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USGA qualifiers 'will be back' in Jamestown, had a good day Monday

The Jamestown Country Club hosted a qualifier for the 74th Annual U.S. Junior Amateur golf competition on June 13.

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Ella Kozak of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, looks downrange after advancing the ball on Monday, June 13, 2022, during the U.S. Girls Junior Championship Qualifying golf at the Jamestown Country Club.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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Monday morning had Dustin Jensen a smidgen nervous but come Monday afternoon, he couldn't have been happier as he got in his car and drove away from the Jamestown Country Club.

The Jamestown Country Club was the site for a qualifier for the 74th Annual U.S. Junior Amateur golf competition on June 13. The qualifier was the first-ever USGA event to be held at the Jamestown Country Club.

"It went great," Jensen, the United State Golf Association's (USGA) committee liaison for the state of North Dakota, said. "The country club stood up well — it's in amazing condition. The course did exactly what we hoped. It was a great test, a great overall day and a great place to host it."

The event teed off at 9 a.m. and concluded at around 3 p.m. Jensen said he and other course officials were fully expecting to play through rain but due to a shift in the clouds, the worst the golfers had to deal with was a little bit of humidity.

The weather conditions didn't seem to bother a pair of Canadians one bit.

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"We had two kids from Canada come down and take the qualifying spots — Ella Kozak and Ryan Blair," Jensen said. "They are both really, really good kids and really good players."

Kozak is quite an accomplished player having won a major junior amateur championship and an amateur championship in Canada. She regularly travels a golf circuit that plays in tournaments all over the world. She is only in 10th grade. The 10th grader shot a two-over-74.

Blair is almost the exact opposite

"He doesn't travel all over," Jensen said. "He just plays at tournaments and just had a really, really good day."

Blair is a high school graduate and still seeking out opportunities to play collegiate level golf. The high school grad finished the round at two-under.

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Avery Bartels of Oxbow, N.D., follows through on a drive Monday, June 13, 2022, during the U.S. Girls Junior Championship Qualifying golf at the Jamestown Country Club.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Kozak advanced to the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, scheduled to be held at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Kentucky on July 18-23. Blair will be competing in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on July 25-30.

"We'll definitely have these qualifiers back in North Dakota," Jensen said. "We will talk a little bit with the other clubs to see what the right fit is but it will definitely be back in Jamestown.

"We had intended to do a little bit of a rotation but pending some of these other clubs that are a little harder to get on, I could see it coming back here more in the future."

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Jensen extended thanks to the Country Club Superintendent Gordon Prasek and general manager Shawn Taft.

"The condition Gordon has the course in with all the rain we've had is second-to-none," Jensen said. "From the USGA's perspective, we appreciate the board of directors membership at the club bringing this into Jamestown. It's so fun to have a private club that wants to recognized and support youth golf. It's just awesome."

While the pair of qualifying spots went to the two Canadians, Jensen said he was impressed with the turnout that the state of North Dakota produced.

There were around 25 boys who came to the qualifier and approximately 15 girls. Jensen said there were golfers from all across the country who came to compete. Competitors were only allowed to compete in one of the 57 qualifiers that were offered.

"There were a lot of North Dakota kids in the field and a lot of North Dakota kids who played pretty well," Jensen said. "It's fun to see that our local kids in the region — accounting for the kids in Canada — came down and won.

"It's just exciting to send a couple of people off to major national championships. From Jamestown, North Dakota we get to send kids off to some pretty major venues and they get to play to be national champions."

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Skyler Syverson of Grand Forks, follows through on a drive Monday, June 13, 2022, during the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Qualifying golf at the Jamestown Country Club.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Results

Boys

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1. Ryan Blair, Winnipgeg, Manitoba, 70; 2. Hayden Moore, Geneseo, Illinois, 72; 3. Logan Schoepp, Bismarck, North Dakota, 73; T4. Francisco Solorza, Guadalajara, Mexico, 73; T4. Alex Gerrard, Red Deer County, Alberta, 73; T6. Jayce Johnson, Fargo, North Dakota, 74; T6. Ben Christianson, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 74; 8. Preston Hiller, San Antonio, Texas, 75; 9. Charles Solberg, Fargo, North Dakota, 76; 10. Ross Anderson, Lake Charles, Louisiana, 77; T11. Landon Olson, Fargo, North Dakota, 78; T11. Champ Hettich, Beulah, North Dakota, 78; 13. Gabe Benson, Fargo, North Dakota, 79; T14. Joey Simonich, Moorhead, Minnesota, 81; T14. Skyler Syverson, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 81; T16. Peyton Hiller, San Antonio, Texas, 84; T16. Kasen Rostad, Minot, North Dakota, 84; T16. Wyatt Larson, McLauglin, South Dakota, 84; 19. Evan Booth, Fargo, North Dakota, 85; T20. Lucas Schoepp, Bismarck, North Dakota, 86; T20. Cody Card, Fargo, North Dakota, 86.

Girls

1. Ella Kozak, Yankton, Saskatchewan, 74; 2. Rylee Heryford, Newton, Iowa, 77; 3. Rose Solberg, Fargo, North Dakota, 77; T4. Hannah Herbel, Bismarck, North Dakota, 78; T4. Anna Huettl, Mandan, North Dakota, 78; 6. Victoria Wang, Laguna Niguel, California, 80; T7. Avery Bartels, Oxbow North Dakota, 82; T7. Hannah Boraas, Alexandria, Minnesota, 82; T7. Leah Herbel, Bismarck, North Dakota, 82; 10. Lola Homiston, Dickinson, North Dakota, 84; 11. Grace Stroh, Bismarck, North Dakota, 87; 12. Aysia Mettler, Mandan, North Dakota, 88; 13. Natalie Purvis, Edmond, Oklahoma, 89.

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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