Bluejay golfers stumble at own invitational

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Ryan Rathje takes an iron off the tee on 160-yard par 3 second hole at the Perry Golf and Country Club Saturday.

Noah Wilkening blistered the links at the Perry Golf and Country Club for a two-under par 70, but no Perry teammate came closer than 22 strokes to the lead Bluejay as the hosts finished fourth in their seven-team 18-hole invitational Saturday.

Perry head coach Nick Field had little to say after the event.

“Noah had a very good day, but every one else stumbled a bit from Thursday,” he said. “With that said, we have proven that we can shoot a lot better.”

Perry finished with a total of 354, 51 strokes behind Gilbert, who easily topped Norwalk for the team title, 303-330. ADM was third at 332, with Perry (354), Pella Christian (365), Woodward-Granger (367) and Greene County (384) completing the field.

Wilkening had 12 pars on his round, offsetting two bogeys with four birdies in shooting 36-34–70. Kade VanKirk was the closest Bluejay with his 47-45–92, with Luke Rathje carding a 46-49-95 and Ryan Rathje a 50-47–97.

Garrett Johnson was magnificent for Gilbert in wining medalist honors with a 33-36–69. Teammate Tommy Doyle placed third overall with a 37-36–73, with Norwalk’s Tyaler Luandstrom (38-36–74) and ADM’s Micah Moyer (37-41–78) rounding out the five individual medal winners.

Carter Johnsen had an 80 and Ty Austin an 81 to complete the four scorers for Gilbert while Elijah Block led Greene County with a 90 and Graham Howell paced Pella Christian with an 84.

W-G Austin Ober had a 45-46–91 to guide the Hawks, with Brady Aunspach (49-43–92), Jordan Pierce (48-44–92) and Nick Brummond (46-46–92) also scoring.

Six teams — Greene County and Pella Christian the exceptions — had four additional golfers playing to create a junior varsity slate to the invite.

Gilbert seized the JV title with a 335, with Norwalk second at 388. ADM (395) was third, Perry (408) fourth and W-G (437) fifth.

Dane McCarty (48-51–99) and Connor Nielsen (47-52–99) led the Bluejay JV, with Tanner Duffy (53-51–104) and Tanner Darr (51-55–106) also in action.

Scoring for the W-G JV were Max Helbling (57-49–106), Connor Olesen (53-56–109), Hunter Pierce (54-56–110) and Jackson Larson (57-55–112).

The Perry boys will join their Jayette counterparts in hosting the annual Witmer-Dunphy Coed Invitational Monday.

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