Golf (W)

Pioneers Open up Spring Schedule in Billings

(Billings, MT) The Miles Community College Pioneers opened up their Spring golf season on Monday and Tuesday in Billings, MT at Lake Hills golf course as a part of the Yellowjacket Invitational.

MCC traveled seven golfers (5 men, 2 women) to the tourney including Caleb Bates, Jaxson Archibald, KC Smith, Cory Valenzano, Chayton Petersen, Bailey Bice, and Riley Shipp. The Pioneers are playing their first of four tournaments before traveling to Scottsbluff for the Region IX national qualifier in late April.

With a lack of rounds under their belt, the Miles Pioneers struggled this weekend. With snow on the ground a majority of the early season, MCC hasn’t had the opportunity to get outside and play many rounds to find their tournament form.

The Pioneers were competing against multiple four year institutions including host team MSU-Billings, South Dakota School of Mines, U of Great Falls, Minot State U, Carroll College, Montana Tech, and Rocky Mountain College.

With a tough competition, MCC was also facing a tough golf course. Lake Hills, a par 72 that plays 6,802 yards from the tips is a test of a course early in the season. With a rating of 71.9 and a slope rating of 114, there are no “gimmes” when it comes to Lake Hills.

MCC’s Caleb Bates and Jaxson Archibald put together a solid showing. Bates fired and 82 in the first round, and displayed some white-hot putting in round two shooting the 6th lowest score of the round. Bates looked even better in round three shooting even par and putting himself in a tie for 15th. Archibald started off hot as the only Pioneer to break 80 in the first round with a 75. After a few miscues off the tee in the second and third rounds, Archibald would fire a 78 and 81, respectively. Despite faltering in the third round, the Idaho Native put up a respectable score and would finish in the top 25 to open up the Spring.

MCC would finish the tournament in eighth place as a team. The host team MSU-Billings would win their own tournament with an impressive showing shooting just one round as a team in the 80s out of 15 rounds. Rocky Mountain College’s Michael Tait would finish with a seven shot lead over Connor Miele of MSUB to win the individual title.

On the Women’s side, MSUB would also take the team title, while University of Great Falls’ Gina Kowolchuk would take home the gold in the individual.

MCC will travel to Dickinson, ND for the Dickinson State Invitational on the 8th and 9th of April. The tournament will be played at the Bully Pulpit Golf Course in Medora.

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