Minnesota Golf Association

VanArragon and Ordal Notch Wins at Twin Cities Jr. Championship; Stendahl Cards Tournament Low

June 25, 2020

 
By Nick Hunter
nick@mngolf.org
 
 
  BLAINE, Minn. – Less than a week after a disappointing runner-up finish at the Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Match Play Championship, Kathryn VanArragon bounced right back Thursday by firing a 4-under par 67 to earn a three-stroke victory at the 29th Twin Cities Junior Championship at Victory Links Golf Course.
 
Setting up to become the youngest player to win the women’s state match play championship, VanArragon was denied on the first playoff hole against University of Minnesota golfer Grace Curran Friday at The Wilds Golf Club.
 
Sluggish to begin a few of her matches a week ago, VanArragon came out firing on a familiar course Thursday, rolling in a 25-footer for eagle at the second before shrugging off a bogey at the third to play her next 14 holes at 5-under before a throwaway double-bogey on the final hole to card a 4-under 67.
 
“[A win] is good momentum and taking the positives from today is always good heading into the tough competition at the AJGA event I have next week,” VanArragon said following her round Thursday. “It’s a good start to the summer.  

“I was solid today for sure. My driving was solid, but the best part of my game were my irons. The one thing that could’ve improved was pitching. I had some trouble with 20 to 40-yard shots today, especially on the back nine.”
 
After her bogey at the third, VanArragon closed out her opening nine with a long-distance eagle putt and three birdies from inside of six feet on her scorecard, including a pair of birdies at the par-3’s.
 
“My confidence was good and the momentum was there,” she said after turning in 4-under to climb to the top of the leaderboard. “Last week I got off to a slow start with my irons. From hole one today I hit good approach shots.”
 
Rolling in yet another shorter birdie putt at the par-3 11th, the soon-to-be sophomore at Blaine High School carded her fifth birdie of the round at the par-4 15th and would finish the day with a double-bogey to shoot 4-under 67.
 
“I’ve played this course for years, so I think I was excited to come back. Preparation for today was pretty much the same as last week,” VanArragon said. “I played a practice round Tuesday and then tried to figure some things out on the range. I just came into today trying to make a new start.”
 
Despite three consecutive bogeys to close out his opening nine Thursday, Hogan Ordal played his final nine holes in even par to claim a one-stroke victory over Blake Steensland to claim the Boys’ 16-18 Division.
 
“This is pretty exciting because I think this is one of my first wins,” Ordal, a 16-year-old soon to be junior at Lakeville South High School said Thursday. “My putting was really solid—I didn’t have a three-putt all day. It wasn’t one of my better ball-striking days, but my short game was really good and I made it work.”
 
Starting slow with a bogey on the opening hole, Ordal rebounded by nearly making eagle at the par-5 second, tapping in for birdie to draw even. Dipping into red figures thanks by sinking a birdie chance from 10 feet at the fifth, Ordal would stumble beginning at the seventh to turn at 2-over.
 
“They weren’t horrible shots,” Ordal said of his three straight bogeys, “but just bad yardage that put me in bad spots. Going into the back nine I just wanted to reset, bring myself back and do my best to try to make some birdies.”
 
Settling in during his inward nine Thursday, Ordal rolled in two more birdie opportunities against two bogeys to finish the round at 2-over 73 to earn the victory.
 
“I haven’t played a ton competitively, but I’ve been out a lot practicing and playing. I didn’t have a lot of expectations because I haven’t been hitting the ball that well, but that probably helped today. Lower expectations sometimes help because you don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
 
Not only did Ryan Stendahl shatter his career-low Thursday with a 10-under 61, but he broke the tournament record on his way to a four-stroke victory over Justin Luan in the Boys’ 13-15 Division.
 
“It’s way low—69 was my previous best,” Stendahl said after his round Thursday. “This is actually my first bogey-free round. A lot of fairways and a lot of greens. I missed two greens. Everything kind of clicked—it was fun today.
 
Dropping an eagle from 20 feet at the second, Stendahl rolled in an even longer eagle putt at the fifth before tapping in a pair of short birdie chances at the sixth and eighth holes to turn at 6-under.
 
“I was trying to stay in it and to keep going hole-by-hole and shot-by-shot. I tried to block out [the front nine 29] and keep focusing.”
    
Stendahl, who will begin his freshman year at Maple Grove High School this fall, nearly carded his third eagle of the round at the 12th to move to 7-under par and would finish the championship with three straight birdies beginning at the 14th to cruise to a four-stroke victory over Justin Luan.
 
“I knew I liked playing this course from before, so I had a good mindset going in. I was just playing for fun and hit the driver well, which set up good wedge shots,” Stendahl said. “I’m friends with a lot of these guys and it’s nice to get a win, but I know I need to keep grinding and keep going so I can improve.”
 
With six Minnesota PGA Junior Tour wins in 2019 and two more already to his credit in 2020, Stendahl says Thursday’s win is his biggest win to date.
 
“This is the best win I’ve had by far and today I was playing with two of my best friends,”

Christopher Pyle, from Minnesota Youth on Course, earned a victory in the Boys' 12 & Under Division.
 
 
 
THE 29TH TWIN CITIES JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
VICTORY LINKS GOLF COURSE
BLAINE, MINN.
6,284 YARDS, PAR 71
 
 
THURSDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
BOYS’ 16-18 DIVISION
1. Hogan Ordal, Willinger’s GC, 37-36—73
T2.Blake Stedronsky, unaffiliated, 41-34—75
T2. Shane Seiffert, Fox Hollow GC, 38-37—75
T2. Dayne Mann, Refuge GC, 36-39—75
T5. Myles Jarrett, Fairway Foundation, 40-36—76
T5. Dylan Nelko, Windsong Farm, 35-41—76
T7. Alex Bradley, Heritage Links GC, 40-39—79
T7. Jack Wetzel, MN Youth on Course, 37-42—79
9. Nicholas Kauffman, MN Youth on Course, 40-40—80
T10. Ryan Eischen, MN Youth on Course, 40-41—81
T10. Ian Stelter, MN Youth on Course, 43-38—81
 

BOYS’ 13-15 DIVISION
1. Ryan Stendahl, MN Youth on Course, 29-32—61
2. Justin Luan, MN Youth on Course, 34-31—65
3. Carter Spalding, MN Youth on Course, 33-33—66
4. Parker Sands, MN Youth on Course, 36-31—67
5. Jake Birdwell, TPC Twin Cities, 33-35—68
6. Braeden Sladek, Geneva GC, 34-35—69
T7. Tyler Wanous, MN Youth on Course, 35-35—70  
T7. Kyler Schwamb, Southern Hills GC, 33-37—70
T9. Camden O’Malley, Indian Hills GC, 34-37—71
T9. Zach Rouleau, MN Youth on Course, 32-39—71
 
 
GIRLS’ DIVISION
1. Kathryn VanArragon, Bunker Hills GC, 31-36—67
2. Camille Kuznik, Pioneer Creek GC, 35-35—70
3. Madi Hicks, MN Youth on Course, 39-36—75
4. Emily Renner, Deer Run GC, 39-37—76
5. Ally Chan, Chaska TC, 40-37—77
6. Jaycee Rhodes, Fairway Foundation, 44-37—81
7. Taylor Ullen, Edinburgh USA, 44-39—83
T8. Katelyn Zick, unattached, 42-44—86
T8. Isabelle Lynch, MN Youth on Course, 46-40—86
10. Claire Witcraft, Hazeltine Nat’l GC, 41-46—87

 


6550 York Avenue South, Suite 211 • Edina, MN 55435 • (952) 927-4643 • (800) 642-4405 • Fax: (952) 927-9642
© 2014 Minnesota Golf Association. All Rights Reserved