‘The Best Player in the State’

Glacier grad Tyler Avery redeems a runner-up finish in Class AA golf tournament last fall with his second victory at State Juniors Championship

By Micah Drew
Tyler Avery of Glacier High School. Best of Preps. Fall 2022 Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

At the end of his last round of high school golf last fall, Tyler Avery juggled his emotions after missing a putt during a playoff for the Class AA championships. On one hand, he had played one of the best rounds of his high school career. On the other, he came within inches of winning.

That wasn’t the case on June 20 when Avery won the Montana State Juniors golf championships. A two-putt birdie gave the Glacier High School graduate a two-day total of 134 — 10-under par and one stroke up on Missoula’s Kade McDonough, the 2020 Class AA state champion.

“State Juniors has a different feel than the high school state tournament just because all the focus is individual,” Avery said. “For me, it’s always been if you win at State Juniors, you’re the best player in the state. You’re golfing against the best kids from Montana.”

For his entire high school career Avery has been a star on the links. He finished third in the Class AA state tournament as a freshman, followed by two more top-10 finishes and his runner-up finale as a senior.

Glacier High School golfer Tyler Avery at practice at Northern Pines Golf Club on Sept. 27, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

In the statewide junior tournament, Avery won the 2020 title, was sixth in 2021 and was 17th last season. He originally wasn’t planning to return for one last attempt at medalist honors against the state’s top young golfers, but had some friends convince him it would be worth it. A few days before the tournament, Avery decided to give it one more shot.

“I hadn’t put much thought into it and going into the tournament stress-free was really important to me. I just wanted to let my game speak for itself,” Avery said. “I felt really confident with the course and with the game.”

Avery shot six under the first day, and four under the second. He only had one bogey in 36 holes of golf.

Butte’s Jack Prigge, who won the high school playoff against Avery back in September, ended up tied for fifth with Helena Capitol graduate Joe McGreevey. Both Avery and McGreevey will be attending Montana Tech University in Butte next year, where they will be teammates as well as roommates. Avery said he was proud of the way McGreevey, and all his competitors, played, giving a final sense of closure to this chapter in his career.

“This was a super great way to officially end my junior golf career,” Avery said. “I’m super excited to be at the next level now and get pushed more than I have been. My teammates are all great guys, and all Montana guys, and I’m excited to see what we can do in the Frontier Conference.”

Full results from the Montana State Junior golf championship can be viewed here.

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