POLSON — After two years of finishing second at the State A girls golf meet, Macee Greenwood blew the competition away as a junior last fall, winning Montana's Class A high school tourney by seven strokes.
The Corvallis senior doubled down on her golf dedication this past summer, but the extra traveling and tournament experiences weren't always enjoyable. This season she re-dedicated herself to having fun and so far she's succeeded.
There's just one more task ahead of her: Repeat as champion this weekend in the State A meet at picturesque Polson Bay Golf Course in Polson.
"The thing about Macee is even if she has a bad hole, she can turn it on," Corvallis coach Kristy Schlimgen told 406mtsports.com. "Last week in divisionals she played not her best game on the front nine, shot 44, then she turned around and shot 35 on the back to win.
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"She has a beautiful swing and she knows how to score, knows how to manage a course, and she's got a great opportunity to repeat. But it's all about confidence and confidence in your swing and your short game."
Greenwood is not the only golfer with a good chance to repeat in the 36-hole Polson event, which starts Friday morning and finishes Saturday afternoon.
The Laurel girls are a good bet to win their fourth team title in a row. Then on the boys' side, Whitefish is a strong contender to repeat but will have its hands full with the likes of Laurel, Billings Central and Livingston. In the boys' individual race, a new champion will be crowned and two expected to challenge are divisional champs Johnny Nix of Whitefish and Danyk Jacobsen of Livingston.
State A golf
At Polson Bay Golf Course, Polson
Note: Players will tackle a mixture of the old and new at Polson Bay. One day they will play the original 18, which includes the old nine visible from Hwy. 93. The next day it will be nine holes from the original course and nine newer holes.
Greenwood has yet to decide where she will play college golf and her dream is to play on the NCAA Division I level. That gives her extra incentive to shine in Polson. But it's certainly not going to be a gimme. Frenchtown freshman Katie Lewis has given her a run for her money all season and finished just two strokes behind Greenwood at divisionals in Hamilton. Eastern divisional champion Haylee Adams of Laurel is also expected to push for girls medalist honors.
The Laurel girls won the Eastern divisional with a score of 374 last week. It was 18 strokes better than runner-up Livingston. To put into perspective just how good that team score was by the Locomotives in Sidney, Corvallis won the Western divisional last week with a score of 389.
On the boys' side, it looks like a two-team race between Whitefish and Laurel. Whitefish scored 311 last week to win Western divisionals by 10 strokes over Polson. In the Eastern divisional, Laurel took top team honors with a score of 317. That was 11 strokes better than runner-up Livingston.
The chase for boys' medalist honors is going to be intriguing. On paper, Nix is the favorite after carding a winning score of 73 at Western divisionals. He edged Jackson Heath of Hamilton and Reece Malyevac of Libby by three strokes. Jacobsen of Livingston won the Eastern divisional with a 77. Cameron Hackmann of Laurel was right behind him at 78.
Bill Speltz is Missoulian Sports Editor and has served as Sunday columnist the past 15 years. Do you have a story idea? Email Bill at email@example.com.