One for the road

Boys’ and girls’ golf teams celebrate coaches’ final rounds at state meet
By: 
Chris Aiken, Pioneer Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The boys’ and girls’ golf teams pose after the Class B State Golf Meet in Billings on May 17.  From left to right, back row first: Brandon Schwers, Cliff Weller, Caleb Patton, Carter Brownlee and Blake Finn. Front row: Lynnette Hathaway, Rylee Wittrock, Madilyn Emter, Holli Kovatch and Marissa Morgan (CHRIS AIKEN / Big Timber Pioneer).

 

BILLINGS — They couldn’t ask for a better ending. 

On a pristine day on the golf course, the Herders treated Coaches Dan and Sheri Campbell — set to retire after leading the team for 17 seasons — to a final homage. 

The boys won third place in the Class B State Tournament at Eagle Rock Golf Course on May 17. Junior Blake Finn led the charge to the podium on day two of competition, shooting a personal record 72 and capturing fifth place in the individual event. 

After 18 holes, many golfers would be happy to see an 85 at the bottom of their scorecard, but for Finn it was a crushing blow.  

“He was very disappointed with himself,” said assistant coach Sheri Campbell. “He went down to the range with Dan and stayed down there until he felt like he had everything under control.” 

In 17 years of coaching, Dan and Sheri Campbell have seen their share of bad days on the golf course. They also see patterns in the way young players perform. 

“So often in golf, right before you make a breakthrough you have a hiccup,” Sheri said. “Your score goes up right before it goes way down.” 

Dan and Sheri agreed that Tuesday was Finn’s “hiccup.” According to the pattern, he was due for a breakthrough. 

The following morning, harnessing Dan’s “fairways and greens” mantra, Finn shot a blistering 33 on the front nine. By the end of the day, he had pulled to within two strokes of fourth place — a deficit he had inflicted on himself the previous day. Indeed, during day one, Finn called himself on a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball, an accidental crime, and one he could have easily skirted. 

Altogether, the hole was a four-penalty-stroke train wreck on Finn’s scorecard, but for Dan, it may have been the highlight of the tournament, underscoring his love for the sport. 

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