Plains golfer Shayna Burgess qualifies for state tournament

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Plains golfer Shayna Burgess doesn’t have to relive the feeling of not qualifying for the state golf tournament.

Last year, Burgess, in her first-ever year of playing varsity golf, missed the qualifying mark for state by a stroke. Burgess can now put that feeling of falling short behind as she fired a 120, the minimum qualifying score, last Tuesday at the Ronan Invitational.

Trotters and Horsemen golf coach Carl Benson said he felt hitting the state qualifying mark will now allow Burgess to progress even further in her golf game.

“It’s nice once golfers qualify because they tend to relax a lot more and that just makes it easier for them to get ready for state,” Benson said. “Her junior season was her first time golfing. Burgess is still learning.”

Benson said his approach with a beginner golfer such as Burgess is to focus on the basics.

“When you work with beginning golfers you work a lot on things like grip and stance and how to where you are going to hit the ball,” Benson said. “Along with the fundamentals, there is a lot of etiquette in golf when you are on the green. You have to know who goes first. There is just a lot of teaching that goes into golf to help the players understand the game.”

Benson said Burgess is a “quick study” as she hit her season-best mark.

“She picks up the game really quick,” Benson said. “You make a point and tell her something, she not only remembers it but works on it.”

Horseman golfers look to recapture all-state honors

The Plains boys golf team finished seventh as a team in the Ronan Invitational Tuesday at Mission Valley Golf Course.

The two top Horseman golfers Alec Cole and Fame Lopez again led the way for Plains. Cole and Lopez already reached qualifying marks for the state tournament. This season, Lopez qualified in Eureka, and Cole qualified in Hamilton.

Last season, Cole finished the season with All-State honors, placing in the top 15 of the state.

In Ronan, Cole fired a team-leading 84 and Lopez was second on the team shooting a 99.

The other players may lack the experience on the green of Plains’ two top golfers but they are progressing, according to Benson.

“They are fairly consistent when they shoot 18 holes,” Benson said. “They still will have a few blow up rounds on the three holes and that is what you need to qualify for state. When you are out there competing and if you think too much, then you’ll start making mistakes.”

The other two seniors are Karsen Krebs, who shot a 108 and Logan Benson finished with 122. Connor Sampson, the only sophomore on the team, also tallied 122.

Benson said he was “confident” his team could qualify for state with the performance of his three younger golfers as his team prepares to travel to Thompson Falls on April 22.

“I think we have a good shot at it,” Benson said. “The Thompson Falls course will be just a nine-hole course. We have a few other courses left in the season. Seeley will be a tough course, Libby will be a fairly tough course, and the St. Regis meet gives us a couple more opportunities to qualify.”

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