SOGGY DAY – A lone tennis ball sits in a puddle on the CHS courts with the net reflected by the water as the ‘rains came’ on Saturday putting a damper on the Conrad Invitational tourney. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
Spring is here, finally, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature to crank up the temperature, bring in some robins and turn the grass green.
Nevertheless, the Cowgirl and Cowboys’ golf team has been able to get some time in on the practice range and on the course at the Pondera Golf Club, even though players aren’t walking around in tee shirts and shorts, just yet.
The numbers may be a little thin, but, “We have lots of talent,” says new coach Todd Truscott.
On the girls’ side the team will be made up of just two players, returning sophomore Tori Fladstol and freshman Kailey Judisch.
Fladstol, last year got a lot of playing time in and played well most of the season.
Getting her game tuned up, she was belting drives of the tee box at the driving range on Thursday and Coach Truscott was saying, “That’s sweet, keep it up.”
On the boys’ side, there are seven players out, three seniors, one junior and two freshmen.
Senior Kyle Ellis looks to be the anchor and provide a lot of course experience along with Joe O’Brien. Graham Grubb is giving up his track spikes for golf balls this year and will be a good addition to the team.
Junior Austin Fowler will get a lot of playing time in on the fairways and look for him to be a top contender in upcoming tournaments.
Freshmen out for the team include Quinn Gianarelli, C.J. O’Connor and Justin Salois.
Truscott is a low handicap, almost scratch, golfer who also coached at Rocky Mountain College while he was attending school there.
He will be assisted by Phil Springer and Dr. Jay Taylor will also be helping with the coaching.
While other spring teams got cancelled out Conrad was able to open the season at the Marias Valley Golf Country Club at Shelby on Friday.
The team opens at home on April 19 with a triangular meet. The players will hit the tee box at 4 p.m.
With 14 other teams playing the Cowboys, Conrad placed three in the top 10 to win the tournament.
Team scores and places went like this: Conrad 372, Choteau 377, Malta 387, Cut Bank 389, Shelby 406, Fort Benton 408, Centerville 415, Fairfield 432, Sunburst 439, Chinook 443, Great Fall Central 452, and Heart Butte 504.
Fowler came on to post a nifty 81 to place first and take top individual honors. Zach Johannsen of Sunburst also had an 81, but was in second place.
One shot back was Ellis (3rd) with a nice 82 on his card and O’Brien came in with a 92 to capture seventh place.
In his first tournament, Salois shot a 117 and Gianarelli came home with a 153.
Coach Truscott commented, “This was a great win for the Cowboys because it was almost a divisional with most of the 2B and 1B teams playing.” He went on to add, “It was a good start to a promising season.”
This week the team travels to Missoula for a two-day invitational meet.
There were no girls’ scores to report.