LAUREL – High school golfers are staring down their state tournaments this weekend. While the Class AA tournament opens Thursday in Butte, Class A teams tee off in Hamilton starting Friday.
That’s where Laurel’s boys will try to repeat. After capturing last year’s state team title, coach Jim O’Neil believes this year’s squad fields four players with a shot at medalist honors. His son Paul just took the divisional title and appreciates the role of his team entering on top.
“Yeah, I’d much rather be the favorite than the underdog,” said Paul. “We feel we’re the best team and with that attitude, I think we’ll just go in and play our best golf.”
Like father, like son when it comes to the attitude of being Class A’s top golf target.
“It’s a good thing,” Jim O’Neil said. “There’s a reason underdogs are underdogs. They haven’t performed as well as the team they’re playing. So, I’d rather be the favorite, if I had to choose.”
Laurel’s girls would love to join the boys as state champs.
They’re young but haven’t lost to a Class A team all season. Haylee Adams won last week’s divisional title while twin sister Hannah place second right behind her.
“It would mean a lot, especially since we have one senior on our team that I’ve know for a little while,” said Haylee Adams. “I think it would be really incredible if I got to see her win a state title.”
Sister Hannah agreed, then added another perspective.
“It would mean a lot,” said Hannah. “The boys are getting a lot of attention for what they’re doing and we haven’t won in a while. We really do want to go out there and give it everything to win state.”