Women’s State Amateur celebrates 100 years

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer
Photo by Chris McConnell.  Park City native and new Rocky Mountain Assistant Golf Coach Kyla Clancy gets a feel for the greens during the Montana Women’s State Amateur practice round on Wednesday at Laurel Golf Club while RMC sophomore golfer Hayden Flohr watches.
Photo by Chris McConnell. Park City native and new Rocky Mountain Assistant Golf Coach Kyla Clancy gets a feel for the greens during the Montana Women’s State Amateur practice round on Wednesday at Laurel Golf Club while RMC sophomore golfer Hayden Flohr watches.
Outlook photo by Chris McConnell.  From left: Laurel’s Morgan O’Neil, Park City’s Kyla Clancy and Billing’s Hayden Flohr take a break from their Montana State Women’s Amateur practice round at Laurel Golf Club on Wednesday to pose for a group photograph. O’Neil and Flohr are sophomore golfers for Rocky Mountain College and Kyla Clancy is a former player and current RMC assistant coach.
Outlook photo by Chris McConnell. From left: Laurel’s Morgan O’Neil, Park City’s Kyla Clancy and Billing’s Hayden Flohr take a break from their Montana State Women’s Amateur practice round at Laurel Golf Club on Wednesday to pose for a group photograph. O’Neil and Flohr are sophomore golfers for Rocky Mountain College and Kyla Clancy is a former player and current RMC assistant coach.

The 100th Montana State Women’s and Senior Women’s Amateur golf tournament begins today at Laurel Golf Club.
Golf tournaments can be solely about the competition or mostly about the social aspects, but the most enjoyable ones generally include a bit of both traits.
By all accounts the 100th playing of the Montana State Women’s Amateur and Senior Women’s Amateur will include all that is good about competitive golf; high level competition and opportunities to forge relationships that can last a lifetime.
The tournament runs from today through Saturday includes 140 golfers from across the state.
The Women’s Am side of the tournament is open to all ages and has 35 of the best players in the state, while the Women’s Senior Am is open to those 50 and older and has 105 competitive entrants.
Laurel Golf Club is no stranger to hosting state championship events, having hosted the Women’s Amateur and Senior Amateur four times, the Men’s State Amateur six times and the Men’s Senior Amateur on two occasions.
LGC Head Golf Professional Tom Anderson said the ladies tournament committee has taken on much of the workload in preparation for this event–which is atypical for a state championship–but he will be overseeing the competition and scoring, along with assisting the head superintendent with course setup.
Anderson said LGC Head Superintendent Bob Popp has the course in tournament shape with “playable rough and greens rolling about 10-10.5 [on the stimpmeter].
LGC member Jeri Heard said she and a committee of 20 women have been planning the tournament for the better part of a year.
“We started brainstorming in October and the tournament is [the culmination of] nine months of work,” she said.
The volunteers held fundraisers to add the special touches that make it more of an event, rather than just a golf tournament.
“The [tournament] entry fees pay for the golf and not much else,” Heard said.
The committee held a raffle over the winter that raised $10,000. These funds were used to pay for range balls for the competitors and many of the scheduled social events during the tournament. Scheduled events include a steak and shrimp dinner banquet, social night, a centenary anniversary cake with sparkling cider served in champagne flutes and a performance by the Calamity Jane Players.
Heard has nothing but praise for the Laurel Ladies Golf Association members.
“[They’re] a really neat group of ladies, we have great appreciation to them for having the time and talent to pull this off.”
Between myriad social events, there will be highly competitive golf. Many of Montana’s best golfers are in town to try and win the states top women’s event.
• The defending Amateur champion, Maggie Crippen of Missoula, is not back to defend her 2016 title, but University of Montana sophomore and last year’s runner-up Tiegan Avery, is scheduled for a 12:40 p.m. tee time today.
• Laurel’s Morgan O’Neil, Rocky Mountain College sophomore and recent winner of the Barnett Memorial Tournament in Missoula, is in the first pairing of the afternoon wave at 12:30 p.m.
• Park City’s Kyla Clancy is a former state amateur winner (2014) who finished in a tie for fifth at last years State Am at Green Meadow Country Club in Helena. Clancy is slated for a 12:50 tee time.
• Defending Senior Women’s champion Mary Bryson of Montana City and 2007-2008 champion and 2016 runner-up, Sue Matson of Laurel, are competing again and both tee off at 7:30 a.m. today.
The tournament runs today through Saturday at LGC and the public is welcome to come and support the players and watch some excellent golf.

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