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Kinsey Irvin wins Hardrocker Invite; MSU Billings men place 2nd

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Posted at 7:25 AM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 12:15:49-04

(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Kinsey Irvin claimed her first collegiate title on Tuesday afternoon, as the Montana State University Billings senior won medalist honors at the South Dakota School of Mines Hardrocker Invitational held at the Golf Club at Red Rock.

Irvin, who was tied for second after shooting a 79 on Monday, matched her career single-round low with a 76 on Tuesday and set a personal-best for a two-round total with her winning score of 155. Irvin held of Tuesday Epperson of Westminster College, who was within a single stroke on her 18th and final hole but finished two back with a 157.

Irvin had nothing worse than a bogey on her scorecard on Tuesday, as she started with a birdie on the par-4, 329-yard first hole and never looked back. Irvin finished the front-nine with six straight pars, and added a birdie on the par-4, 340-yard 13th hole to help solidify her victory.

Irvin is the sixth player in MSUB history to win a tournament, and the first since Bailee Dexter won the Yellowjacket Spring Invitational on April 10, 2018. The field of 45 players is tied for the third-most among the 10 total tournament wins recorded by Yellowjacket players.

The MSUB women took third place overall, and improved by seven strokes between rounds for a final score of 665 (336-329).

Tierney Messmer took fifth place at the tournament, finishing with a two-round score of 160 (81-79). The senior started her day with four straight pars, before making her lone birdie on the par-5, 489-yard ninth hole to card a 2-over-par 38 on the front.

Senior Jalen Wagner and sophomore Brennan Larson each tied for 14th place, with two-round totals of 175. Larson was the team’s most improved player, cutting off five strokes from her first-round 90 to finish the event with a collegiate best score of 85. Wagner meanwhile wrapped up the event with an 89 on Tuesday after shooting an 86 on Monday.

Freshman Meilyn Armstrong also displayed improvement on Tuesday, cutting her score down by five strokes and finishing with a 187 (96-91) to tie for 27th place.

Chadron State College claimed the team title, with a two-round score of 658 (326-332) to hold off second-place Westminster by three strokes.

Irvin was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…she matched her score of 76 for her collegiate low, which she previously achieved on two occasions including last week at the Saint Martin’s Invitational…Irvin bested her collegiate two-round mark of 157 – also set last week – by two strokes.

MSUB's men placed second with a team score of 297 in Round 3 and took second among the field of 10 teams with a three-round total of 894 (297-300-297).

Riley Lawrence was MSUB’s top finisher on the par-72, 6,896-yard course, as he took fourth with a three-round total of 3-over-par 219 (75-72-72). Lawrence offset three bogeys on Tuesday by carding three birdies and making par on his other 12 holes. The senior finished the tournament on a hot streak, carding three birdies and playing at 3-under-par over his final 11 holes. Overall Lawrence had eight birdies throughout the three-round event.

“The course was playing tougher than we expected,” said Lawrence. “I gave myself a tough start but then pulled it together. I felt I played a solid tournament, but also left a lot of strokes out there.”

Liam Clancy made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 205-yard eighth hole in what proved to be the individual highlight of the tournament. The junior transfer shot a 2-over-par 74 on Tuesday and took seventh place overall with a three-round total of 224 (74-76-74). Like Lawrence, Clancy tore through his final 10 holes playing them at 3-under-par to close the tournament. Clancy had four birdies on Tuesday and had a team-high nine birdies total.

Senior Caleb Trost was one stroke behind Clancy, tying for eighth place with a score of 225 (73-78-74). Trost wrapped up his performance with three birdies, including one on his final hole – the par-3, 155-yard 12th. Trost had seven total birdies in the tournament.

Blake Finn kicked off his final round with a birdie on the par-5, 603-yard 14th hole, and made two more on his way to a 77 on Tuesday. Finn finished in a tie for 14th place, with a three-round total of 231 (75-79-77).

Kevin Kolb tied for 18th place, with a three-round score of 233 (79-74-80). After a tough start on Tuesday, Kolb played his final 12 holes at even-par including a 1-over-par 37 on the front nine and a birdie on his final hole of the event – the par-4, 426-yard 11th hole.

Ben Laffen of Minnesota State Mankato won the tournament and was the lone player under par with a three-round score of 215 (70-72-73). Westminster College took home the team title, shooting a tournament-low 6-under-par 282 on Tuesday to overtake the Yellowjackets with a three-round total of 889 (299-308-282).

Lawrence was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Day…his previous single-round low as a Yellowjacket was 74 and his previous three-round total at MSUB was 228…Clancy’s hole-in-one was the first by a Yellowjacket during tournament play since Scott Larson recorded an ace on the first swing of his collegiate career on Sept. 14, 2015.

MSUB heads to the West Coast this weekend for the Saint Martin’s Invitational running Friday and Saturday at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. The ‘Jackets then face a quick turnaround, with the Western Washington Invitational following next Monday and Tuesday at Loomis Trail Golf Course in Blaine, Wash. Members of the Yellowjacket roster who are not traveling will compete locally at the Beartooth Invitational at Laurel Golf Club next Monday and Tuesday as well. Live coverage for the upcoming events can be found online here. []

South Dakota Mines Hardrocker Invitational
Final Men's Results – September 21, 2021
The Golf Club at Red Rock – Rapid City, South Dakota

Team – 1. Westminster College, 889 (299-308-282); 2. MSU Billings, 894 (297-300-297). Individuals – 1. Ben Laffen, MSU-Mankato, 215 (70-72-73); 4. Riley Lawrence, MSUB, 219 (75-72-72); 7. Liam Clancy, MSUB, 224 (74-76-74); T8. Caleb Trost, MSUB, 225 (73-78-74); T14. Blake Finn, MSUB, 231 (75-79-77); T18. Kevin Kolb, MSUB, 233 (79-74-80).

Final Women's Results – September 21, 2021
The Golf Club at Red Rock – Rapid City, South Dakota

Team – 1. Chadron State College, 658 (326-332); 3. MSU Billings, 665 (336-329). Individuals – 1. Kinsey Irvin, MSUB, 155 (79-76); 5. Tierney Messmer, MSUB, 160 (81-79); T14. Brennan Larson, MSUB, 175 (90-85); T14. Jalen Wagner, MSUB, 175 (86-89); T27. Meilyn Armstrong, MSUB, 187 (96-91).