George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
The Havre high golf teams will be up against some stiff competition and one of the state’s most difficult golf courses starting today when the 2007 Class A state tournament begins in Anaconda. The Class A tournament is being conducted at the famed Old Work’s Golf Course in Anaconda Montana’s only Jack Nicklaus signature design. On the girls side, HHS is coming off a strong team performance at the divisional tournament in Livingston, and the Ponies could be in the trophy hunt over the next two days in Anaconda. Last season, HHS finished second behind the individual state championship of the departed Ali Ward. However, this year’s HHS team still possesses four of the players that helped guide the Ponies to that finish, led by junior Tabitha Beck who f inished f i f th last weekend i n Livingston. Beck got plenty of help from seniors Stacey Sheppard and Haley McLain, who finished with identical 98s at the divisional tournament. Both Sheppard and McLain are making their fourth straight state tourney appearance. Danika Patterson and Taylor Haas will round out HHS’s lineup this week. De f e n d i n g s ta t e c h amp i o n Whitefish is likely the team to beat on both the girl’s and boy’s side. The Whitefish girls have a strong individual contender in Chelsea Ray, who was runner-up to Ward last year. Glendive and Miles City also have strong teams, and Livingston’s Hanna Barney is the favorite to earn medalist honors. Barney easily captured the Central A title on her home course last week. Meanwhile, the boy’s tournament will be difficult and hotly contested. Havre finished one stroke away from winning the Central A championship, but the Ponies got a divisional championship from junior Jeremy Jensen. Jensen has been the Central A’s best player this season, and in the individual race, he will be up against defending state champion Sam Krause of Whitefish, as well as Libby newcomer Jim Mee. Both Mee and Krause have been going very low all season on the western side of the state. Havre has also gotten strong play recently from Myles Mazurkiewicz, who turned in a solid Top 10 finish at the divisional tournament. Sophomore Brett Normandy also played well at the divisional tournament, and senior Dan Pizzini has put up good scores throughout the season. The boy’s team title might be a no-brainer once again, as Whitefish looks to have the strongest team in the field. The Bulldogs are the defending state champions, but they could get a push form a very good Billings Central team. Low scores might be difficult to come by this week. As always, Old Works will play long and difficult. The course has wide, expansive fairways, but the par-4’s are difficult and lengthy and there is plenty of sand and water to make life tough on players. Also, the weather isn’t supposed to cooperate this week, as temperatures aren’t expected to reach 50 degrees, and the course is notoriously windy. The 2007 Class A state tournament, which is a 36-hole, two-day event, gets under way today in Anaconda.