Curry Kuehl's back nine on Saturday propelled him to the front of the leaderboard during the first day of the Dakota Open.
The Northern State junior fired a 32 on the back nine at Lee Park Golf Course and, coupled with his 37 on the front, leads the 81st annual tournament with a 69.
I look forward to playing in it, Kuehl said about the DO. I golf at Northern so I kind of look at it kind of as a preseason golf tournament because it is right before our season starts.
The former Pierre high school standout looked to be in mid-season form on the back nine at Lee Park. He recorded an eagle on the 14th hole and got all three of his birdies on the back nine. He started the back nine with a par and bogey in the first two holes.
I was one-over and I was just kind of hoping to get it back to even on the back and maybe come in about even, said Kuehl, who also recorded an eagle on the third hole, but I ended up birdieing 13 and then I eagled 14 and then I got two other birdies coming in. It just kind of worked out for the best.
The 20-year-old Kuehl owns a one-shot lead over Jeff Stockert. Kuehl, Stockert, Chad Olsen and Koos O'Kennedy will play in the final pairing of the championship flight today at 12:40 p.m. at Moccasin Creek Country Club. Olsen and O'Kennedy both carded 71s on Saturday.
How is Kuehl going to approach today's round at Moccasin?
I'm hoping it is kind of the same as today, Kuehl said. Probably just go out and I'm not looking to shoot way under par, but I usually shoot around even. Play like I always do and nothing too out of the ordinary.
Seventeen golfers of the 97-person Open Division field are in the championship flight and will conclude play today at Moccasin Creek. They tee off between noon and 12:40 p.m.
The Dakota Open has four divisions: Open (any age), Pre-Senior (40-54), Senior (55-64), and Masters (65 and older). The Pre-Senior, Senior, and Masters divisions conclude play at Lee Park today.
Dakota Open numbers
Here are the number of golfers at this year's Dakota Open:
175: Total golfers at this year's tournament.
97: Golfers in the Open Division.
38: Golfers in the Pre-Senior Division.
27: Golfers in the Senior Division.
9: Golfers in the Masters Division.
Mike Brown and Jon Murdy are filling in for Moccasin Creek golf professional Dean Zahn during the Dakota Open.
Zahn, who also won the tournament last year, was not at the DO during the first day on Saturday. Zahn was helping his son Tyler move to college at the University of South Dakota.