Mike Deming felt good about how things wrapped up Monday. But for the most part his golfers struggled at Lake Hills Golf Course.
Tee shots often wound up in the rough resulting in penalties, and in some cases, lost balls. The led to a 10th place finish with a 369 at the Billings Invitational.
“The guys struggled. We’re just not consistent yet,” Deming, who is Belgrade’s second-year head coach, said. “We just don’t strike the ball consistently, we’re not hitting it pure, and today I’ve never seen us have so many out of bounds penalties or lost ball penalties. It was something that was a big deal for us on the boys side, so that was a little bit discouraging.”
Anthony Madison led the Panthers with an 89 to finish in a tie for 37th.
“He shot a 40 on the front nine and a 49 on the back nine, but we played the front first. So his second half of his round he was much better. He played with a little bit more of a bounce, more confident,” said Deming. “We know he can play that way.”
Jaxson Hinshaw followed with a 90, while Brodie Falk, Jacob Maroney, and Justin Garcia carded a 94, 96 and 104, respectively.
While the team struggled, Deming noted it wasn’t a particularly difficult course.
“If you play it down the middle in the green stuff it’s pretty easy, but when you get out there outside the green stuff it starts to become a little bit of an easter egg hunt finding balls,” he said. “And we struggled with that. We actually had several lost balls that we couldn’t find and those big penalties.”
Billings Central, led by a 73 from Reese Jensen, edged Laurel by one stroke to win the tournament with a 312. Laurel’s Carson Hackman won the individual title with a 70.
“It’s one of those things where we just have to be a little more consistent off the teebox and manage the course a little bit better,” said Deming. “They played better on the back, but they didn’t play well on the front nine. So we just have to get more consistent.”
On the girls side, Belgrade was led by a 102 from Riley McMahon, who finished in a tie for 39th, at the Peter Yegen Golf Club. Liela Mamangun and Jordan Whitaker each carded a 107.
“I thought the girls did really well. they played much better than they did last week,” said Deming. “I was pretty pleased with how they played today. They’re just getting better every day, so we just got to keep making strides.”
Bozeman won the team title with a 306, while Laurel and Billings West rounded out the top three with a 309 and 314, respectively. Belgrade did not field a full squad.
Billings Senior’s Kenzie Walsh won the individual crown with a 69, while Bozeman’s Sami Yates had a 71.
Belgrade returns to action Aug. 31 with its only home tournament. The boys will play at Riverside Country Club and the girls at Cottonwood Hills Golf Club.
“We’ll make strides and get ready for next week’s tournament at home,” said Deming.