The Polson Lady Pirates golfers have been overshadowed all year by the accomplishments of the stout boys’ counterparts, but coach Bill Owen has declared they are contenders going into the MHSA Class A State Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Hamilton Golf Course.
The girls’ strong finish at the MHSA Class A Divisional Tournament last Friday afternoon at Libby positioned them to qualify for third place, firing a 422 cumulative score.
“I don’t count anything out for that state tournament and a trophy is possible at state,” Owen said. “One thing that I was excited about is that my girls scored a little bit higher scores (than in the regular season). Those higher scores indicate what kind of course we are playing on. Libby is a tough course and a lot of our players had higher scores than they are used to.”
ALL SEASON, Cali Cannon has become a fixture as the Lady Pirates’ lowest golf score this year, until sophomore Ellie Thiel elevated her game to match Cannon’s score in Friday and Saturday’s MHSA Class A Divisional contest.
Owen said he felt his team can carry some of the momentum headed in that MHSA Class A state golf tournament at Hamilton.
Cannon shot a 99 and Ellie Thiel had her season-best total, matching Cannon’s 99 at divisional.
Thiel, who never had any varsity experience prior to this year, has elevated her game significantly.
Other players who had significant contributions include Amanda Farley, who shot a 102 at divisionals, Esme Yarbrough finished with a 120 and Katelyne Druyvestein had a 123.
“She had a good tournament and that might be her best of the year,” Owen said. “What a perfect time to do it.”
SIMILAR TO the boy’s situation, the girls will enter the tournament with a lot of experience at the Hamilton course, which can be crucial in the team having additional success, as they get ready for the tournament.
“Cali would have played the Hamilton golf course quite a few times and Amanda (Farley) played there last season,” Owen said. “They’ve actually played on that course the last four years and Cannon the last three years. The girls have actually more experience than the boys do on that course.”
OWEN SAID he anticipates a highly competitive MHSA Class A State Tournament as his Lady Pirates prepare for that.
“We are looking forward to it and we are going to have fun, go out there and give it our best,” Owen said. “We have a great crew of kids and they have bonded really well. They are going to give it everything they have at the state and it’s going to be fun.”