The first event of the school year took place earlier this week as Belgrade’s golf teams competed in the Great Falls Invitational.
The boys placed 11th among 15 teams with a two-day score of 739, while the girls were also 11th among 11 teams with a score of 1,073. The tournament marked the first-ever competition for the Panthers as a AA program.
Bozeman swept the tournament at Meadow Lark County Country Club and Eagle Falls Golf Course with the boys posting a 585 and the girls a 674.
“There’s some teams out there like Bozeman that are incredibly talented, and there are some other teams that are pretty good,” first-year Belgrade coach Mike Deming said. “But I like our guys and what we can do in terms of being competitive in a double A meet.”
Belgrade’s boys return four from last year’s (Class A) state tournament team, although only two competed in the opener. Braxton Butler had rounds of 85 and 87 to tie for 27th with a 172, while Jaxson Hinshaw tied for 37th after carding rounds of 90 and 89 for a 179.
“I thought Jaxson Hinshaw was rock solid. I thought he played really hard,” said Deming. “I thought he played solid and consistently.”
Aydan Grom (100-89), Brodie Faulk (98-101), and Jackson Whitaker (131-107) rounded out the Panthers with scores of 189, 199, 238 in their first ever varsity action.
“It was an experience for those guys that haven’t been in a tournament like double A or Class A,” said Deming. “So we struggled the first day. I think we improved the second day, but I was happy with the way a couple of our guys played the first tournament.”
Brock Blake and Anthony Madison, who competed at state last year, had yet to complete their mandatory three practices and did participate in the tournament.
Sophia Flikkema is the lone returning varsity golfer for the girls and had rounds of 127 and 133 for a score of 260.
Brynn Butler led the Panthers with a 252 following rounds of 125 and 127, while Jordan Whitaker and Ava Grom rounded out the team with scores of 125-137—262 and 147-152—299.
Belgrade is back in action Monday with a two-day tournament in Billings.
Great Falls Invitational
(at Meadow Lark CC/Eagle Falls)
Team scores: Bozeman 296-289-585, Missoula Sentinel 329-318-647, Helena Capital 336-316-652, Butte 338-326-664, Billings Senior 350-329-679, Kalispell Glacier 345-339-684, Billings West 347-343-690, Great Falls CMR 352-350-702, Missoula Hellgate 372-347-719, Kalispell Flathead 364-372-736, Belgrade 373-366-739, Havre 384-356-740, Billings Skyview 373-371-744, Helena 392-364-756, Great Falls 397-389-786.
Top 10: Justus Verge, Boz, 68-72-140; JR Small, Boz, 73-67-140; Jordan Verge, Boz, 75-73-148; Joe Opitz, Sentinel, 75-76-151; Kaven Noctor, Butte, 80-75-155; Jaden Dennis, Sentinel, 80-76-156; Ramey Lloyd, Boz, 80-77-157; Eli Groshelle, CMR, 78-79-157; Trevor Swanson, HC, 81-76-157; Dylan Ahlgren, West, 80-80-160.
Team scores: Bozeman 340-334-674, Billings West 342-342-684; Butte 340-357-697; Billings Senior 358-375-733; Helena 370-385-755; Billings Skyview 418-399-817; Kalispell Glacier 396-423-819; Helena Capital 422-415-837; Great Falls 413-453-866; Great Falls CMR 474-482-956; Belgrade 524-549-1,073.
Top 10: Carrie Carpenter, West, 78-79-157; Sami Yates, Boz, 83-77-160; Kodie Hoagland, Butte, 79-83-162; Cora Rosanova, Boz, 78-86-164; Cooper Knarr, Boz, 86-79-165; Kadence Fischer, West, 88-79-167; Jillian Wynne, Flathead, 82-86-168; Ginny Kerr, Helena, 86-83-169; Ella Prigge, Butte, 82-88-170; Gigi Montague, Senior, 81-90-171.