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EMMERICH LEADS KAT GOLFERS AT FLATFISH
August 30, 2011Columbia Falls High School
Glacier's Ballard leads Flatfish Invitational
Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 2:00 am
An improved swing, a new outlook and better scores ... golf is suddenly a lot more enjoyable for Shelby Ballard.
The Glacier senior shot a 9-over 81 on Monday on the South Course at Whitefish Lake Golf Club for the opening round lead in the annual Flatfish Invitational golf tournament.
"I made a lot of putts," Ballard said.
"I also had a couple birdies ... that really helped me, too."
Ballard started with a bogey on the par 4, 354-yard first hole, but bounced back with a nice birdie on the par 4, 332-yard second hole.
"Fifteen feet," she said of her birdie putt.
"It crawled in."
Even Ballard's nemesis - the difficult par 5, 404-yard sixth hole - was not as monsterlike as in her previous rounds. She walked off that green with a triple bogey, but she has left that hole many times with even higher scores.
"You have to get over the water," she said.
"It's a long par 5."
Ballard was in the water off the tee on the sixth hole.
She did make the turn with a 43 and closed with an impressive 1-under 38 on the back nine.
"I'm excited for tomorrow," Ballard said of the final 18, which will be played at Big Mountain Golf Club, a links-style course.
The boys finish tournament play today on the South Course. The boys played Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course on Monday.
Ballard said she plans to sleep "very well" the night before her final round.
That might be a challenge as Ballard has just a two-shot lead on Mari Wolverton of Missoula Sentinel.
"I haven't," Ballard said of leading, or winning, a high school tournament.
"It's amazing, pretty good," she said of being in front.
Would she rather be two shots behind heading into the final round?
"Not really," she said.
"I'm just more confident."
Ballard's play took a dramatic turn for the good on Aug. 6. That's when she starting taking lessons from Dave Schultz, an independent golf professional at Village Greens Golf Course.
Schultz saw Ballard play at the 4th of July Tournament at Whitefish Lake this summer, then at another outing. He said he could help her.
"He completely changed my swing," Ballard said.
"I wanted all the help possible.
"It clicked really well."
Ballard shot 86-88-174 to finish second at the season-opening Missoula Invitational Aug. 16-17. That helped the Glacier girls win their first invitational.
On Aug. 22-23 in Great Falls, Ballard shot 87-91-178. She missed the top 10 by just three strokes.
An 81 is her best competitive prep round. The rest of the time she's been a mid 90s golfer.
At the 4th of July Tournament this summer on the South Course, she shot 102, 101 and 99.
"Once I got the hang of the new swing, I knew I could do it," Ballard said.
"It made me believe in myself."
Ballard said she's now striking the ball with authority and is longer off the tees.
"My short game is so much better," she added.
"My putting, chipping, up and down."
The only thing she did not change was her putting style.
"I kept that," she said.
"I was a good putter before."
NOTE: Boys results from Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course were not available.
At Whitefish Lake Golf Club
Yardage - 5,480
Glacier 368, Polson 389, Helena High 391, Helena Capital 412, Whitefish 433, Browning 462, Missoula Big Sky 418, Flathead 437, Columbia Falls 496, Whitefish JV 497
Shelby Ballard, Glacier 81
Mari Wolverton, Sentinel 83
Tori McHugh, Helena High 88
Lindsey Trent, Hellgate 88
Hannah Davis, Glacier 93
Kaitlyn Skoog, Capital 94
Nicole Clairmont, Polson 95
Jullian Walsh, Big Sky 95
Erin Tabish, Whitefish 95
Kasey Hoerning, Capital 95
MISSOULA BIG SKY (418) - Jillian Walsh 95, Katelyn Cotner 96, Kaylyn Brown 114, Sedona Gandin 117, Abbey Hege 113
COLUMBIA FALLS (496) - Morgan Love 117, Maggie Panasuk 128, McKenna Emmerich 113, Rachel Hagen 138, MacKenzie DeReu 147
BROWNING - (462) - Ashton Smith 97, Jessica Magee 129, Angie Iron Pipe 112, Cyan Old Chief 124
GLACIER (368) - Shelby Ballard 81, Hannah Davis 93, Kaydee Aurich 96, Shea Stevens 98, Mallory Skin 99
FLATHEAD (437) - Jourdan McFarland 105, Geneva Zoltek 122, Mackenzie Williams 100, Michaela Murer 120, Morgan Knutson 112
HELENA HIGH (391) - Tori McHugh 88, Chantelle Cailushas 104, Dani Prebil 103, Darcy Ryan 96, Claire Inman 128
POLSON (389) - Anna DiGiallonardo 110, Jaylin Kenney 98, Sequoia Bogrow 97, Katharina Medland 99, Nicole Clairmont 95
WHITEFISH - (433) - Erin Tabish 95, Klaire Taylor 108, Haley Craven 117, Daley Powell 113, Sage Jackson 136
HELENA CAPITAL (412) - Kasey Hoerning 95, Marieh Adsen 96, Kaitlyn Skoog 94, Ashley Pecora 127
MISSOULA HELLGATE - Lindsey Trent 88, Katie Wills 110, Kate Michell 125
MISSOULA SENTINEL - Mari Wolverton 83
HAMILTON - Alyssa Heath 114, Meg Maclean 107
LIBBY - Paige Bothman 131, Erin Jager 139
GLACIER JV - Cynthia Gilbertson 142
FLATHEAD JV - Cassidy Smith 112, Aryn Phillips 120