Riverton's Watson loses playoff at regional golfSep 13, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Shelby Watson is peaking at exactly the right time.
With the Class 3-A state tournament in Douglas on Thursday and Friday this week, the Lady Wolverine senior posted the best result of her high-school career at the Class 3-A West regional championships last week in Cody.
Watson fired an 81-88-149 to tie with Lander's two-time defending Class 3-A state champion, Macy Jacobson for the lead after 36 holes, requiring a sudden-death playoff to determine a winner.
So, both golfers teed it up and let it fly on the No. 1 of the Olive Glenn Golf Course, a par-4, 354-yard hole with a pair of bunkers guarding the front sides of the green.
Watson could manage only a bogey, while Jacobson made par and was crowned champion.
However, the outcome certainly didn't dampen Watson's accomplishments, said Riverton head coach Lars Flanagan.
"Shelby has a lot of composure and is a smart, mature young lady," he said. "She handles her shots well and that's a huge asset in the game of golf."
According to Flanagan, the fact Watson and Jacobson are friends off the course made it that much more special on the fairways, as the pair battled for a conference title.
"It was a comfortable setting for both," said Flanagan. "Also, Macy's a very nice golfer -- they have a great relationship."
Lander stole the show on both sides of the competition, as Jaren Calkins won the boys individual title with a 73-74-147, good for a two-shot victory over teammate Dominic Yates, who posted a 75-74-149.
The Tigers also won both the boys and girls team championships.
Back on the girls' side, the Lady Wolverines finished tied with Cody for third with a score of 304-289-593.
Riverton finishers included Katie Davis (117-96-213), Julia Masson (106-105-211), Sierra Brubaker (125-119-244) and Jade Martinez (122-111-233).
Flanagan was pleased with how his squad performed in Saturday's final round.
"Our girls all played really well the second day," said Flanagan. "They had a great mentality."
As far as Watson's title hopes in Douglas, Flanagan knows she'll leave her best on the course in her last high-school tournament, he said.
"It's been an eventful week for Shelby," said Flanagan of Watson, who was also crowned homecoming queen. "If she plays to the best of her ability, she'll be able to walk off the course proud."
Despite the fact the Riverton boys compete in Class 4-A, with their state tournament in Evanston on Monday and Tuesday, the Wolverines competed at Cody, using the event as a dress rehearsal for when they defend their state title next week.
Jorden James shot a 76-75-151, which would have been good enough for third place if Big Red had actually been competing.
Flanagan expects James to pull everything out of his bag in search of victory, he said.
"Jorden's one in a group who will compete," said Flanagan. "The conditions are going to be tough and the players won't have a practice round, but he's worked very hard to be competitive."