O’Neil wins Hardin Invite

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer
Courtesy photo. Laurel Junior, Paul O’Neil, shot 69 at Fort Custer Golf Club on Friday to win the Hardin Invitational by two shots. In four tournaments this year he has first, second, third and seventh place finishes.
Courtesy photo. Laurel Junior, Paul O’Neil, shot 69 at Fort Custer Golf Club on Friday to win the Hardin Invitational by two shots. In four tournaments this year he has first, second, third and seventh place finishes.

After starting the season with second, third and seventh place finishes, Laurel’s Paul O’Neil broke through at Hardin. He won his first individual title of the year on Friday at Fort Custer Golf Club after firing a three-under 69.
O’Neil said Friday’s round was brutally slow, approaching six hours, but he was able to concentrate when he needed.
He had an eagle and three birdies, offset by two bogeys. The shot of his round came when stuffed his second shot to a few inches on the par-5 12th, leaving a tap-in eagle. He said his birdies were all six footers.
Even without the two bogeys that came from a three-putt and a water ball, O’Neil thought he could have been lower.
“I missed some good birdie chances,” he said.
Laurel finished 11 strokes behind Billings Central with a 316, good for second place over Livingston.
Ryan Kallem was the only other Laurel golfer to break 80, posting a 79 and T7 finish.
Carson Hackmann had 83, Cash Golden an 85 and Isaiah Broyles rounded out the varsity squad with a 93.
JV player Kade Ewalt shot 83.
Coach Jim O’Neil is thrilled with the progress of his young girls team.
Keli Hodges shot 90, good for a sixth place individual finish.
Elise Shovar shot a 94, one off her low round and good for a 7th place finish.
“Keli’s round in Hardin was 15 shots lower than her personal best coming into the season, and Lexie Harper and Madi Cooney performed well. The girls continue to shoot personal bests” in nearly every tournament.
The Loco golfers head east this week for tournaments at Glendive on Friday and Sidney on Saturday. Coach O’Neil acknowledges Saturday’s tournament is essentially practice for the state tournament in Sidney Sept. 29-30.
“This is a big trip for us. We are going to eliminate the unknowns by staying in the same hotel we’ll be staying at for state, and will eat at the same restaurants.”
O’Neil said the boys varsity roster isn’t set in stone yet, as some JV players are having good rounds.
Results from JV tournament in Miles City on Tuesday:
Isaiah Broyles 83
Kade Ewalt 84
Jaren McNeil 87
Jace McNeil 92
Brandon Wagner 93
Landen Gradwohl 105
Wyatt Tschacher 120
Coaches note: Lexie Harper had the round of the day. She shot 112, which is nine lower than her personal best.
Madie Cooney shot 116.

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