golf

Rain shortens play at state golf meet

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In a golf season filled with uncooperative weather and cancelled meets, the 2022 Boys Class B state golf meet proved no different. Clouds cast shadows throughout the event, and rain ended play both days, shortening the tournament early on June 7.

De Smet qualified as a team for the state tournament and sent four golfers. Senior Rett Osthus finished with 80 on the first day, tying for 11th place. Junior Kasen Janssen posted an 86, followed by sophomore Tom Aughenbaugh with 88 and senior Kalen Garry at 89.

“The weather was tough all season. It was a cold spring and we really only had good weather at one meet,” said sixth-year De Smet golf coach Cory Beck. “This tournament had good and bad weather every few hours. We played well enough, but it’s hard to start and stop with golf, and we just came up short the way the tournament went.”

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY

The tournament at Rapid City’s Elks Golf Course started on Monday morning with rain looming in the forecast. Golfers teed off in groups of four, with the last group getting underway around 11:30 a.m.

By 3:30 play was halted by lightning with thirteen groups still on the course.

Osthus was in the clubhouse with an 80 after golfing a great round and just missing a few putts. Janssen was in with an 86.

Garry was sitting on the 17th at +17 with two holes to play in his first round, and Aughenbaugh was +7 after twelve holes, playing for an injured Colt Wilkinson.

Watching rain settle in from the clubhouse, and with rain forecast for most of the following day, officials announced they would try to allow the remaining groups to finish their first round early the next morning, and did not expect to have a second round.

COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY

Tuesday dawned a new day but a similar story. The remaining groups took the course where they left off the day before, playing balls where they laid at that time. Garry finished with an 89 and Aughenbaugh a few holes later with an 88.

With the sun shining for the moment, officials decided to attempt a second round – this time with a shotgun start on all 18 holes around 10:00 a.m.

Golfers scattered, but the clouds did not. The horn signaling lightning blew again after just eight holes of play.

Weather quickly degraded into yet another downpour. After waiting a couple hours in a packed clubhouse, officials decided to call it a shortened tournament and use the 18-hole results from the first round to determine results.

Bennett Cassens from Faulkton Area and Coy Determan from Gregory each led scoring at 76. With no opportunity to settle the tie with a playoff, they share the individual state title.

Gregory took the Boys State B team championship with a combined +19.

SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE

“When you have long-time coaches saying this was the second-worst weather they’ve seen in a golf season, it makes you glad you don’t know what the worst year was like,” said Beck.

“All in all, we had a successful year and were coming on at tournament time. We had a big squad with 22 players this year, just about double the number of kids out. It was a lot for everyone to handle, but they were a good group and all did well.”

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