives me even more confidence going into each tournament, thinking I'm probably one of the better golfers and I should expect to finish at the top," Lentz said. "This is my last year playing competitive golf and who knows what I'll be doing next year? So I put a lot of time in this summer."

Lentz will get one more shot at Jamestown Country Club in 2018 during the Jamestown Fall Classic on Sept. 16-17.

"We normally play it about four times a year," Lentz said. "I've developed a liking of this course and it's really familiar to me."

The season is split into a fall and spring season for Valley City, with the conference tournament April 29-30 in Omaha, Neb. The top team and individual from that tournament goes on to the NAIA national tournament on May 21-24 at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.

"Our goal is to make nationals as a team, but my personal goal is to win the conference tournament," Lentz said. "I'm going to keep working towards that and hope for the best."

Rene takes third

Jamestown native Austin Rene took third place in the tournament after beating Brent Geiszler by two holes to end the match on No. 17.

Rene was a JHS standout and is now on the University of Jamestown men's golf team. The junior shot a 79 during the UJ Fall Kickoff to place 26th.

Next up for the Jimmies will be the Montana State University Billings Yellow Jacket Invite on Sept. 10-11 at Lake Hills Golf Club.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

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