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Oregon’s Dietrich finishes fifth at Wessels Invite

Jarrett Dietrich needed a little more cooperation from his putter, but he still came away happy with his round at the Salley Wessels Invitational on Sept. 19.

The Oregon golfer carded a 16-over-par 88 to place fifth in the event held at Sunset Golf Course in Mt. Morris.

Dietrich had plenty of birdie chances, but was unable to convert any.

“The break was a little more than I expected on some of them,” Dietrich said. “Others, I just had to put more power into it and left them short. I do feel good about my round. This course is really hard to play. The ground is hard sometimes. The rough is long. I feel good about this.”

The Hawks had a 417 total to place fifth in a nine-team field. Rounding out the Oregon lineup were Isaac Kaltenbrun (106), Jackson Werren (108), Isaac Reber (115), Miley Smith (120) and Brady Davis (130).

Dixon was seventh as a team with a 438. Competing for the Dukes were Steve Kitzman (104), Grant Jacobs (110), Mason Wiegle (111), Sage Magnafici (113) and Trey Scheidegger (129).

Forreston was eighth with a 453. The Cardinals’ lineup consisted of Joel Ludwig (102), Joe Snyder (107), Logan Dyson (120), Kaeden Ganz (124), Hayden Stralow (128) and Peyton Crase (160).

Polo had three players, Clay Davis (110), Cody Buskohl (115) and Nathaniel Yingling (133).

Stillman Valley (360) edged Rockford Christian (364) to win the team title, with Byron (367) taking third.

“It was a tough day on the course,” Stillman Valley coach Ryan Dessing said. “You didn’t see a whole lot of kids saying they were playing great today. Our kids stuck in there, which a lot of times is a tough thing to do when you feel like you’re not playing good. It’s easy to give up on the round. They all kept grinding.

The medalist was Stillman Valley’s Alex Lovgren, who carded a 12-over-par 84. Byron’s Mason Brandt was second with an 86, while Stillman’s Tim Marcum and Byron’s Eric Detig had 87. Dietrich, with 88, were the only players in the field to break 90.

Lovgren played football through his junior high years, then made the switch to golf as a freshman at Stillman Valley.

“I guess the flame just burnt out,” Lovgren said of giving up football, “and I started playing golf. I wasn’t too good my first time out. I shot a 58, which I wasn’t too mad about since it was my first time. Then I spent 6 hours every day at the golf course that summer, got better my sophomore year, and since then, I’ve kept practicing and gotten better and better.”

Lovgren plans to keep his nose to the grindstone the rest of this season, then hit it hard again next spring and summer to see how good he can get.

“I’ve always wanted to get a scholarship in something,” Lovgren said. “I’m kind of good at this, so let’s see if I can get one in golf.”