DAKOTA DUNES | Dakota Valley’s balance paid off in the opening round of the South Dakota Class A Boys State Golf Championship Monday at Dakota Dunes Country Club.
All five Dakota Valley players shot between 78 and 84 and the Panthers jumped to the lead – although by the thinnest of margins – after 18 holes of action.
Dakota Valley clings to a one stroke advantage over Aberdeen Roncalli, 320-321, heading into the final 18 holes on Tuesday. Rain fell on and off throughout the day, which made the already difficult course even more treacherous to navigate.
“I’m really proud of the boys, they’re pretty loose and showed that again today,” Dakota Valley Coach Rodd Slater said. “They’re having fun supporting each other playing their home course and are doing well.”
Senior Tanner Hensley paced the Panthers with a 6-over 78, good enough for a tie for fourth individually. Hensley (37-41) is tied with defending champion Jacob Lee of Parkston, six shots in back of Lucas Schaefbauer of Aberdeen Central.
Jameson Bull is tied for sixth after shooting 39-40—79, while freshman Paul Bruns is 11th at 41-40—81 and Jack Furlong 14th with 82. Furlong shot 37 on the front nine but slipped to 45 on the back. Keaton Hensley, the fifth DV golfer, carded 40-44—84 and is tied for 18th.
“They played really solid and this golf course is lying in wait for a big number, I think the whole field is feeling that,” Slater said. “All of the boys, including ours, have had a couple of doubles here and there. So a player that can move on from that adversity and par the next goes a long ways, or maybe turning a double into a bogey, that’s probably the difference in a lot of team scores.
“What I’m telling kids as they’re coming off the course, this is no different than between holes seven and eight or 16 and 17,” Slater said. “This layover between now and the second round is the same as what they did all day long. Tomorrow they all tee off on one, so they’re between 18 and one with a little bit of a break. Hopefully they’ll have some fun and see what happens.”
The weather, however, didn’t seem to bother Aberdeen Roncalli’s Schaefbauer, who shot even-par 72 to take a four-shot lead in the medalist competition.
Schaefenbauer, a junior who tied for 25th in last year’s state meet, made bookend birdies on Nos. 1 and 18 and played tremendously steady golf in between. The only hiccup on his card (35-37) was a double bogey on the par-4 17th but he bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
“I didn’t hit my opening shot as solid as I would have liked, but it went straight, so I was, like ‘straight works on this course,’” Schaefenbauer said. “It was pretty steady after that, I got off to a good start with birdies on one and three and made a long putt for par on four.
“Then on hole five, the pin was tucked and left, close to the water, and I was way on the right side of the green and had to use some touch to get it close to the hole and made that for par. That was a boost.”
Schaefenbauer made bogey on No. 9 – the most difficult hole on the course – before stringing together seven straight pars on the second nine.
He played a practice round here on Sunday and the entire team made a trip to The Dunes in August just to experience the course. Schaefenbauer now has to sleep on the lead in a state tournament, but already has a game plan for Tuesday.
“Just to stay relaxed and not get too far ahead of myself,” Schaefenbauer said. “Just stick with my game plan, keep my head in it all the time and put everything out on the course.”
Kolby Newborg of defending team champion Tea Area shot 37-39—76 and is four shots behind the leader in second place. Brock Murphy of Tea Area (37-40—77) is alone in third place.
Sisseton stands third at 335, while Sioux Valley (349) and Madison (351) round out the top five.
Elk Point-Jefferson is ninth in the 16-team field at 362. Easton Keuck had the low round for the Huskies with 43-42—85. The other counters were Tyler Leif with 39-48--87, Hunter Goehring 45-49--94 and Preston Kollbaum 46-50--96. Caden Stabe also shot 96 with a 47-49.
Team scoring: Dakota Valley 320, Aberdeen Roncalli 321, Sisseton 335, Sioux Valley 349, Madison 351, St. Thomas More 352, Sioux Falls Christian 353, Tea Area 359, Elk Point-Jefferson 362, Chamberlain 379, Parkston 382, Mobridge-Pollock 391, Dell Rapids 394, Redfield/Doland 430, Hot Springs 438, Custer 443.
Top individuals: Lucas Schaefbauer, Aberdeen Roncalli, 35-37—72; Kolby Newborg, Tea Area, 37-39—76; Brock Murphy, Tea Area, 37-40—77; Tanner Hensley, Dakota Valley, 37-41—78; Jacob Lee, Parkston, 40-38—78; Nate Nielsen, Sisseton, 39-40—79; Jameson Bull, Dakota Valley, 39-40—79; Nick Lust, St. Thomas More, 38-41—79; Kayd Varland, Lead-Deadwood, 42-38—80; Caden Jost, West Central, 41-39—80.