The Bronc and Filly golf teams knew they were going face a pair of completely different golf courses last week, and took advantage of the open fairways of the first one to secure perhaps their top performances of the season.
On Thursday at the Thermopolis Invitational, the Broncs and Fillies lit up the nine-hole course to the tune of scores of 326 and 315, respectively, to both land second and see some personal best tournament scores.
A difficult, technical Lovell course welcomed a handful of teams on Friday and tested every golfer in the field, as the Broncs and Fillies ended up fifth and second, respectively.
“Logan shot 75 in Thermopolis on a par 70, that’s his best round in two years,” coach Jacob Kraft said. “Talon Couture shot his personal best 83, and I think Val Payne was right there too with a an 84.”
Ethan Salzman added an 84 in Thermopolis, Myles Bailey scored a 93, Townsend Bailey a 99 and Wyatt Stevens a 99 as the Broncs finished just one stroke short of first-place Worland.
“I had never played Thermopolis before, but they have a lot of par 4’s that are drivable,” sophomore Logan Hall said. “I ended up just playing it shot-by-shot and it the score ended up being pretty good.”
Lovell took the girls title by a few strokes with the Fillies close behind.
Adelie Hall finished with a 99, Jordan Shumard a 107 and Bliss Bonner a 109 as the Fillies continue to put together a solid fall campaign.
“The girls shot well as a group,” Kraft said. “It’s been fun to watch the progression of the girls team. We’ve gone from trying to put a team together to where now they are competing in every tournament.”
For Logan Hall it might have helped to get a little advice from older brother and former All-Stater Hunter Hall, who had some experience on the Thermopolis course.
“He said it was really short,” Logan Hall said. “He said play well with your driver and you will shoot well.”
After a big Thursday tournament, the difficult Lovell nine-hole course treated every golfer like it does most everyone else.
“Every coach probably has the same conversation on the bus heading to Lovell,” Kraft said. “It’s a place for target golf and it is going to punish you.”
The punishment starts with hole one, a par 5 that requires a precise tee shot through a narrow hole in a group of cottonwoods, over a tree-lined gulch and into a tight fairway.
“If you can manage to do that it’s great, and it’s a great scoring hole,” Kraft said. “But then you have to turn around and do that again on three and four. You can’t spray the ball around on that course.”
The Broncs still managed four of five golfers shooting under 100, and Filly Adelie Hall shot an even 100 for one of the top girls scores of the day.
Salzman turned in the best card for the Broncs with an impressive 87.
Logan Hall finished with a 92, Couture a 95, Myles Bailey a 97 and Payne a 107.
Payne ended up with a birdie on one of the most difficult par 3s in the state.
“We’ve played Lovell the past few years and everybody gets off the bus with anticipation,” Kraft said. “Then you get back on the bus and you are heartbroken. You feel like you have had four or five hours of nothing but a headache.”
Five Fillies made the trip to Lovell with Shumard still shooting hot with a 108.
Bonner posted a 123, Allie Ennist a 126 and Brooklyn Williams a 133.
The Broncs and Fillies head to Sheridan this week for a one-day tournament before heading to the Riverton Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
“These teams are just getting better and better,” Logan Hall said. “We just keep playing well.”