ANACONDA, Mont. – The Lewis-Clark State College men’s golf team captured its fifth Frontier Conference title in the last six seasons when the final round of the conference tournament at Fairmont Hot Springs Golf Course was snowed out Monday.
The Warriors led by two shots after the opening round on Sunday, but frost on the course cut Sunday’s play from 36 holes to 18. Around two inches of snow accumulated overnight, which forced the final round to be called off on Monday.
It likely wouldn’t have mattered because the conference champion is determined by its combined team score from the three conference tournaments held in the fall and spring. This was the final conference tournament and the Warriors had a 44-shot lead over Carroll entering the final 18 holes. It would have taken a complete collapse by LCSC for Carroll to overtake the Warriors.
The Warriors finished the three tournaments with a 2,049 score, followed by Carroll in second at 2,093 and defending champion Rocky Mountain in third at 2,099.
Unofficially, LCSC senior Connor McCracken tied Rocky Mountain’s Connor Rakowski for the FC’s Player of the Year honors after both totaled 508 strokes in the conference tournaments. McCracken, who won Player of the Year honors outright as a sophomore and junior, shot a tournament-best 67 during Sunday’s play to lead LCSC and make up three shots on Rakowski to earn the tie.
Also unofficially, LCSC should place five members on the all-conference squad. To qualify, players must have participated in every round at the conference tournaments and the 10 lowest combined scores earn conference honors. Although the scores have to be double-checked at the conference office, unofficial tallies show Jason Molner finished third overall at 516, while Kyler Gable tied for fifth at 521, Drew Reinland was seventh at 522, and Kyler Johnson was ninth at 528.
On the women’s side, LCSC wound up third in the conference standings as Westminster won its first title and became the first team outside of either LCSC or Rocky Mountain to win the championship. Westminster finished with 2,305, followed by RMC at 2,326. LCSC was at 2,423.
Unofficially, the Warriors had two players finish in the top 10 overall with Alana Norris in eighth place at 602, while Brooke Dagner tied for ninth at 603. Idah Whisenant was 11th at 604.
The Warrior teams will now take part in the conference tournament, which features a team vs. team in a seeded bracket. The tournament will take place next Monday and Tuesday at Largemont Golf Course in Missoula, Mont.
Because only seven FC schools have men’s golf, the Warrior men will receive a first-round bye, while the other first-round pairings have Carroll against Montana Western, Rocky Mountain facing Great Falls, and Westminster against Montana Tech. LCSC will play the Westminster-Montana Tech winner in the semifinals. The matches in the first two rounds are 18 holes, while the championship match is 36 holes.
On the women’s side, LCSC will play No. 6 seed MSU-Northern in the opening round and the winner of that match will play the winner of the Rocky Mountain-Great Falls matchup in the semifinals. Carroll and Montana Tech also will play in the opening round while Westminster received a bye.
Only the eventual champion from both the men’s and women’s tournaments will receive automatic byes to the national tournaments. The women’s national tournament is May 17-20 in Greenville, Tenn., at the Link Hills Country Club, while the men’s national tournament is May 24-27 at Silvis, Ill., at the TPC Deere Run course.
Final standings from third tournament— 1, Lewis-Clark State, 295; 2, Carroll, 297; 3, Rocky Mountain, 309; 4, Westminster, 320; 5, Montana Tech, 333; 6, Montana Western, 334; 7, Great Falls, 338.
Unofficial overall standings – 1, Lewis-Clark State 2,049. 2, Carroll 2,093. 3, Rocky Mountain 2,099. 4, Westminster 2,178. 5, Montana Tech 2,304. 6, Great Falls 2,305. 7, Montana Western incomplete.
Final standings from third tournament –1, Westminster, 313; 2, Rocky Mountain, 331; 3, Carroll, 334; 4, Lewis-Clark State, 336; 5, MSU-Northern, 373; 6, Montana Tech, 380.
Unofficial overall standings – 1, Westminster 2,305. 2, Rocky Mountain 2,326. 3, Lewis-Clark State 2,423. 4, Carroll 2,449. 5, Montana Tech 2,621. 6, MSU-Northern 2,564. 7, Great Falls incomplete.