The Lovell High School golf team was missing a couple of members but opened the 2013 season at the Cody Invitational Tournament last Thursday and Friday, placing eighth out of 11 teams in the boys division and finishing as the top team in Class 2A.
Golfing without senior Chase Tippetts and sophomore Hunter Tippetts, both of whom chose to not miss the first two days of school, Coach Devon Parks said, the Bulldogs shot consistent rounds of 380 on both days for a two-day total of 760, just 12 strokes behind Powell and 22 strokes ahead of Lyman and 25 ahead of Thermopolis.
“We were the top 2A school while missing some of our normal varsity players, which is exciting for us, but I know Thermopolis will be better than that,” Parks said. “Their scores were not close to what they normally shoot.”
With the Tippetts brothers missing, junior CJ Murphey was the top scorer for Lovell, shooting 40-45=85 on Thursday and 38-47=85 Friday. He was just five strokes from placing in the top 10 among schools like Jackson, Gillette, Star Valley, Cody and Sheridan.
“Eighty-five is his best one-day tournament score, and to do that with a 47 in there is pretty impressive,” Parks said. “I see a lot of potential for even better scores from CJ. Also, 170 is his best two-day tournament score. He was our number one golfer last week and he responded.”
Placing second on the Lovell squad was senior Brandon Wolvington, who shot 44-46=90 on Thursday and 45-43=88 on Friday for a two-day score of 178.
“Typically you see splits closer together like that,” Parks said. “Obviously, Brandon can shoot lower. I expect him to get down to where he has normally been. That wasn’t bad for his first tournament since last fall.”
Third among the Bulldogs was junior McKay Baxendale, who shot 45-46=91 on Thursday and 42-55=97 Friday for a final score of 188.
“The back nine is harder than the front nine, and it showed in the splits,” Parks said. McKay is picking up where he left off in the spring. He can shoot better. He doesn’t get many of those (55s). Ninety-seven is a little high, but it’s not too bad for the start.”
Golfing varsity this week was junior Justin Mickelson, who shot 54-60=114 and 50-60=110 for a two-day total of 224.
“Justin put up his best two-day score and showed improvement from day one to day two. I really like to see the improvement. Eventually, he’ll be vying for a spot on the varsity.”
One Lovell freshman competed in the junior varsity tournament. Lane Hoover shot a 137 on Thursday and 132 Friday for a score of 269.
“It was a really good experience for him,” Parks said. “It was the first tournament he’s been to, the first time he experienced that atmosphere. And he did well. He also saw what he has to learn and work on.”
Junior Cassie Colvin, Lovell’s lone female golfer, shot 49-52=101 Thursday and 50-59=109 Friday for a two-day score of 210, just three strokes from the top 10.
“It’s her best two-day tournament score she’s posted,” Parks said. “I’m really excited about that. It’s a good start toward her goal of making all-state this year.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Worland this week for the Worland Invitational. Again, the tournament is a Thursday-Friday tournament and should begin at noon Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday, Parks said, though he had not received official times as of Monday.
by David Peck