After a week of brutal heat and humidity, the weather was picture perfect for the Happy Joe’s Jr Classic at Thunder Hills Country Club. The decades-long running event was originally held at Bunker Hill Golf Course, but has now cemented its place at Thunder Hills. Some unique features to the event are the red and black golf bags given to the low 18-hole score in the boys and girls divisions, along with the signature lemonade and cookies passed out to hungry golfers after their 5th and 15th holes.
Jax Stelzer fired a round of 72 en route to his victory in the boys 16-18 division. Ryan Kamentz continued his solid play with a 77 and Kyle Arthofer finished with an 80.
Stelzer spoke of the meaning of winning at his home course. “It’s really special to get my first win of the summer at Thunder. Any time I get to play here is important to me, but winning this tournament, especially on the course my dad tends is really cool.”
Morgan Hawkins shot an excellent round of 83 to win the girls 16-17 division. Breanna Felderman and Maddy Streicher followed with rounds of 87 and 88 respectively.
“I was hitting my driver really well today and getting it to that comfort zone of 100 yards and in. I grinded it out and got it up and down today, “ said Hawkins.
Davis Stelzer won the boys 14-15 division with a strong round of 74. Will Coohey placed second with an 80 and Will Sigwarth placed third with an 83.
Stelzer stumbled a bit in the middle of his round, bogeying holes 7, 8, 9, and 10. While most golfers would have let it define their round, Stelzer remained mentally tough. “I came into the back 9 with a good attitude because I’ve played it so many times before and I knew I could still go low,” he said.
In the girls 14-15 division, Tess Breslin grabbed the win with a 96. She was trailed by Ella Fangmann’s 101 and Hanna Kluesner’s 104.
Breslin showed her resilience throughout the day, which was most evident on the difficult par 5 16thhole. “I was kind of scrambling all day today but I played well overall,” said Breslin. “I ran into some trouble on the 16thand ended up taking an 11, but I birdied the 17th and it felt good to finish strong after such a terrible hole.”
Brock Wilson captured his second consecutive victory in the boys 12-13 division with a round of 40. Following were Roan Martineau’s 41 and Jackson Webber’s 43.
“I feel good about my game right now. I’m hitting my short putts and lagging them nicely. When I get in trouble, my punch shots are going where I need them to go, and it’s letting me shoot solid scores,” said Wilson.
In the girls 12-13, McKenna Stackis protected her home turf with a victory over Ava Kalb. Stackis and Kalb both played solid, shooting 49 and 53 respectively.
“It feels good to win at my home course, but my favorite part of the day was getting to play with Ava,” said Stackis.
In the boys 10-11 division, Cal Martineau picked up another win with a 44. Brandon Cummer placed second with a 48 and Levi John’s came in third with a 52.
Cummer, who has only been playing for a year now, has gained a love for the game and has seen rapid improvement.
“I love the feeling of hitting a great shot, and it’s always so peaceful on the golf course,” said Cummer.
Natalie Fangmann won the girls 10-11 division with her round of 49. Following were Elin Mueller’s 50 and Amber Wilson’s 73.
“My fairway and my putter were my best clubs today,” said Fangmann after her round.
The next leg of the DAJT will be on July 29th for the Galena Country Classic at Lacoma.