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Blue Ponies reach the last tee

Four HHS golfers heading to Class A state tourney in Laurel

 

October 2, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Caleb Chambliss and the Havre High golf teams have reached the final 36 holes of the 2019 season. Thursday and Friday, four Blue Ponies will tee it up at the Class A state tournament in Laurel. The tournament is being played on one of the toughest golf courses in Montana, the prestigious Laurel Golf Club.

By Havre Daily News Staff

Havre golf courses got pounded with snow over the weekend. But that won't stop four Havre High golfers from being excited about the biggest golf tournament of the year.

Thursday and Friday, Blue Ponies Tyrel Kjersem, Josh Warp, Caleb Chambliss and Jocelyn Staples will take to the Laurel Golf Club for the 2019 Class A state tournament. The event is a 36-hole tournament with the top 60 boys, top 60 girls and the top eight teams from Class A all in attendance.

"This is what it's all about," first-year HHS head coach George Ferguson said. "This is what the whole season has been in preparation for - these last two days of golf. So it's a really exciting time for our kids who have made it this far. And I'm really excited to watch them go out there and play some really good golf."

The Havre boys didn't quite qualify as a team at last week's Eastern A Divisional in Sidney, but Ferguson said that the three players teeing it up this week in Laurel, all have state tourney experience, and experience on Laurel's track.

"All three of our boys are very strong goflers," Ferguson said. "And I think they're hungry. They didn't play their best at divisionals, and yet, they are here now. So I think they'll go out and shoot really good scores at state.

"They've all improved throughout the season," Ferguson continued. "I think they have come a long way with their games. And they have two things going for them at state. One, they don't have any pressure on them. They can play freely and just worry about their individual scores. That's an advantage for them. Secondly, they all played well when we were in Laurel two weeks ago, so they should have some confidence because of that. I think our boys are going to do very well. I have a lot of confidence in those three guys."

Havre won't be a part of the team race in Laurel, where the defending state champion Locomotives are heavy favorites because of the home-course advantage. However, Billings Central beat Laurel in a playoff last week so, the Rams, along with Hamilton and Whitefish will also be the front-runners for trophies in Laurel.

"Class A boys has a deep field," Ferguson said. "There's some great individual players and loaded teams. So it will be fun to watch. But I think, with us being a part of the Eastern A, which is very good, it's made our guys better. Josh and Caleb and Tyrel, they've played at a high level with all of those guys, on these tough courses, including Laurel. So, they know how to play at this level, and they're going to do very well."

Havre's young girls team qualified just one player in Staples, who is making her second straight trip to state. In the team race, Laurel, Whitefish and Corvallis will be the teams to beat, but Ferguson said, Staples, like the boys, will have the luxury of playing pressure-free golf this week.

"Jocelyn has improved so much," Ferguson said. "I'm so proud of her. She's gotten better and better every week. She has shown she can play at this level now. I thought she did very well at divisionals, and there's no reason why she can't do the same thing at state.

"This week is going to be a lot of fun," Ferguson added. "This is something these four kids earned. It's a reward for all the range balls, all the rounds and having to fight through all the pressure of competitive golf. So this is going to be an awesome experience for them, and all they need to do now is to relax, focus on themselves and play the golf course, and not worry about anything else. If they do that, they're all going to shoot some really good scores, and I know, they're going to have a lot of fun."

The 2019 Class A state tournament begins with round one Thursday morning, and continues with the second round Friday. All of the action will take place at the prestigious Laurel Golf Club. Fans can follow the tournament with live scoring by visiting http://www.mhsa.org.

 

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