Boys first, girls second at districts

Herders hang historic finishes heading into state tournament next week
By: 
Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld, Pioneer Editor

From left, back row: Carter Brownlee, Caleb Patton, Blake Finn, Cliff Weller and Brandon Schwers. Front row, from left: Madilyn Emter, Rylee Wittrock, Lynnette Hathaway and Holli Kovatch. The boys’ and girls’ teams pose at Eagle Rock Golf Course on May 7 after the divisional meet (Photo contributed by Sheri Campbell).

 

Carding the best divisional round in school history doesn’t look too bad heading into the state golf tournament — and neither do flamingo shorts. 

The Sweet Grass County boys’ golf team came off the 18th green at Eagle Rock Golf Course in Billings on May 7 divisional champions for the first time in school history, tallying a team score of 342 for the victory. It bested Red Lodge (370) by nearly 30 strokes on their way to the divisional crown. 

On the girls’ side, donning their pink feathered friends on their attire, the Herders nabbed their first runner-up divisional placement with a 443.

Blake Finn battled with Peter Brown from Colstrip all afternoon, falling a stroke short (75) and taking runner-up honors to the medalist. But for the Herders, it was comeback efforts by Cliff Weller and Carter Brownlee that helped shape the Herder win. 

Weller came through the first nine shooting a rough 51. Head coach Dan Campbell said the nine holes that followed were some of the best golf he’s seen out of Weller all year. 

“[Weller and Brownlee] have been battling all year. They’ve each won tournaments and stuff,” Campbell said. “But Cliff getting fourth, shooting 84 was really, really good. He had a great recovery there. To turn around from a 46 and shoot 38, that was really good. I call it intestinal fortitude.”

Coming back to shoot 38 helped Weller claim fourth overall, just five strokes off third. 

It was Weller and Brownlee’s resolve that exemplified what Campbell said has been preached all season long — buying into the process and loving the game for what it is will get you further than just getting up to the tee box and trying to grip it n’ rip it. 

“It’s a matter of the kids buying into the system that’s in place,” Campbell said. “These kids work and they’ve put in a lot of time into it. In golf, it’s a funny game. You can be playing terrible and have the best round of your life. If the kids believe that and give themselves a chance to succeed, that’s the whole teaching moment for coaching.”

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