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Golfers take on tough Meadow Lake course

by JULIE ENGLER
Whitefish Pilot | September 6, 2023 12:00 AM

Polson golfer Espn Fisher brought some big excitement to the Columbia Falls Intivation Aug. 28 when he made a hole-in-one on the 12th hole at Meadow Lake Golf Course.

“I heard the hoots and hollers from a few holes away and sure enough, someone jarred an ace on hole 12 of Meadow Lake,” said Whitefish Coach Tait Rocksund. “That was a cool moment.”

Taking top honors in Columbia Falls was Reece Malyevec from Libby, who shot a stunning 68.

“Reece Malyevec shooting 68 is the best high school score I've seen at Meadow Lake in my eight years of coaching,” Rocksund said. “That's really good golf.”

Rocksund said that Meadow Lake is a tough course and that the scores on the day reflect that. Riley Brown was the top scoring Bulldog, finishing with a score of 80, and Leia Brennan landed in seventh place among girls with a score of 100.

“Riley Brown has been our leader on the boy's side all year. He led the team with 80 and Otto Klein recovered from a tough start to get a score in the 80's for us,” Rocksund said. “On the girl's side, Ava Zignego and Leia Brennan continue to put up competitive scores for us on tough golf courses to lead our girls team.”

THE NEXT day, the Bulldogs played in the Whitefish Invitational at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club and Rocksund said both teams played solid golf.

Whitefish’s boys team took fifth place by one stroke while Corvallis won the tournament with a score of 316. Brady Powell of Corvallis had a great day on the course finishing with a 69.

Rocksund said the day was a great preview of the Divisional tournament, which will be played on the south course of the Whitefish Lake Golf Club. He added that Tuesday’s match reinforced to the team that every shot counts.

“The top four teams make it to state and we are playing divisionals on the south course (home) so this was a good look at how divisionals might shake out,” Rocksund said. “With better course management I feel strongly that our boy's team has a chance to qualify for state.”

The girls team from Hamilton won the tournament with a 350. Frenchtown was second and Whitefish took third place with a score of 392.

The top girls player was Katie Lewis from Frenchtown who shot a spectacular 69.

Bulldogs Karlee Brown and Ryhlee Scott continue to put up solid scores for the team’s three and four spots on the girls side. Brown shot a 91 and Scott a 95. Rocksund said Brennan has emerged a strong leader for the team and finished Tuesday with a 94.

“On the girl’s side, this is the first time in a few years we broke 400, which is where we will need to be to get a girl's team to state,” Rocksund said.

He said putting up good numbers on their home course made the team hungry to practice putting and chipping.

“Also, it reminded us that better decisions will keep big numbers out of play,” said Rocksund. “Improving our course management is our best chance to get a team to state.”

The varsity Bulldogs will be home for the Whitefish Triangular on Sept. 7 and travel to Libby for the Kootenai Invite at the Cabinet View Golf Club on Sept. 8. The junior varsity team will play in the Frenchtown Invite on Sept. 6.

Results:

Columbia Falls Invitational

Whitefish Boys: 6. Riley Brown 80, 16. Otto Klein 89, 20. Ashton Taylor 94, 22. Aiden Rickels 97, 26. Christian Schwaderer 100

Whitefish Girls: 7. Leia Brennan 100, 9. Ava Zignego 102, 15. Karlee Brown 108, 26. Ryhlee Scott 129

Whitefish Invitational

Boys Team: Corvallis 316, Polson 333, Hamilton 334, Frenchtown 338, Whitefish 339, Columbia Falls 351, Ronan 355, Stevensville 378, Libby 406, Bigfork 410

Whitefish Boys:5. Riley Brown 76, 12. Otto Klein 81, 20. Aiden Rickels 90, 27. Mason O’Neil 92, 29. Chris Schwaderer 94

Girls Team: Hamilton 350, Frenchtown 385, Whitefish 392, Bigfork 423, Columbia Falls 469

Whitefish Girls: 7. Leia Brennan 94, 9. Ryhlee Scott 95, 12. Karlee Brown 100, 15. Ava Zignego 103, 16. Lauren Fairbanks 105