Julie Wagner finished first for the girls; boys Blue and Gold teams top the team standings
By Kim Staudinger
Despite strong winds, the Havre High golfers had their own version of the Masters Saturday at the Havre Invitational Golf Tournament at Beaver Creek Golf Course.
After nearly a month of delays due to weather, the golfers wasted no time getting their season started off on the right track. In back-to-back tournaments Friday and Saturday, the boys team won both titles a small part of a season-long goal to win each tournament they play in.
In Shelby on Friday with a mild wind, the Havre boys shot a 320, eight strokes ahead of second-placed Conrad with a 328. Chinook finished in 10th with a 381.
Havre senior Nick Obie, the defending state champion for Class A, won the individual crown, shooting a 76. Teammate Jason Johnstone shot an 80 for fourth place. Kevin Harada and Troy Toner each shot 82s for top 10 finishes. Rounding out the team scores was Trent Normandy with an 84.
For the girls, seniors Julie Wagner and Katie Miller each shot a 105, placing them in a tie for seventh place. Following Wagner and Miller were Amanda Brock with a 112, Heather Bowker with a 124 and Shannon Newth with a 131. As a team, the girls finished in fifth place with a 446. Fort Benton won the team title with a 425. Chinook placed seventh with a 484. The individual title was won by Erin Lord of Fairfield with a 94. Choteau's Katie Wilson followed with a 95.
Havre coach Keith Evenson said his team was a little rusty, having been on the greens only one day.
"It's been a tough spring," he said. "Overall, we had a few good performances, but we are much better than we showed."
Instead of cold temperatures and frozen ground, another weather element affected the golfers Saturday. With wind gusts of nearly 60 mph, the golfers quickly learned how to battle with Mother Nature.
"They never had any consistency around the course," Evenson said. "They had to get up and play smart."
While most golfers' scores were hurt by the wind, one golfer actually improved on her score by six strokes. Wagner celebrated her 18th birthday by shooting a 99. Her score also earned her first-place honors, four strokes ahead of Browning's Chastity Wagner. Shelby's Sarah Hermance finished third and teammate Megan Hermance was fourth with scores of 110 and 115, respectively. Alexa Miser of Conrad and Chinook's Jessica Kauffman tied for fifth with 116.
Other Havre scores were Miller (118), Newth (133), Brock (141) and Bowker (143).
The team title for the girls went to Shelby with a 468. Havre placed second with a 491, three strokes ahead of Choteau with a 494.
For the boys, Havre's Blue team won the tournament with a 333, followed by Havre Gold with a 354, Conrad with a 371, Fort Benton (377), Shelby (396) and Chinook (404).
Fort Benton's Jeremy Anderson won the individual title with a score of 80, beating Obie by one stroke. The two Havre teams domintated the invitational with Johnstone and Normandy tying for third with an 83, Matt Felt placing fifth with an 84, Kevin Harada sixth with an 86, Jon Johnstone seventh with an 88, Toner ninth with an 89 and Chris Peterson 10th with a 90. Eric Holden (92), Ben Erickson (93), and Eric Ward (96) also golfed for the Gold team.
"The scores were not too bad considering the ferocious winds," Evenson said. "For the boys, I was very, very pleased they shot as well considering the conditions."
The Havre golf teams will be in Helena Thursday and Friday.