The Polson High School boys and girls golf teams have always prided themselves on producing a highly-competitive atmosphere that allows their players to excel.
Over the last couple of years, Trey Kelley has become a cornerstone of consistency and this year he just keeps continuing to improve.
The Polson boys finished second in the tournament firing a score of 330, finishing only 11 strokes behind Stevi Thursday morning in the tournament at Ronan High School.
One of the major catalysts for the Pirates’ second-place finish was golfer Trey Kelley. Kelley, who finished only three strokes behind first-place golfer Ryggs Johnston, who shot a 74, finished the 18-hole round with a 77.
“Trey had a very good tournament on a difficult course,” Pirates’ coach Bill Owen said.
Polson’s Matt Hobbs finished within four strokes of Kelley, shooting an 81 on the afternoon.
“I think at this point his score is comparable to what he has been doing and I think he has the capability of going lower,” Kelley said of Hobb’s performance. “Golf is a game of ups and downs and it’s the nature of the game. Matt shooting an 81 can be a good thing because he knows he has some work do and I know he wanted to show up better than that.”
Nowlan was right behind Hobbs and Owen said is one of the “most improved” players on the team this season.
“Calvin has gone from shooting in the 90s and 100s and he has hit the low 80s in the last two games,” Owen said. “He is probably one of my biggest improvements during the off season. He has cut 10 to 15 strokes off his of his score. and that is a lot in golf.”
Another player that has cut his score by 10 or more strokes is Jeff Devlin, who fired a 90 at Mission Mountain.
Polson will host its Polson Invitational Thursday afternoon and then proceed to travel to Libby, which will be a good tuneup for the Divisional Sept. 22.
“We host our tournament and we will have some of the top teams in the conference,” Owen said. “We will overcome our Divisional opponents and that will be one of our biggest challenges.”
Playing on Libby’s course will help the Pirates and Lady Pirates prepare for the upcoming Divisional, according to Owen.
“Any time you have course knowledge, that really helps a lot,” Owen said. “You are always going to struggle on a course that you’ve never played and familiarity helps a lot in golf. It really helps you feel more comfortable and stay competitive. That really helps us out a lot (to get to play on the course).”
Cannon, Lady Pirates finish second at Mission Mountain
Polson High School Lady Pirate golfer Cali Cannon couldn’t catch Corvallis’s Macee Greenwood Thursday afternoon at Mission Mountain Golf Course in Ronan, but her performance shooting a 90 was good enough to capture second place in the tournament.
“She continues to golf really well and that girl from Corvallis is probably the best in our conference,” Owen said. “She is like Ryggs is on the boys side and is pretty dominant.”
Cannon had help as the Lady Pirates finished second firing a team total of 398, falling to Corvallis by only one stroke.
Amanda Farley was another Lady Pirate to have a top-ten finish, firing a 94 on the day, a personal best.
“Amanda Farley continues to have another low game,” Owen said. “I am pretty excited about the way she is playing.”
The Lady Pirates’ younger golfers continue to show their potential with freshman Katelyne Druyvestein and sophomore Ellie Thiel. Druyvestein shot a 103 and Thiel finished with a 113.
“(Druyvestein) is one heck of a freshman and all of the girls are really scoring well,” Owen said. “I am very excited about how they are doing.”
Esme Yarbrough showcased her poise throughout the entire tournament after losing a total of eight balls during the tournament and still shot a 111.
“Shooting a 111 is pretty impressive after she lost eight balls, which is unheard of,” Owen said. “It is arguably one of her better performances. She was able to hold it together and I thought it was impressive how she kept her composure.”
One aspect Owen has been impressed with both his Pirates and Lady Pirates team is their composure.
“The team component is a big part of golf and they are not only playing themselves but for their team,” Owen said. “I’ve been pretty impressed with the team dynamic of everyone this year.”