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Lickteig, Bormann headed to Pinehurst

Sydney Bormann, of Parkston, putts during the final round of the SDGA Junior Championship Tuesday at Cattail Crossing Golf Course in Watertown. (Roger Merriam/Public Opinion)1 / 2
Arron Lickteig, of Freeman, tees off during the second day of the Class B boys’ state golf tournament at Brookings Country Club in May. (Brooke Cersosimo/Republic) 2 / 2

It’s been a busy summer to say the least for Arron Lickteig and Sydney Bormann. The two golfers have played in tournaments around the state and region, but this weekend their travels will take them someplace new.

When the two South Dakotans step foot in North Carolina, it will be their first time in the state along with their first time playing in the Big “I” National Championship at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C.

There are 102 boys and 60 girls competing in the national tournament, which starts Monday and runs through Thursday.

Bormann and Lickteig each qualified for the national tournament after they claimed titles at the Big “I” & College Preview Event June 26. Bormann, who will be a sophomore at Parkston High School this fall, shot a 71 in the first round and a 77 in the second round to finish with a combined score of 148. Lickteig, who graduated from Freeman High School in May, shot a 67 on the first day and a 71 on the second for a combined score of 138.

“I am super excited,” Bormann said. “I was excited when I qualified and I’ve heard it is a really nice course ... I am ready to play the course and see good competition.”

Bormann’s trip to North Carolina coincides with an pre-planned family trip to the East Coast. This week, Bormann, along with her mother, Cheryl, father, Scott, older sister, Jordan, and younger brother, Quinn, are in Hilton Head, S.C. The entire family will make the 266-mile trip up to Pinehurst, N.C., to watch Sydney play.

Lickteig will be accompanied by his parents, Chris and Gwen Lickteig. The trio will leave on Saturday from Sioux Falls and make a pit-stop in Chicago, before arriving in Morrisville, N.C.

“This will be the biggest tournament I have played in,” said Lickteig, who will be attending the University of Wyoming this fall to study petroleum engineering. “I think the tournament will be a good challenge to show me if I can compete against other kids around the nation. I am really excited and looking forward to it. I will probably be a little nervous at first, but that should leave me after a couple of holes, and I will probably start feeling good.”

This summer, Bormann and Lickteig have each been racking up wins. So far, Bormann has won the Rocky Mountain Junior Tour event, Big “I” & College Preview Event and Midwest Junior Championship in Iowa. She has also played a couple of rounds with former Texas Tech University and professional golfer Kim Kaufman. The Clark native and Bormann share the same swing and Bormann said that watching the hard work Kaufman puts in is an inspiration to her.

Lickteig has finished atop the leaderboard four times this summer on the First Dakota National Bank Junior Golf Tour. One of those wins came on June 11 when Lickteig shot a 73 to win a junior golf tour event at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell. Lickteig also recently finished second at a Pro-Am event at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton.

“This is an opportunity that very few golfers get to have,” Parkston golf coach Tyler Hockett said. “I think the perception of South Dakota is that our golf courses might be built around corn fields, but we have kids that can play. I think we have some kids playing now who are paving the way for golf in the state.”

The first round of competition starts at 7:30 a.m. Monday.