PINEDALE – Before high school golfers hit the greens at the 3A West Conference Championship in Pinedale on Friday, Sept. 10, head coach Luke Myszewski warned athletes and coaches to give moose plenty of space.
Golf is an unpredictable sport anywhere, although playing at 7,100 feet beneath towering mountain peaks and contending with large mammals is unique to Pinedale and a handful of other courses.
The conference championship at Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course opened with favorable weather on Friday – clear skies and a light breeze. By Saturday morning, heavy gray clouds threatened. To the tournament organizers’ relief, lightening did not materialize and the meet went ahead.
Golfers teed off against wind and rain in addition to vying for a spot at the State Meet in Lander.
True to Wrangler form, sophomore Brody Hamby rose to the occasion, hitting in an 83 – the second-lowest boys’ varsity score on Saturday.
“In my opinion, I play a little better in the rain and bad weather,” Hamby said. “Maybe that’s what helped me go past my competition.”
Hamby shot a 91 the previous day, several strokes shy of the top 10.
“The first day started off pretty rough, but I came back on the second day and went up in the rankings,” Hamby added.
Hamby’s Saturday performance put him in eighth place overall with a 174, punching his ticket to State and landing him honors on the 2021 3A West All-Conference list.
“I’ve been working for this the last three years, so it feels great,” Hamby said.
Six Pinedale athletes scored well enough to join Hamby at State: freshmen Elyn Bowers and Garrett Haley, sophomores Owen McMillen and Josh Gosar and Big Piney junior Blade Hibbert.
Bowers represented Pinedale in the varsity girls’ division, playing her first varsity tournament of the season. She took 14th place with a combined score of 234 strokes. Bowers shot in a consistent 117 strokes both days of competition.
McMillen came in 25th place with a 193 after two days. He hit in a 91 on Friday and 102 on Saturday.
Hibbert placed 27th at a 196, scoring a 97 on the first day followed by a 99.
Haley scored a 199, putting him in 31st place. He shot in 98 strokes on Friday and 101 on Saturday.
Gosar finished 36th with a 212, playing a steady 106 both days.
Freshmen Cayden Christensen placed 39th, hitting in a 221, improving from 112 strokes on Friday to 109 Saturday.
Sophomore Mason Currah came in 42nd place, scoring a 227 –111 the first day followed by 116.
The Pinedale boys’ varsity squad placed seventh. With Bowers the only contender in girls’ varsity, the team did not place in that division.
Coach Myszewski said the team is busy preparing for State this week.
“We were in a good position after day one, but on day two didn’t improve our team scores like we needed to,” he added. “The team is going to have to play smart golf in Lander if they are going to be successful. We will have a plan for each hole before we start playing in the state tournament.”