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Christensen Leads SD To Strong Showing At National Event

Eight Golfers Represent SD Well At National Event

Eight prep golfers from South Dakota finished their final round of golf at the Pinehurst Resort National Invitational event in North Carolina on Wednesday. Recent Little Wound graduate Lance Christensen Jr led those from the Mt. Rushmore state with a final score of 15-over par for the three-day tournament.

Christensen jumped onto the scene in the fall of 2019 when he won the ‘A’ state boys tournament. His home in Kyle, SD is more than 40-miles away from the nearest golf course, but a homemade driving range and his discipline to travel regularly has allowed him to become one of the top prep golfers in the state.

Driving Towards Success

Last year, Christensen finished 133 out of 250 golfers at the Pinehurst Resort National Invitational, but this year, he finished tied for 45 out of 332 participants.

“It was just an awesome experience at Pinehurst,” Christensen said. “My battle for top-50, that’s pretty good for someone who doesn’t even have a golf course.

Next year, Christensen will attend New Mexico State University where he’ll continue his golfing career. He believes that national events, like the one he competed in this week, will help him in the long run as he moves onto the college stage.

“[My advice] out there to any younger athletes, just know that there’s a lot of talent in any sport out there,” explained Christensen. “Just because we’re in South Dakota, and we may be the big dogs in South Dakota, you’ve always just got to keep getting better, always work hard, and always be ready to compete, because there are always some really good competitors out there.”

The other seven South Dakota prep golfers, who were invited to North Carolina this week, also put-up respectable numbers on the national stage.

Kaden Rylance of Watertown finished with 29-over par (T149) and Micah Dohrer of Aberdeen Roncalli scored 32-over par (T178) at the event. Sioux Falls Christian placed 45th as a team at the event with Eli Anema at 56-over par (T280), Brodie VanDenBrink and Brendon Van Beek with 59-over par (T288), and Andrew Dykstra at 60-over par (T292). Kaleb Jost withdrew from the tournament after the first round.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.