(MSGA Media Release)
Golfers from around Montana have descended on the Electric City for the 102nd Montana State Amateur. Great Falls’ Meadow Lark Country Club is playing host to the event for the second time in five years (2015). Playing at 6,589 yards, competitors were tested by strong winds and fast greens at the historic course.
After day one, Joey Moore of Billings holds a one-stroke advantage over defending champion Ryggs Johnston of Libby. Moore, who joined the San Diego State Aztec golf program this past fall started play on the back nine and put together a bogey free side of 34 (-2) with birdies on holes 16 and 17. Moore completed a bogey-free round as he made eagle on hole 3 and added birdies on holes seven and nine for a round of 66 (-6).
Johnston, the reigning State Amateur Champion and soon-to-be Arizona State Sun Devil also started play on the back side and came out in fine fashion in defense of his title. Johnston birdied the 11th and then strung together five consecutive birdies on holes 14-18 to close out the back nine with a six-under-par 30. Johnston turned to the front side and cooled off with bogeys on holes one, three and four. He rebounded with birdies on holes seven and nine for a one-over-par 37 and a round of 67 (-5), one back of Moore.
In all, five players broke par. Payton Taylor of Hamilton, Liam Clancy of Laurel and Ross Bartell of Great Falls are tied for third at 71 (-1). Taylor made five birdies and four bogeys, Clancy made three birdies, eagled hole 15 and had four birdies and the hometown Bartell made four birdies and three bogeys.
Three players are tied in sixth place: Colton Hudson and Garrett Woodin of Billings and Brady Kirkeby of Helena all shot even-par 72. Rounding out the top 10 are Payton Stott and Marcus Drange who are tied for ninth at 73 (+1).