Carson Hackmann qualifies for Alberta Cup

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer
Courtesy photo. Incoming Laurel High School freshman Carson Hackmann is seen with his trophy after winning his age group at the State Junior Championship at Marias Valley Golf Course June 17-18.
Outlook photo by Chris McConnell. Carson Hackmann practices his bunker shots at Laurel Golf Club on Friday. Hackmann won his age group at the State Junior Championship in Shelby on June 17-18 and qualified for the Montana-Alberta Cup in Canada, August 7-9.

Incoming Laurel High School freshman Carson Hackmann has some big golf shoes to fill. His father, Shawn, was a standout golfer for Laurel High and until recently the school’s golf coach, and his cousin, Morgan O’Neil, recently won the Don Barnett Memorial tournament in Missoula after an all-conference freshman season at Rocky Mountain College.
However, those shoes already seem to fit.
The 14-year-old won his division in the State Junior Championship by 15 shots at Marias Valley Golf Course in Shelby, June 17-18.
A first round 74 gave him a three shot lead heading into the final round. After firing a 33 on his first nine on day two, his lead had swelled to more than 10 shots. Instead of coasting to a easy victory, Hackmann didn’t let up.
“I tried to make more birdies and go as far under as I could,” he said.
He was four-under through 14 when he made his lone mistake of the round; a three-putt bogey. He parred the next two then birdied his last hole to finish with a 68, his career low tournament round.
“My ball-striking was good. I hit 17 greens and 12 [out of 14] fairways,” he said, but admitted, “It could have been lower.”
His victory earned him a spot on the Montana-Alberta Cup team.
The top two finishers in the 14-15 division join the top two 16 and 17-year-old finishers in a Ryder Cup-style event against Alberta, Canada’s best junior golfers Aug. 7-9 at Desert Blume Golf Course in Medicine Hat.
Montana coach Joe Rossman of Belgrade said they will play a practice round on Monday the 7th, then play a Four-ball match Tuesday morning and a Chapman Tuesday afternoon. The competition will culminate with individual matchplay matches on Wednesday. Rossman, who has been the coach for “eight or nine years,” said the Montana squad won the cup in 2015 and 2016.
This wasn’t Hackmann’s first success in the State Junior. He won the 13 and Under division two years ago and finished third last year.
Other than the Cup matches, he has two other big events this summer.
His next tournament is the Junior PGA Championship qualifier at Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, June 28-29, and then he will head to Florida for the Optimist International Junior Championship July 23-28, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. He had qualified for this years Optimist last fall as a 13-year-old at Green Valley Ranch in Denver, Colo.
Hackmann’s younger brother, Cameron, finished seventh in the 13 and under division in Shelby after rounds of 76-85, and his other cousin Paul O’Neil–a competitor on last years winning Montana-Alberta Cup team–finished in a tie for ninth in the 16-18 division after shooting 76-72.

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