By Doug Hare EBS SPORTS EDITOR
Given the long winters in southwest Montana, the spring sports season for Lone Peak High School is short and sweet. But in less than two months, the LPHS golf team has improved immensely and a few golfers look strong heading into the postseason tournament. Here are some highlights from a brief, albeit successful regular season for the Big Horns.
April 27 – Ennis – Madison Meadows Golf Course
Boys – Nathan Browne 95, Nolan Schumacher 103, Jackson Lang 107
Girls – TJ Nordahl 93, Lyli McCarthy 119, Brooke Meredith 120, Sara Wilson 137
Nathan Browne’s low score for the boys team qualified him for the State C Tournament. Freshman TJ Nordahl placed second overall amongst girls, only giving up first place to Ennis local Landri Paladichuk. Lyli McCarthy and Brooke Meredith both scored qualifying rounds earning themselves a trip to the state tournament as well.
Despite cold and windy conditions, the course played great and the team was happy with how the greens rolled. After the competition, the team headed back over the hill just in time to attend LPHS prom. “Sara Wilson did great for her first ever 18 holes of competition. I couldn’t be more pleased for a first round score,” said Coach Jenny Wilcynski.
May 3 – Three Forks – Headwaters Golf Course
Boys – Pierce King 89, Sam Johnson 89, Jackson Lang 104, Austin Samuels 106, Nolan Schumacher 108
Girls – Lyli McCarthy 109, Brooke Merdith 148, Sara Wilson 148
On the boys side, Pierce King and Sam Johnson had their lowest scores of the season. Johnson, the lone senior and captain of the team, qualified for his position at the State C Tournament with ease.
“I was really happy for Sam as his time is limited on the course this season as he prepares for his IB School Testing that comes along with senior year,” said Wilcynski. “Great to see Pierce break 90 too. He is finding his momentum out there and things came together for him today!” Both King and Johnson finished just outside the top 10.
Coach Wilcynski noted that Jackson Lang and Nolan Schumacher continue to play consistent golf and improve but are still looking to break that crucial 100 score. Austin Samuels played in his first varsity golf event of the season and showed a lot of potential.
On the girl’s side, Lyli McCarthy was the low scorer, shooting a 109 and finishing ninth overall in a class B and C event. “Lyli is starting to see her score fall as well and will be in great shape as we get closer to State,” noted Wilcynski.
May 6 – White Sulphur Springs – Arrowhead Golf Course
Boys – Nathan Browne 88, Pierce King 92, Jackson Lang 100, Nolan Schumacher 103
Girls – TJ Nordahl 88, Lyli McCarthy 106, Brooke Meredith 132, Sara Wilson 147
On the boys side, Nathan Browne finished with a low score for the team with an 88, the first time he has broken 90 in a competition and a new personal best. Pierce King was a bit disappointed in his performance but still finished strong with a 92. Jackson Lang sunk a long putt to finish out with an even 100 securing himself a qualifying round. Nolan Schumacher had a great birdie from about 40 yards out and finished with a 103.
For the Lady Big Horns, TJ Nordahl shot an 88, winning first place in a Class C tournament. “This is really great for her getting prepared for State where an 88 will be a very competitive score even when we see all competitors, and she feels she still left a few shots out there,” said Wilcynski.
Notably, Lyli McCarthy had a personal best with a 106 (57/49) breaking 50 on nine holes for the first time in competitive play. Brooke Meredith improved from earlier in the week with a 132.
May 6 – Columbus – Stillwater Golf Course
Varsity – TJ Nordahl 87, Pierce King 90, Nolan Schumacher 105, Brooke Meredith 134, Sara Wilson 138.
Hosted by Absarokee High School and marking the last regular season competition and last State Qualifier event, this was a last chance for golfers to punch a ticket to the postseason.
Pierce King placed fourth overall with a score of 90, continuing to build momentum and Nolan Schumacher finished with a 105. “It’s nice to have a player like Nolan who is so consistent and level-headed on the course,” said Coach Wilcynski.
TJ Nordahl took honors once again with her lowest round of the season yet, 87, winning first place against a field stacked with many upperclassmen. The LPHS golfers who have qualified for the State C Tournament will travel to Seeley Lake from May 14-15. to test their mettle against the best young golfers in Montana on the Double Arrow Golf Course.