DAYTON — Jaren Fritz needed to make up some ground Tuesday at Kendrick Golf Course if he wanted to bring home a 2A state championship. The Tongue River High School golfer shot a 94 in Monday’s opening round, placing him fourth and a distant 11 strokes behind the leader.
So Fritz came out and torched the course in round two, firing an 87, the top score on the day by two strokes. As Fritz’s score plummeted, his opponents faltered, leaving the door open for what seemed like an insurmountable comeback.
Moorcroft’s Caleb Connally followed his first-round 83 with a 107. Lovell’s Brenen Hinckley went 85-96, and teammate Kyle Wolvington went 87-95.
Suddenly, Fritz was at the top of the leaderboard.
Fritz finished with a 181. But he was still tied with Hinckley, so he needed his momentum to carry him through some playoff golf. Two extra holes later, Fritz claimed the title of state champion.
Along with Fritz’s big day, his Tongue River teammate, Nick Summers, was going low to help the Eagles team score. Summers followed his opening-round 93 with an 89 Tuesday — second best on the day behind Fritz — to finish with a 182, tied for third. Fritz and Summers were the only two golfers to break 90 Tuesday.
Justice Rees finished with a 220; Theron Kalasinsky shot a 229; and Kade Mcmeans shot a 250.
The Eagles finished with a 405-407—812 to take third place as a team. Lovell won the tournament with an 805, and Tongue River finished just one stroke behind second-place Kemmerer (811).
Big Horn finished with an 863 as a team to take sixth. The Rams were led by Elijah Phillips, who shot rounds of 99 and 107 to finish with a 14th-place 206. Sam Walker shot a 210, and Dalton Nelson finished with 211.
Big Horn’s Koen Gore utilized her consistency on the course, shooting 101-102 to finish at 203, tied with Moorcroft’s Alison Meredith for third place. Meredith soared up the leaderboard on day two thanks to a round-best 94.
Moorcroft’s Rachel Sams held on to win the girls title with a 192, and Sundance-Hulett’s Grace Anderson shot a 195 for second place.
Tongue River’s Sadie Koltiska had two solid days at the state tournament. After an opening-round 108, she finished at 110 Tuesday for a sixth-place score of 218. Fellow Lady Eagle Katelyn Abbott just missed the top 10, shooting a 237 for 11th place.
The Lady Eagles finished with a team score of 708 and also utilized some extra golf to break a tie. Tongue River tied with Moorcroft — which shot a 342 Tuesday to put it in contention — but the Lady Eagles won the playoff after three holes to take second place.
Wright, thanks to a 328 Monday, held on to win the team title with a 673.