HODGE Jr. Classic kicks off 2019 DAJT Season

The Dubuque Area Junior Tour opened play at Dubuque Golf and Country Club this Friday for the HODGE Junior Classic. The windy conditions made for a challenging round of golf. 

“The greens were really tough. They did not hold much and the wind made it difficult to find the green,” said boys 16-17 division champ Kyle Arthofer. 

Arthofer comfortably won his division by 8 strokes with a solid round of 79. He bested 87’s from Ben Vaassen and Max Naumann, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. 

Breanna Felderman won the girls 16-17 division with a round of 87. Close behind her was Maddy Streicher with a 90 and Moe Hawkins with a 102. 

“I think my second shots and my approach shots around the green helped save me today,” said Felderman. The standout for Dubuque Senior High School continues her strong play after a great showing at this year’s state tournament. 

The boys division saw some drama on the final hole with Davis Stelzer sinking a 15-foot birdie putt to force a playoff with Will Coohey. The pair shot rounds of 84, with Stelzer outlasting Coohey in a playoff. Nick Splinter rounded out the top three scores with an 89.

“I got off to a slow start but I started to make some pars and sneak in some birdies at the end of the round. I wanted to shift that positive momentum to the playoff but I just didn’t get the luck of the bounce like I wanted it,” said Coohey. 

Stelzer plays often with Coohey and spoke of his mindset going into the playoff. 

“I just tried to bring a mamba mentality into the last few holes and it worked out for me. I have nothing but respect for Coohey as a competitor and player, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of battles in the future,” said Stelzer. 

The girls 14-15 division was also closely contested, with Gabrielle Fagerland besting Tess Breslin by a single stroke shooting around of 103. Kate Vaassen placed third with a round of 107. 

“The wind definitely made on impact on the scores today. I drove the ball well and that’s what helped me eventually win,” said Fagerland. 

The boys 12-13 division also came down to a playoff between Luke Harwick and Jackson Webber, who both shot 39. Harwick defeated Webber in the playoff with a par. Brock Wilson came in third, shooting a 42. 

“Jackson is a really good golfer, so I walked in to the playoff thinking ‘I guess I’m taking second,’” said Hargrave. “I ended up hitting a good tee shot and winning the playoff, so hopefully this gives me confidence for the rest of the summer.” 

Brianna Kirsch won the girls 12-13 division with a 52, beating McKenna Stackis’ 53 and Ava Kalb’s 56.

Callan Martineau came in with an excellent round of 43, 11 shots clear of second and third place winners Augie Hess and Bryce Carroll. 

Lastly, Elin Mueller braved the windy conditions on her own after her playing partner Kayleigh Smith had to withdraw. Mueller posted a great score of 57. 

The next stop for the DAJT is on June 19th at Timberline Golf Course for the Managed Solutions Classic. Tournament scores and tour standings will be updated on www.dbqjrtour.com.