AA State Golf: Joe McGreevey, Bella Johnson lead as Capital, Billings West eye titles |  high school golf

AA State Golf: Joe McGreevey, Bella Johnson lead as Capital, Billings West eye titles | high school golf

HELENA — Helena Capital’s Joe McGreevey’s golfing abilities are well known around the Green Meadow Country Club, venue for the 2022 Class AA State Golf Tournaments. It’s his home course after all.

But after hitting four under par at 11 thanks to an eagle, the rumors started to spread. “Joey is in the lead. He shot a 63 last week,” club staff said.

Although McGreevey didn’t match the 63 he shot recently at Green Meadow on Thursday in the first round of the Class AA State Tournament, he fought his way into the lead as he settled for a 65 which was a far from s 64 lip-out putt.

It was a round that included a single bogey as well as an eagle and five birdies. He birdied his 16th hole, narrowly missing a second eagle, then stuffed his approach on the No. 1.1 (his 17th) within two feet.

Now, with 18 holes to play, McGreevey holds a five-shot lead over teammate Dutch Teders, who worked a bit of his own magic on Thursday, carding back-to-back birdies to finish with a 70 (-1) as he moved on . in second place.

“It’s comfortable and it’s just nice to be home,” McGreevey said. “You don’t have to stay in a hotel or take a bus, none of that and play it all the time, it definitely makes a difference. You know it.”

McGreevey certainly looked comfortable on Thursday. On the 6,300 yard course, he rarely hit the driver and was almost always in the fairway, at least until the second hole (his last). On this tee shot, he found himself behind a tree. Still, for McGreevey, that didn’t seem like much of a hindrance at all as he hit a low hook and tossed the ball onto the green less than 10 feet for a birdie.

The putt gave up, but he was able to hit for a 65 and largely because of that and Teders 70, the Bruins (+11) hold a 14 shot lead over Glacier (+25). Capital finished third as a team last season; McGreevey finished fourth. On Friday, the goal is to finish first in both categories.

“It definitely helps to have experience and be in the chase,” McGreevey said. “Once you get to that back nine and you start to feel that pressure, you get used to it.”

“The game plan doesn’t change,” he added. “It’s just about putting the ball in play. It’s a secondary golf course, so if you can put it in play you should be fine.

Butte’s Jack Prigge, the AA West champion posted a 72 in the first round, while Billings Skyview’s Logan Connolly tied it. These two will be the final couple on Thursday with McGreevey and Teders. Other teams chasing Capital in the tag team race are Butte (+26) and Billings Skyview (+27).

Bella Johnson in good position to rehearse

The best round of the day in the women’s tournament came from Bella Johnson of Billings West, the reigning Class AA state champion.

However, after returning four strokes in her last three holes, she had to settle for a 72(+1) which gives her a three-stroke advantage over Kenzie Walsh of Senior and a five-stroke lead over Chloe Tanner of Glacier. . Addiley Lloyd of Glacier and Hannah Boys of Great Falls High are +8 and seven back.

“I’m a little upset about this,” Johnson said. “Considering that I was -3 years old. But it is what it is. I just have to go out and grind tomorrow. I don’t take the lead like anything. I don’t guarantee anything. I just want to go out and win by a lot.

Johnson hit five holes including 3, 4, 5, 11 and 12. She hit two 2s. Megan Voegele and Mielle Kavran are also in the top 10 after the first round which has West ahead by eight shots over Senior. West was plus 40 as a team, while Senior finished +46. Gallatin is well back at +80, essentially making it a two-team race for the Class AA Women’s State Title.

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