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Golfers take fourth at state tournament in Casper

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 25th, 2012


The 4A All-State girls golfers included Evanston’s Kalle Lunsford. Photo by Rick Lunsford


CASPER — After winning the 4A West conference crown the week before, the Evanston Red Devils golf team had hopes for a top-three state finish, with a chance to finish as the state’s best at the state tournament, played on the Three Crowns Golf Course in Casper this past weekend, Sept. 21 and 22.

Evanston took fourth place, two strokes behind third place, Riverton, which Red Devils golf coach Jerry Carroll had talked about as a contender, and the team to beat for the Red Devils, the team he thought could be considered the favorite in the 4A West. Evanston was six strokes better than the Wolverines at the conference tourney, but the Wolverines had an eight-stroke lead over Evanston after first round action at state.

Evanston came in with a 334, while Riverton shot a 326. Evanston gained ground on Saturday, improving with a 329 team total, as the Wolverines scorecard read 335, but that was enough to give the Wolverines a 661 to 663 edge for third place honors.

Kelly Walsh ran away with the tournament on a course they had the opportunity to play a lot, with a 313 first day score and a blistering 307 on day two, for a combined 620, a 32-stroke separation from distant second place finisher Cheyenne East, with a 652, from the T-Birds’ 329 and 323 scores.

After landing four golfers on the 4A West All-Conference team, based on a top-10 finish, Evanston produced no Wyoming 4A All-State golfers. Senior Jemini Leckie was in contention following Friday’s first round, with a five over par 77 in a three-way tie for fifth, but had an 88 on Saturday to end with a 165 and a tie for 18th.

Freshman Brock Ehlers paced Evanston with a 13th place 161, firing a round of 83 on Friday, but lowered his second day total by five stokes with a 78. Senior Jacob Blakeman was one stroke back at 164, tied for 14th. Blakeman struggled with an 86 on Friday, but equaled Evanston’s best 18-hole round, matching Leckie’s 77 on Saturday, to shave nine strokes from his day-one talley.

Will Smith — who, with Ehlers, Blakeman and Leckie, was named to the All-Conference team — managed a tie for 26th, as the top 32 golfers are scored at state. Smith shot an 88 on Friday and an 86 on Saturday, ending with a 174, but did have a bit of a rock star vibe among the state’s best golfers, with an accomplishment some golfers play their entire lives and never achieve. Smith had a hole-in-one on Friday, acing the par three 11th hole.

A sudden death playoff took place for individual medalist honors on the boys’ side, as Austin Hinchey of Kelly Walsh and Nathan Green of Green River finished with identical two over par 146 scores. Green had consistent rounds of 73 both days, while Hinchey shot a 75 on Friday and a one under par 71 on Saturday, with his 71 matching the best 18-hole score in the state tourney by first-day leader Chandler Meebeor, who ended up fifth after a 78 on Saturday. Green won the playoff and earned individual medalist honors.

Riverton’s Aaron Nirider greatly assisted his team’s third place effort with a third-place finish of his own, one shot off the tied leaders, with a 147, shooting rounds of 74 and 73.

On the girls’ side, sophomore Kalle Lunsford did earn All-State honors with a first round total of 89, and fired a 92 on Saturday, to place eighth, with a plus-36 181, 25 strokes off the pace of the individual medalist, Kelly Walsh’s Amanda Hinchey, with her two-day total of plus-14 156.

Junior Pearl Marquez cracked the top 32 leader board, placing 29th, with a 106 on Friday and a 112 on Saturday, for a 218 total score. As a team, Evanston placed seventh, among the 12 4A schools, with a 308 and a 325 to finish at 633. Natrona County won the state title with a 523 two-day total, comprised of a 256 first round, followed by a 267 on Saturday.

The Red Devils’ and Lady Red Devils’ combined end-of-season awards banquet will take place this Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Purple Sage’s Gateway Grille, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The underclassmen on the team will be encouraged to continue to practice until weather conditions close the course for the season, and the teams will likely have a team scramble or another fun type of tournament or two before the week ends, with the Wyoming high school golf season officially ending with state tournaments.



Lyman results



The Lyman Eagles placed 10th in the 3A state golf tournament, among the 13 teams competing, with Jackson winning by 41 strokes over runner-up Lander, played on the course in Worland.

Travis Toomer finished with back-to-back rounds of 90, good for 27th place, to pace the Eagles. Pinedale’s Jordan Costello, whom both Lyman and Evanston golfers played against during the season, was the individual medalist in Class 3A, with a 147 two-stroke victory.











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