The DAJT took a brief hiatus after the tour’s last stop at Lacoma was postponed due to torrential storms. Thankfully, it was a pure day for golf at the Galena Country Classic at Eagle Ridge’s famed North Course. Sunny skies and a light breeze set up for perfect conditions at a solid track for any junior golfer.
In just his second start of the year, Ben Vaassen captured victory with a round of 82. That was a 5-stroke improvement from his initial DAJT start at DGCC. The Wahlert standout is looking for consistency in his game to carry into the rest of summer and fall.
“My game off the tee and on the green was solid today, I just had some trouble with my irons,” said Vaassen. “I just need to continue to work hard, especially on my short game, and I’ll start seeing more scores in the 70’s, but it feels good to get a win.”
Following Vaassen were Max Nauman with an 85 and Nolan Martineau with a 91.
Hempstead’s Morgan Hawkins fired a round of 92 to take the girls 16-17 division. Taking 2ndand 3rdplace were Maddy Streicher with a 96 and Kaydiane Schadel with a 112.
A tired, but satisfied Hawkins reflected on her round: “The course is really hard, lots of hills, and my legs are kind of dead, but I powered through and it feels great to get the win.”
Davis Stelzer’s strong play in the 14-15 division continued with an 83 and another victory. The challenge of the North Course did not faze Stelzer.
“It’s a pretty tricky course, but I like the challenge and it makes me a better player,” said Stelzer.
Stelzer was trailed by Will Sigwarth’s 90 and Nick Splinter’s 91.
Katelyn Vaassen secured the win in the girls 14-15 division with a 98. She was followed by Ella Fangmann’s 107 and Hanna Kluesner’s 118.
“My short game was on point today. It always helps your score when you have two chip-ins,” said Vaassen.
In the boys 12-13 division, Jackson Webber continued his momentum with his second consecutive DAJT victory. His 40 edged Luke Harwick and Roan Martineau’s scores of 41. Webber, satisfied with his ballstriking but not his round overall, is looking to improve.
“I need to work on my putting. I had a lot of three putts today but luckily I hit the ball well,” said Webber. After a relatively slow start to the season for his standards, Webber has one goal in mind: “I want to win the DAJT.”
The girls 12-13 division was contested between Brianna Kirsch and Addison Jones. Kirsch won with a 50, besting Jones’ 59. Kirsch now takes a commanding 85 point lead in the DAJT standings
Cal Martineau continues his lights-out play in the boys 10-11 division. His 39 was the lowest of all 9-hole scores across both boys age divisions. His recipe for success?
“I just try to keep calm every time I hit a bad shot,” said Martineau.
Following Martineau were Bryce Carroll’s 57 and Maddan Streff’s 59.
In a close match, Elin Mueller won the girls 10-11 division with a 59, beating Natalie Fangmann’s 60 and Kayleigh Smith’s 67. This is Mueller’s third victory of the season in three starts. After a solid round on the course, Mueller shifted her focus to getting to the swimming pool to cool off.
The DAJT is officially halfway through its inaugural season and continues play next Tuesday with the Gigantic Junior at Bunker Hill. The race for the Ryder Cup at Thunder Hills is tight, and the next few weeks will provide some separation and great competition.