Tatom, Braun win individual trophies

By Tyler Allen, Explore Big Sky Associate Editor

SEELEY LAKE – The Lone Peak High School golf team on May 21 and 22 made a statement at Double Arrow Golf Course in Seeley Lake. The boys defended their Class C state championship and the girls took home the second place trophy.

Junior Tehya Braun paced the Lady Big Horns finishing second individually – one shot out of first place – with the best performance of her golfing career. Junior Tate Tatom won the boys’ individual title for the third consecutive year, anchoring the defending champs as they cruised to a 16-shot win over second-place Chinook.

The girls’ team finished eight strokes ahead of third-place Sunburst – only to be outdone by the low-scoring girls from Belt – securing the first state trophy for a girls’ squad in LPHS athletics history.

Both teams celebrate their victories PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT JOHNSON

Braun held the lead after the first day of play and was tied for first going into the final hole of the tournament, when she missed a 15-foot putt by an inch or two, according to Head Coach Mike King. Belt golfer Josie Stinson also had a 15-footer that hit the hole, spun around the lip and sunk to cement the win.

The fact that Braun was in the hunt until the last shot of the tournament, speaks to her improving game. “[Braun] has grown so much from last year,” King said. “She had the lead after the first day, slept on it and had a great second day.”

Junior Janie Izzo tied for 15th place, landing her All-State honors, and helping the Lone Peak girls score their historic round.

While Tatom continued his winning ways in Seeley Lake, it didn’t come as easily as his other tournament victories this season. He finished day one in an unfamiliar second place, two shots off the top of the leaderboard.

“The golf course was not long by any standards,” King said. “It leveled the playing field and took the driver out of Tate’s hands for pretty much the entire tournament.”

The Double Arrow may have been shorter than most courses Lone Peak played this season, but it’s defended well by mature lodgepole pine trees that put a premium on accuracy. Tatom came out firing on the second day, making the most of his accomplished short game and distancing himself from the rest of the leaderboard with a nine-shot win.

In addition to Tatom, the boys had two other All-State athletes. Junior Trevor House finished in 5th place and Griffin House placed 10th for the reigning Class C champs.

The Lone Peak golfers were honored for their strong season on May 23 as the Big Sky Fire Department harnessed the players in a bucket on top of a ladder truck at Fire Pit Park, then motored them around Big Sky with the lights flashing and sirens wailing.

The golfers finish off their ride in the fire truck. PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTT JOHNSON

“People were coming out of their houses and waving,” King said. “It was cool to get a little recognition for [the players’] hard work and performances.”