Flathead Graduate Mercer Leads at Women’s State Amateur Golf Tournament

Mercer leads amateur division by one stroke over Bozeman, Missoula collegiate golfers

Marcella Mercer, golfer for Flathead High School. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

GREAT FALLS — Marcella Mercer of Kalispell had the best score of the day Thursday at the Women’s State Amateur Golf Tournament, but Susan Haskins of Bozeman had the best shot of the day.

Maybe the best shot of the year.

Haskins, competing in the Mid-Amateur division (age 30 and over), sank a 216-yard 3-wood shot on the par-5 13th hole at Meadow Lark Country Club for a double eagle 2 on her way to a 1-over-par 73, giving her a big lead in her event.

“Never had a double eagle before,” Haskins said. “Never even seen one.”

Not many people have.

Haskins owns a 9-stroke advantage after one round of the 54-hole tourney.

The lowest score of the day was recorded by recent high school graduate Marcella Mercer of Kalispell, who birdied two of her final four holes for an even-par 72. She leads Kameryn Bayse of Bozeman and Kylie Esh of Missoula by one stroke. Both play college golf, Bayse for her mother at Montana State and Esh at UM.

Marcella Mercer competes at a golf tournament
Marcella Mercer of Flathead High School competes in the Kalispell Invitational at Buffalo Hill Golf Club in Kalispell on Sept 17, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Macee Greenwood of Corvallis is fourth at 75, followed by Kinsey Irvin of Lewistown at 76 and Addiley Llyod of Bozeman at 77. The amateur division has 30 golfers entered.

In the Senior division (55 and over), which attracted 60 players, Carol Van Valkenburg of Missoula grabbed the first-round lead after shooting an 80 in ideal, cooler morning conditions. She leads by two strokes over Deb Porcarelli of Great Falls and Liz Woeffle of Bigork.

Defending champion Jo Smith of Missoula is fourth at 83, followed by Lisa Forsberg of Billings and three-time champion Susan Court of Helena.

The seniors will play their second round Friday afternoon, when the temperature is forecast to reach 96 degrees.

The amateurs and mid-ams will play in the morning. The 54-hole event will conclude Saturday.

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