Beckman, Brown first at Trestle Creek

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THOMPSON FALLS golfer Dylan Beckman finished first, firing a 73 Thursday at the St. Regis’ Trestle Creek Golf Course. (Photo by Kurt Wilson, courtesy of The Missoulian)

Thompson Falls’ Dylan Beckman is one of several Bluehawk, Lady Bluehawk golfers that has created a sense of optimism for the TF program’s future according to boys, girls golf coach Mike Bates.

Beckman’s 73 was enough to capture first place Thursday at the St. Regis’ Trestle Creek Golf Course. Lady Bluehawks’ teammate Elsie Brown also won first at Trestle firing a 93.

Beckman and Brown are just two of TF’s golfers that have Bates “excited” about his team’s future.

“My team is just mentally tough, both Beckman and Brown are both juniors, and we will get everyone back next season,” Bates said. “We have a fun group to be around and watch. Both our girls and boys have been cutting strokes almost every week as the team plays. They have really come together. We are peaking and have been playing pretty solid the last two or three tournaments. Almost all of our kids are dropping strokes and we are peaking at the right time.”

Bates said Beckman’s consistency has been a key portion to his success in this late stage of the season.

“I think Beckman has actually played really well the last three or four tournaments,” Bates said. “Dylan has finally settled into his own and he has a lot of talent, drive, focus and the body makeup for golf. He’s just totally passionate about it and he’s a good one.”

Bates said this was Beckman’s first time he finished first on the season.

“This is his first first place finish,” Bates said. “I think he’s been in the Top 5 pretty much all season and he’s been playing tough.”

Bluehawk teammate Michael Johnson finished with the second lowest score, firing an 82 on the tournament.

Brown takes first at Trestle Creek

Thompson Falls’ Elsie Brown toppled the rest of the girl’s field shooting a tournament-winning 93 Thursday at the St. Regis Invite at Trestle Creek Golf Course.

“Brown has been tough all year,” Bates said. “She took over the spot as the No. 1 golfer this year and when you take over a spot like that, you aren’t sure how they are going to handle playing with other girls that might just as good or better. You couldn’t ask for a better person and right now, she is really focused when she is out there. One bad hole doesn’t get to her and not much shakes her up. She is just a pretty strong individual.”

Bates attributes a large portion of his team’s success to the help of Bluehawks, Lady Bluehawks’ coach Gary Thompson.

“It’s such a pleasure to have him on the team, he’s such a student of the game, and he’s just awesome to work with,” Bates said. “Thompson has been coaching golf with the boys for the past 40 plus years and he is one heck of athlete. He can even still play basketball, get up and down the court, and shoot a three. He’s also a heck of a golfer.”

Bates is cautious when he was asked to assess his team’s chance moving forward in Divisionals and state competition.

“It’s a tough conference and it’s probably as tough as it’s ever been,” Bates said. “Our goal every year is one and the same and that is get through Divisionals and make it to state,” Bates said. “Once you qualify for state, it’s really anybody’s game and anything can happen. We proved that in 2015 when we won the tournament. We barely squeaked by in conference and pulled out state and won it in 2015.”

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