Golf is an up-and-down sport, it’s mentally grinding and things can get you down at any time.
But many Havre High golfers were certainly feeling the upside to the game of golf Saturday afternoon in Livingston at the Central A Divisional golf tournament.
The Blue Pony boys captured the second-place trophy, advancing their entire team to this week’s Class A state tournament. The Ponies had all five varsity players finish inside the Top 15 and finished with a team score of 354 to come in behind Belgrade. The Panthers won the team title with a score of 326. Lewistown was nine strokes behind the Ponies, while Belgrade was a distant fourth.
On the girls side, a young Blue Pony squad did finish last in a field of five times, but Havre advanced two golfers to the state tournament. The Ponies recorded a team score of 441, while Livingston captured the divisional championship on its home course with a score of 389, Lewistown also advanced to the state tournament, finishing second behind the Rangers.
“It was a great tournament for us,” HHS head coach McKinsey Rodriguez said. “The kids played really solid. We went down there and did really well.”
On a perfect weather day in Livingston, it was also a near perfect day for the Blue Pony boys, who advanced to the state tourney as a team for the first time in seven seasons.
Senior Ramsey Drew came in fourth place after shooting an outstanding 85, but the entire Havre squad played consistent golf throughout the day. Freshman Jeff Miller really gave the Ponies a lift by finishing in seventh place with an 86. Drew was just six strokes off the lead, while Miller finished seven back of Belgrade’s Zach Klonsinki, who shot a tournament-low 79. Belgrade players took the top three spots Saturday.
Another HHS freshman, Jerod Boles, also came up big for the Ponies. Boles shot an 88 to break into the Top 10 in ninth place, while seniors Spencer Ross and David Denny finished 12th and 14th, respectively. Ross shot a 95 and Denny carded a 96.
“Our boys team was just really solid all day,” Rodriguez said. “They were all really consistent and they stayed away from the big numbers. I think playing at Prairie Farms, where it’s pretty narrow and you can get into trouble, really helped us all season, because Livingston was pretty wide open and that allowed the kids to relax a little and stay away from those big numbers. And they all shot really good scores.”
As expected, the Havre girls were led by their two most veteran players. Katie Beck advanced to the state tournament by shooting an outstanding 102 to finish in seventh place overall. Boston Swensen also made her second straight state tourney berth by shooting a 107 to finish in 13th place overall. Freshmen Payton Howard and Randi Gabrielsen narrowly missed out on state tourney bids however, Both Ponies shot 116’s which tied them for 17th place overall. Only the Top 15 individuals advance to the state meet. Sophomore Julie Kadrmas finished her first divisional tournament with a 126.
“I’m not at all disappointed with how the girls team did,” Rodriguez said. “Katie and Boston did really well, and for the other three, it was really their first big, stressful tournament. And they still played pretty solid. And we have all the girls back next season so this was a great experience for them.”
Now, the Pony boys and girls who qualified will move on to the Class A state tournament, which will be played Friday and Saturday on one Montana’s toughest golf courses, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Old Works Golf Course in Anaconda.
Central A Divisional Golf
At Livingston Golf Course
Belgrade 326, Havre 354, Lewistown 363, Livingston 378
1. Zach Klonsinki, BEL 79; Austin Stowell, BEL, 80; 3. Dylan Livingston, BEL, 82; 4. Ramsey Drew, HAV, 85; 5. Nick Bragg, LIV, 85; 6. Tyler Ferguson, BEL, 85; 7. Jeff Miller, HAV, 86; 8. Tyrell Walter, LEW, 87; 9. Jerod Boles, HAV, 88; 10. Jesse Kynett, LEW, 88; 11. Preston Kynett, LEW, 90; 12. Spencer Ross, HAV, 95; 13. Colton Oppelt, LIV, 98; 14. David Denny, HAV, 96; 15. Andrew Donaldson, BEL, 96.
Livingston 389; Lewistown 412; Browning 434, Belgrade 440, Havre 441
1. Christal Tokash, LIV, 82; Michaela Amunrud, LIV, 96; Hannah Thomas, LEW, 99; 4. Summer Kennerly, BRO, 99; 5. Sydney Smith, LEW, 100; 6. Marlee Thomas, LEW, 100; 7. Katie Beck, HAV, 102; 8. Jesse Hirsch, BEL, 102; 9. Cyan Old Chief, BRO, 102; 10. Jamie Cahoon, LIV, 104; 11. Leighton Hirsch, BEL, 104; 12. Jessica Magee, BRO, 107; 13. Boston Swensen, HAV, 107; 14. Kaycee Keegan, LIV, 107; 15. Cheyenne Monger, BEL, 109.