2023 Boys Class A Team Champions

Polson golfers No. 1 in state



Polson’s golf teams had to find extra room to bring back all the hardware they won at the State A Golf Tournament in Sydney on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29-30. Both the boys and girls teams won the team championships, while Hunter Emerson was the top finishing boys golfer in the state and Lady Pirate Ashley Maki finished third. It was the second straight state championship for the Polson girls, while the Polson boys were able to slay the proverbial dragon by defeating Laurel, a team they hadn’t previously bested in stroke play.

“It feels fantastic on both accounts,” Polson Head Coach Cameron Milton said. On the boys’ side, Milton described getting past Laurel as a major relief.

“It’s all we talked about from last year’s second place to Saturday afternoon,” he said. “They are the epitome of excellence on the boys’ side and it makes the boys’ win that much sweeter to get one across the finish line against a great team.”

Emerson leads pack to victory

Emerson was clutch to win state medalist honors for the boys, shooting in the low 70s on both days. Emerson notched a hole-in-one en route to a first-day score of 71. On the second-day he hit long putts on holes 16 and 17, scoring a par and a birdie to card a 73 for an evenpar 144.

“No other way to say it, Hunter just put the boys on his back for two days and got us to victory,” Milton said. “Hunter has always been a fantastic ball striker, but he won the individual championship on the back of his putter and guts.”

Emerson excelled in tough conditions, with 20-30 miles per hour winds that could knock quite a bit of distance off shots. On the first day, during the most difficult part of Sidney’s course, holes four through six, the Polson golfer collected a par, hole-in-one and birdie to move Polson from being tied with Laurel to eight strokes up.

“The conditions on day two were extremely difficult with the wind and to play that well in the wind is incredible,” Milton said. “His contribution at the end of day one and the hole-in-one on the back end of his round can not be ignored. He played the toughest stretch of the golf course in three under par. His finish is what allowed us to have the cushion over Laurel going into day two.”

Polson would end up with a team score of 612 strokes, three ahead of second-place Laurel.

Carson Hupka finished fourth for the Pirates with a 147 after shooting a first-day 70. Christian Lund was 11th (160) and Espn Fisher was tied for 13th (161) to earn All-State honors.

In the previous four years, Polson’s golf program has added three state titles to its name. Emerson has been allstate four times, Hupka has been all-state three times, Christian Lund has been all-state three times.

“The depth of our program is what has allowed us to be so successful,” Milton said. “In the last four years we have three state championships, a second, a third, and over 20 All-State selections. These kids have been competing for a long time.”

Milton said as soon as last year’s state championships ended, the teams had the goal to win state titles this year. That laser-focus paid off and now the trophy case gets a little more crowded.

“People should know how much the Polson golf community and Polson Bay Golf Course helped these kids succeed,” Milton said. “We have a facility that nurtures and supports junior golfers at all levels and without that support none of this is possible.”

State A Golf Sept. 29-30, Sidney Country Club

BOYS Team scores — 1, Polson 612; 2, Laurel 615; 3, Corvallis 635; 4, Livingston 641; 5, Billings Central 668; 6, Hamilton 702; 7, Lewistown 711; 8, Ronan 713.

Individual Top 15: Hunter Emerson 71-73—144 Brady Powell, Corvallis 70-75—145 Aubrey Kelley, Livingston 71-75—146 Carson Hupka, Polson 70-77—147 Reece Malyevac, Libby 72-77—149 Cameron Hackman, Laurel 71-80—151 Sam Norman, Laurel 75-76—151 Colin Wade, Bigfork 76-76—152 Tate Jessop, Corvallis 77-76—153 Houston Dunn, Livingston 80-79—159 Christian Lund, Polson 76-84—160 Kyle Kennah, Laurel 78-82—160 Espn Fisher, Polson 76-86—161 Royce Taylor, Laurel 77-84—161 Caleb Fornshell, Billings Central 8279—161 Carter Wichman, Lewisotwn 83-78—161

Boys Golf

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