Hastings senior Nick Dittrich has made his senior year a victory-lap of sorts as he racks up award after award. Dittrich added to his list of accomplishments yesterday as he shot a 141 in two rounds during the Section 1AAA golf tournament at The Jewel Golf Club, claiming his spot as co-medalist and qualifying for the state tournament for the third year in a row. This is on top of the Metro East Conference championship he claimed last week at Keller Golf Course and the numerous tournaments he has won in this condensed season.
After all was said and done on Wednesday, Dittrich said he was very happy with how he played at The Jewel.
"I felt like I played great these last two days, in both rounds I got it to three-under-par on the day at one point," he said. "So when you get to those kind numbers, especially around a golf course like The Jewel, you obviously know you are playing some good golf."
Dittrich shot a 70 on Tuesday in the heat and a 71 Wednesday as it rained off and on the entire day. That 141 allowed him to tie for first and qualify for his third state tournament in a row. Heading into this year's state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Club, he said that this tournament will be different compared to the last two.
"I feel like I learned a lot from last year in how to prepare going into the tournament and I also feel like I'm playing my best golf right now as opposed to last year," Dittrich said. "I kinda lost my swing towards the end of last season and I just think every aspect of my game is clicking right now."
Dittrich is playing with a lot more confidence this year as he's made changes to his swing and how he putts. He says he can now "produce multiple ball flights which is really important to access different hole locations" and he also made a last-minute adjustment to his putting stance, which he attributed his success putting at The Jewel to.
Dittrich explained that Bunker Hills sets up for right-handed players who can hit a draw as there are a lot of holes that dog-leg to the left. His natural shot-flight is more of a cut for the right, so being able to draw the ball is on the list of things Dittrich said he will be working on leading up to the tournament. However, besides that he said his preparation will not change much, except for one thing.
"Whip up a spicy playlist for the drive to Bunker in two weeks," he said. When asked what the first two songs on that playlist would be, he surprised with a very Minnesotan answer.
"'Let's Go Crazy' is the first one and the second is 'Purple Rain (both Prince songs)."
Last year he shot a 154, which put him in a tie for 30th. The year before that, he shot a 152 and tied for 20th. However, this season he has one goal in mind, "just win it!" he said.
"My course management and game plan this year will be much more aggressive," Dittrich said. "I felt like last year I was a bit too conservative partly due to the fact that my swing didn't feel great but this year everything is set up for me to do it. So I'm going to Bunker for one thing and that's a state championship."
Head coach Pete McGinnis raved about Dittrich as both a person and a golfer, but he pointed out three things in particular that make Dittrich special. First was Dittrich's focus, which McGinnis said is what makes him such a great scorer. Second was the putting, which he said Dittrich has always excelled at, and lastly is the confidence Dittrich has played with this year, which is evident even if you watch him for just a single hole.
Dittrich will play on June 14-15 at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids in search of a state championship.