Flathead’s Mercer Second, Wynne Seventh at State Golf Tournament

Glacier freshman Tyler Avery surges to third in boys field

Flathead junior Marcella Mercer tied for second place and a pair of Kalispell underclassmen joined her with all-state finishes despite unfriendly weather conditions at the Class AA State Golf Tournament at Meadowlark Country Club in Great Falls on Oct. 7 and 8.

Mercer was one of only two girls to break 80 on day one of the tournament and entered Tuesday’s final round four strokes behind Billings West senior Carrie Carpenter. Mercer and Carpenter both finished in a snowstorm that arrived mid-afternoon on the final day, and Carpenter ended up pulling away to win the event by 13 strokes with identical rounds of 75. Mercer shot an 84 on day two to finish 79-84—163, tied with Bozeman’s Cooper Knarr (86-78—163). Mercer tied for fifth at the 2018 state tournament.

Flathead sophomore Jillian Wynne also finished in an all-state position, tying for seventh with a gritty final round to score 89-86—175. It is Wynne’s first all-state placement after she finished tied for 31st a year ago. The Bravettes were seventh as a team.

Abi Manger (100-101—201) was Glacier’s top finisher in the girls event, tying for 28th. The Wolfpack were eighth in the team standings.

In the boys tourney, Glacier freshman Tyler Avery delivered a brilliant final round to climb all the way to third place in his first state appearance. Avery was in ninth after a first-round 84 before carding a 74 in more challenging conditions on Tuesday to leapfrog all but the tournament’s top two, Bozeman’s Justus and Jordan Verge. The freshman’s final round was part of a day two surge for the Wolfpack, who trimmed 28 strokes off their first-round total to finish fifth as a team, just six strokes behind second-place Missoula Sentinel. Glacier’s Keaton Cassidy (97-79—176) had a huge day two turnaround to finish 23rd, and was followed by teammates Will Salonen (87-92—176), Sam Manaker (94-88—182) and Coby Kunda (96-96—192).

Flathead junior Ezra Epperly (86-89—175) was the Braves’ top performer, ending up in 22nd place. Sophomore Joston Cripe (91-93—184) was next for Flathead.