RONAN -- Joe Hill of Missoula closed with a 3-under-par 69 on Thursday to win the Montana State Senior Golf Association's Senior Amateur by two strokes over defending champion Ron Garland of Bozeman.
The 67-year-old Hill, who is originally from Michigan, captured his first Montana title with a strong finish at Buffalo Hill Golf Club. He shot a 54-hole total of 215 (73-73-69).
Garland, a three-time champion, closed with a 74 at Buffalo Hill and placed second at 217 (69-74-74). Steve Bell of Missoula and Fred Schweitzer of Bozeman tied for third at 220.
Garland and Schweitzer were tied for the lead -- three strokes ahead of Hill -- heading into the final round. Schweitzer closed with a 77.
Earl Rife of Kalispell and Lee Levine of Bozeman tied for fifth at 223.
The 54-hole Senior Amateur attracted 320 golfers, age 55 and over. They played on the Buffalo Hill, Village Greens and Whitefish Lake Golf Club courses over the three days.