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Golfers take fourth in Lander invite

Finishing with one of their best days in years, the Powell High School boys golf team took fourth at last week's Lander Invitational.

“We had a very good weekend on probably the most challenging course we play all year,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand of the Thursday-Friday tournament.

The boys team's two-day total of 664 strokes was 32 shots better than their season-opening performance in Powell, and good for fourth place in the 12-team field.

The Panthers had the lowest day two total among 3A teams — a 326-stroke performance that was the team's best day in at least five seasons.

Evanston won the overall event with a 630 total, followed by Cody (639) and Jackson (655).

Individually, senior Zane Bushnell tied for fourth, firing a 76 on Thursday and an 81 on Friday.

“Zane had a great weekend, improving on his solid play from our invitational. We'll see some good competition in Worland and I really look for him to be right in the mix,” said Hildebrand.

Sophomore Bowen Prestwich and junior Brian Morse finished just out of the top 10, coming into the clubhouse at 11th and 12th respectively.

Prestwich shot 81-83, with Hildebrand calling his consistency “a real bright spot for us so far.”

Morse came in on his teammate's heels, a stroke behind at 83-82.

“He did a great job of managing his game and being able to come in with two solid rounds for us,” said Hildebrand.

Swedish exchange student Vilhelm Sanderg, a senior, struggled on Thursday with a 99, but rebounded with an 80 on Friday.

“This was Vilhelm's first tournament for us so I figured that the first day would be tough for him,” said Hildebrand, adding, “Now that he is more comfortable with the whole process I expect him to continue improving each week.”

It was also junior Colter Adolph's first time on the Lander course — and his first competition of the year — and he shot 98-102.

“Hopefully this week in Worland he can get on track and shoot a couple of lower scores,” Hildebrand said.

Sophomore Alyssa Hildebrand, the lone competitor for the Lady Panthers golf team, shot 114-107.

“Alyssa played well on what is probably the hardest course we see for girls,” said Coach Hildebrand. “It is nice to see her confidence rising as she sees these courses for the second yearin a row.”

For the junior varsity boys, sophomore Cameron Nielson shot 104-116. “Cameron had a tough second day but overall I was pleased with his performance for the first time on that course,” said the coach.

Jared Wantulok had another good weekend, coach Hildebrand said, shooting 109-104.

“He is doing a very good job for us this early in his freshman season,” the coach said.

Fellow freshman Dillon Nixshot 130-123.

“Dillon is working hard on his game and I expect to see continued improvement throughout his season,” Hildebrand said.

With the halfway mark of the six-tournament season nearing, Hildebrand said he's pleased with how his squads have fared so far.

“I look for us to continue improving as our short game and putting gets better down the stretch,” the coach said.

On Thursday and Friday, the PHS players will tee it up at the Green Hills Golf Course in Worland.

Hildebrand said the course has similarities to Powell's, and is one most of the PHS golfers have seen before.

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