State AA Golf
Meadowlark Country Club, Great Falls
Despite two schedule changes and the still-present threat of snow, Montana’s Class AA schools are gearing up to compete in Great Falls this upcoming week, with both the boys and girls divisions teeing off at Meadowlark Country Club.
Bozeman will be defending on both ends of the spectrum, with the Hawks taking the titles in the 2018 tournament at Butte Country Club. Now, the tournament shifts north, and the conditions ought to make for a captivating contest for all involved.
The rest of the state will look to foil Bozeman’s hopes for back-to-back titles for their boys as well as attempting to prevent the Bozeman girls from claiming their fourth straight state title.
2018 medalist: Justus Verge (Bozeman)
2018 team champion: Bozeman
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Tee shot: Verge’s opening four-under-par 66 as a freshman set the tone for his impressive display as medalist of the 2018 tournament, and he’ll be looking to go two-for-two in state titles on Monday and Tuesday.
Chip shot: Finishing behind Verge in 2018 was his twin brother, Jordan, who finished in second place, six-strokes behind. Missoula Sentinel’s Jack Johnston, Bozeman’s J.R. Small and Billings Skyview’s Cody Brunner rounded out the top five in last year’s championships.
Two putts: Jordan Verge has two medalist honors, and Bozeman has won every tournament they’ve played in the 2019 season, an impressive run in the process of defending last year’s title... Butte’s finished their last tune-up for Meadowlark at the Bozeman Invitational, placing fifth. The Bulldogs’ Kaven Noctor took fourth place as an individual… 2018 runner-ups Missoula Sentinel claimed an early tourney victory at the MCPS Invitational in August, and claimed third at the Butte-Anaconda Invitational on Sept. 13, led by Joe Opitz’s seventh-place individual finish.
2018 medalist: Annika Danenhauer (Bozeman)
2018 team champion: Bozeman
Tee shot: Now a starter at Montana State, Denanhauer claimed top scorer and led Bozeman to a 2018 title by outdueling Billings West’s Carrie Carpenter, finishing one shot above Carpenter.
Chip shot: While Denanhauer has graduated up to the college level, Carpenter has been exceptional for Billings West, her most recent top-scorer honor coming at the Bozeman Invitational, earning the award by nine-shots.
Two putts: Looking to go toe-to-toe with Carpenter will be Bozeman’s Cora Rosanova and Sami Yates, and neither have finished lower than third as individuals in any tournament this season… Butte finished second and third at their last two tournaments before state, the Gallatin Valley and Bozeman Invitationals. The Bulldogs’ Kodie Hoagland placing tied-for-fifth and Ella Prigge taking sixth in Bozeman.