The Lovell Bulldogs golf team competed at the 3A West Conference Golf Tournament Thursday and Friday in Evanston.
Lovell junior Adessa Lundberg shot a 94 Thursday and a sizzling 82 on Friday for a score of 176 to place second in the conference. She finished 10 strokes behind conference champion and Class 3A top-ranked golfer Rachel Stoinski of Lander, who finished with a 166, but Lundberg out-shot Stoinski on day two by one shot.
“That was her best round of the year,” coach Craig Lundberg said. “It should give her some pretty good confidence moving forward into State.”
The Bulldog boys placed fifth by shooting a 385 the first day and a 380 the second for a total of 765, two strokes behind Cody and two strokes ahead of Pinedale. Lander won the boys tournament with a score of 621.
Leading the Bulldog boys was senior Brenen Hinckley, who shot a 91 on Thursday and an 88 on Friday for a score of 179 to place 13th in the conference.
“Brenen played pretty well, but I know that he felt he could do better,” Lundberg said. “He has been playing some really good rounds and I know he will be ready for the state tournament.”
Next was junior Zeke Newman as he shot a 92 the first day and a 94 the second day for a 17th-place score of 186.
“In my opinion, Zeke had a couple of his best rounds this week,” Lundberg said. “He hit the ball extremely well and was able to place it where he wanted for the most part. He just needs to limit some high scores on a couple of holes per round and he is in the 80’s.”
Junior CJ Pickett shot a 99 on Thursday and a 98 on Friday for a score of 197 to place 20th.
“CJ Pickett played very well over the weekend,” Lundberg said. “He shot his personal best two-day score in Evanston. I am proud of him for persevering. It looked like he was going to struggle for a bit, but he snapped out of it.”
Freshman Carter Lundberg shot a 103 on Thursday and a 100 on Friday for a score of 203 to place 24th.
“Carter did well and was right at his average for the season,” Lundberg said. “I know he was a little frustrated with some of the distances on his clubs. As he matures he will get better but for a freshman he is having a great season.”
Junior Lane Herman shot a 104 the first day and a 106 the second for a 210 to place 29th in Evanston.
“Lane continues to roll on nice and steady,” Lundberg said. “If Lane ever has a tournament where he stays consistent all rounds and all holes he is really going to surprise himself.”
Rocky Mountain High School freshman Mason McCollam shot a 108 Thursday and a 100 on Friday for a 208 in the junior varsity division.
“Mason had a pretty good tournament for us as well,” Lundberg said. “He played right to his averages and shot below his average the second day. He didn’t feel well day one but bounced back.”
Freshman Cale Frost shot 111/124 for a score of 235 in the JV division.
“Cale has steadily improved over the course of the season and had a pretty good weekend,” Lundberg said. “He struggled with headaches and migraines on day two, so I felt pretty bad for him.
“To have three freshmen that shoot low 100’s and low 90’s is pretty great. It gives us something to build on for sure.”
The Bulldogs are now turning their attention to the Class 3A State Tournament this week in Afton. The tournament begins at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
“In order to be successful at State, the number one thing we have to be able to do is to avoid adding unnecessary strokes to our rounds,” Lundberg said. “This could be from penalty strokes or mishits that happen around the greens and fairways. I have confidence in this group that we can surprise some teams this week if we really have kids show up and play well.”
Lundberg said Lander, Worland and Star Valley are the teams to beat at the state tournament this year.
“Those two teams (Lander and Worland) stand out to me in 3A,” Lundberg said. “Both squads are very talented and very deep. I don’t think you can overlook Star Valley on their home course at all. They have some kids that can put up some pretty good numbers.”
Lundberg said weather might be a factor at this week’s state tournament, but his team will be ready for the elements.
“I will be curious to see if they start that early on either day because of the cold temperatures that have been forecasted,” the coach said. “The weather is not looking great for the state tournament, but we will prepare for it and go out and give it our best.”
Competing at the state tournament for the Bulldogs will be Hinckley, Newman, Pickett, Carter Lundberg and Herman in the boys division and Adessa Lundberg in the girls division.
“I don’t think I have ever had such close competition for spots at State,” Lundberg said. “It made it pretty fun this season.”
By Sam Smith