Nilsson, McCracken pace LC men to lead
LEWISTON, Idaho – Freshman Kyler Nilsson shot the best round of the day with a 69, while teammate Connor McCracken has the best score after 36 holes to lead the Lewis-Clark State College men’s golf team to the first-day lead in the third and final Frontier Conference tournament of the regular season.
The Warriors shot a 36-hole score of 593 on Monday at the par-72 Lewiston Golf & Country Club to stand ahead of rival Rocky Mountain’s 608 total. On the women’s side, the standings are reversed with Rocky Mountain holding the lead at 642, 21 shots ahead of second-place LCSC.
The 54-hole event wraps up with the final 18 holes on Tuesday.
Nilsson, who is from Lewiston, was the only player to break par on the day and took advantage of ideal conditions in the warm weather. He had four birdies in enjoying his best round of his young college tournament career.
However, the second 18 was played in rainy and cold conditions and caused problems for not only Nilsson, but most of the field. Nilsson had an 83 in the second round, but was picked up by the steady play of McCracken, a junior from Eagle, who fired his second straight even-par 72 for a 144 total. That gave him a five-stroke lead in the tournament and also put him ahead in his quest to repeat as the conference’s Player of the Year.
This is the only spring tournament for the conference as the previous two were held in the fall. The combined team scores from the three tournaments determine the overall regular season champions and the seeding for the conference tournament, which will be held April 26-27 at Larchmont Golf Course in Missoula. The conference tournament features a single-elimination bracket with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 8 seed in an 18-hole match, No. 2 against No. 7, and so forth. The semifinals and finals will follow with the winning team earning an automatic berth to the NAIA national tournaments.
Entering Monday’s play, the Rocky men led LCSC by 53 shots, but after Monday’s opening round, LCSC cut the margin to 35. However, Rocky was able to bounce back in the second 18 and now holds a 38-shot lead entering the final 18 holes.
On the women’s side, Rocky Mountain entered the day with a 33-shot lead on LCSC and is now 54 strokes ahead.
Along with crowning team champions, the conference’s Golfer of the Year and all-conference team is decided during the three conference matches. McCracken stood in fourth place entering Monday’s play, but moved two shots ahead of Connor Rakowski of Rocky. Rakowski also stands second in this tournament after rounds of 75 and 74 for a 149 total.
Nilsson joins senior Scott Mooney and junior Ben House at 52 for LCSC, while senior Chris Jarrett had a 154.
On the women’s side, Rocky’s Rachel Hosterman shot the low round of the day with a 75 and also is tied with teammate Jennifer Orchard for the overall lead at 158. LCSC’s Carroll’s Cassy Slayton and Westminster’s Chloe McClintick are tied for third 159, while LCSC’s Cortney Shrout is fifth at 161. Shrout also is the defending conference Player of the Year and has a six-shot lead over Hosterman entering Tuesday’s play.
The shot of Monday’s play belonged to Haley McLain of Montana State-Northern, who aced the 100-yard par-3 eighth hole.
Tuesday’s final round begins at 8:30 a.m.
Team scores – Lewis-Clark State 289-304–593, Rocky Mountain 307-301–608, Carroll 327-309–636, Montana Tech 333-343–676, Montana Western 348-341–689, Westminster 339-361–700, Great Falls inc.
Lewis-Clark State – Connor McCracken 72-72–144, Kyler Nilsson 69-83–152, Scott Mooney 76-76–152, Ben House 78-74–152, Chris Jarrett 72-82–154. Other LCSC individual – Brad Tracy 81-85–166.
Rocky Mountain – Connor Rakowski 75-74–149, Marcus Segerstrom 81-73–154, DJ Kovach 73-82–155, Jakob Good 78-78–156, Bjorn Ottoson 81-76–157.
Carroll – Ben McIsaac 79-72–151, Ben Ternes 79-79–158, Tanner Sutton 81-81–162, Jim Mee 89-77–166,, Matthews Sewell 88-86–174.
Montana Tech –Ty Wengel 82-83–165, Wes Southard 84-81–165, Danny Kane 80-91–171, Thane Tokerud 87-88–175, Jake Amerman 88-91–179.
Montana Western – Brian Pfeifer 81-79–160, L. Bosen 84-89–173, Brenner Antone 88-86–174, Jimmy Stoker 95-87–182, Jason Schumacher 100-103–203.
Westminster– Bryce Till 84-78–162, Matt Hardy 79-85–164, Skyler Bloxham 85-97–182, Matthew Van Wagoner 91-101–192.
Great Falls – Josh Wittman 77-84–161, Indiana Kimura 80-88–168, Kevin Sullivan 87-88–175.
Team scores – Rocky Mountain 316-326–642, Lewis-Clark State 331-332–663, Carroll 360-354–714, Montana State-Northern 387-395–782, Montana Tech 402-396–798, Great Falls 414-410–842, Westminster 443-439–882, Montana Western inc.
Rocky Mountain – Rachel Hosterman 75-83–158, Jennifer Orchard 80-78–158, Teresa Schlomer 77-85–162, Erica Schlomer 86-80–166, Lindsey Holzworth 84-91–175.
Lewis-Clark State– Cortney Shrout 79-82–161, Sue James 81-82–163, Alana Norris 84-87–171, Heather Bruce 87-85–162, Jordan Knapp 91-83–174. Other LCSC scores – Kelsey Haycock 81-89–170, Shanna Herman 83-95–178.
Carroll – Cassy Slayton 79-80–159, Meghan Innes 84-90–174, Whitney McLaughlin 97-88–185, Casey Smith 100-97–197, Ariana McElrath 103-96–199.
Montana State-Northern – Haley McLain 93-91–184, Katie Ross 97-101–198, Stacey Sheppard 97-103–200, Ali Ward 100-100–200, Taylor Faulkinberry 110-113–213.
Montana Tech – Alex Harland 99-93–192, Brooke DeBolt 95-99–194, Savannah Talbott 107-96–203, Shelby Fortune 101-115–216, Danielle Hall 116-108–224.
Great Falls – Chelsea Kenner 80-87–167, Sami Pack 102-108–210, Andrea Bushley 116-100–216, Amber Allen 116-115–231, Kayla Esmond 134-129–163.
Westminster – Chloe McClintick 80-79–159, Shonti Breisch 106-103–209, Regan Lelli 108-109–217, Jacqueline Graham 149-148–297.
Western Montana – Megan Rose 94-87–181, Robynn Williams 91-91–182, Sydnee Crosser 91-92–183.