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Golfers battle elements on SDGA Junior Tour stop

Kyler Senger, of Mina Lake, chips onto the ninth green during the South Dakota Golf Association Junior Tour event at Lee Park Golf Course Tuesday. Photo by John Davis taken 7/6/2021

Conditions for golf were less than ideal for those competing in the South Dakota Golf Association Junior Tour at Lee Park Golf Course on Tuesday.

However, despite a persistent rain, golfers were still able to record competitive scores during the second day of a two-day stop in Aberdeen (golfers were at Moccasin Creek County Club on Monday).

“The first nine it was pretty bad, but I still played pretty well,” said Groton’s Brevin Fliehs of the rain. “I started off the second nine not too good, but I finished well.”

He said the conditions made the game a bit more challenging than it normally is.

“It’s hard,” the 14-year-old said. “There’s a lot of things to think about.”

Fliehs got his mind back on track following one tough hole in particular.

“The first hole on the second nine, I didn’t have it,” Fliehs said, “but I started getting my mind together and shooting some better scores.”

The weather didn’t seem to bother Olivia Braun of Aberdeen. The 13-year-old grew accustomed to cold, damp weather while golfing for Aberdeen Central this past spring.

“I’m actually kind of used to it, because during the season in high school golf we’ve kind of golfed in this weather before,” Braun said. “You just kind of have to do it, it’s South Dakota, you know.”

Braun switched schools to get a look at tougher competition.

“I actually switched schools from Roncalli to Aberdeen Central,” she said. “I think it was a good change, because I got to golf at higher levels. I think that was good for me.”

While Braun has already developed a solid game for someone her age being a key member of Central’s varsity as a seventh-grader, she said there is still plenty of room for improvement. When asked what it takes to be a good golfer, Braun responded, “You know, that is a tough question. I have no idea.”

Mason Carrels is finally getting some golf in. Unlike the Class B boys players or all of the girls golfers, Carrels did not golf this spring because Class A boys golf in the fall.

Instead, the 17-year-old was plenty busy competing in both tennis and track and field for Roncalli.

“I started towards the end of May after all that stuff kind of finished up,” Carrels said. “I’d go out late at night and just kind of play on the course since I live out there. That kind of helped transition into it a little bit.”

Carrels was pleased with his score on Tuesday, but said he can do better.

“I kind of like where my game is at right now, I just didn’t play as good as I wanted to,” Carrels said. “I definitely can get that number down.”

When asked what his favorite sport is, Carrels did not even pick one of his three most recent sports.

“Hockey is my favorite,” he said. “It’s always going to be hockey.”

Another person with a hockey background had a nice day on the course at Lee Park. Morgan Jones of Aberdeen won her division. She said she has several goals while competing on the Junior Tour.

“When I’m playing, I’m competing against myself and the people I’m playing with,” Jones said. “But then I’m also trying to work on technique. If I’m struggling with something, I’m working to fix that during the round.”

The 15-year-old was a member of Central’s varsity this spring, which has also helped her overall game.

“I think it’s pushed me a lot to just keep getting out there, and just getting my score down and just stay consistent,” Jones said.

She plans to play golf deep into the fall if possible.

“I used to have a fall sport, but I quit before high school so I could focus more on golf and also hockey,” Jones said. “During the fall I usually just play more for fun, because there’s not as many tournaments.”

For complete Tuesday results click on the following link:

For complete Monday results click on the following link:

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