It was a short-handed team of Panthers and Lady Panthers that traveled to the Worland Invite over the weekend.
“We were without Crandell Sanders in the line-up, as he had a family commitment,” said PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand. “We didn’t have a team score this week [for the Lady Panthers] as Bailey Kennedy also had a family commitment and didn’t make the trip with us.”
Though the Lady Panthers were unable to record a team score, the Panthers battled to a fifth-place finish, shooting a solid 367 on Friday and a 390 on Saturday, for a 757 total. Worland won their home invitational shooting 314-309 for a 623 total. Karsten Simmons of Worland paced the boys field with rounds of 72 and 71.
A total of 12 teams competed in the two-day event.
Senior Rob Sessions led the way for the Panthers, with his second straight tournament of rounds in the 80s, just missing the top 10 with an 85 and an 89.
“It was nice to see him [Sessions] keep his round in the 80s on Saturday when he had a few struggles,” Hildebrand said. “He needs to keep working on his short game and just cleaning up some things around the greens to get down to the low 80s or upper 70s.”
Bennett Walker started the invite strong, carding the team’s best round at the tournament with an 83. Saturday proved to be more of a struggle, as he finished with a 94.
“Bennett had a very steady first day and really did a lot of things well,” Hildebrand said. “Saturday he had some ups and downs, but overall he is playing pretty well at this point in our season.”
Sophomore George Higgins continued to impress Hildebrand, shooting 95-97 for the tournament.
“George [Higgins] had the least experience of any of our players on the Worland course, and he did a nice job of working his way around each day,” Hildebrand said. “He is doing a lot of things well right now and I know his best golf this season is ahead of him.”
Junior Kason Cannon continues to improve, carding a 104 on Friday and finishing with a 110 on Saturday.
“Kason [Cannon] continued his steady play this fall with these two rounds,” Hildebrand said. “He has some areas that need work still, but he has done a good job of hanging in there each round and posting his best score for us.”
Sophomore Yogi Sullivan rounded out the five Panthers with a 114 Friday and 124 Saturday.
“Yogi is not scoring as well as he is swinging the club right now,” Hildebrand said. “He has a lot of positive potential in his game, and we just need to work over the next three weeks to get the best out of him.”
Mycah Wainscott shot a pair of 100s, improving on her previous tournament total by five strokes. Hildebrand said the young golfer is right on the cusp of breaking through.
“She hit the ball better this week, and without a few short game slip-ups she would have been under 100 both days,” Hildebrand said of Wainscott. “Mycah just missed a top 10 finish and I expect her to be there in the next couple weeks.”
Fellow Lady Panther Cat Wilson also showed improvement, shooting rounds of 122 and 129 to shave five strokes off her previous tournament score.
“Cat obviously had very little experience in Worland, and she did a great job of working her way around a new course,” Hildebrand said. “She is getting more confident each round and is hitting more and more good shots. She has great desire to keep improving which will pay dividends for her in the future.”
Before the start of classes on Wednesday, the PHS golf teams were in Lander Monday and today (Tuesday) for a seven-team tournament
“This is a great opportunity for our kids to get in one more tournament, because in the past few years we haven’t been able to compete the week we start school,” Hildebrand said.
After a week-and-a-half of practices, the PHS squads will then play at a tournament in Buffalo on Thursday, Aug. 30, and Friday, Aug. 31.