WHITEFISH -- The 97th annual Montana State Men's Amateur golf tournament will get underway on Thursday morning at Whitefish Lake Golf Club with 123 entrants.
The field for the 54-hole event will include defending champion Brandon McIver of Billings. The tournament will be played on Whitefish Lake's 6,545-yard North Course.
Besides McIver's return, six other Top 10 finishers from last year's State Am are back, including Jake Hedge of Billings and Brian Beach of Missoula, who tied for fourth last summer in Helena.
The other top 10 returnees include Ross Bartell and Spencer Williams of Great Falls, Bennett MacIntyre of Helena and Connor Hausauer of Bozeman.
Missoula's Bill Dunn, who won the 2009 State Am, is also among this year's competitors.
McIver, 20, will be a junior on the golf team at the University of Oregon in the fall.
Missoula's Tom Swanson, who plays at the University of Michigan, is expected to be another top contender this year at Whitefish.
Both McIver and Swanson have already qualified to play in next month's U.S. Amateur in Georgia.