Fitzgerald tames greens to take Beaverhead title

Greg Fitzgerald rolls a putt along the perilous greens at Beaverhead Golf Course on his way to winning the club championship on Sunday. Jess Alberi photo


Greg Fitzgerald tamed the Beaverhead Golf Course’s greens, playing harder and faster than ever, to win the club championship, while Ellie Stanisich earned the women’s club championship title in Dillon last weekend.

Played over 36 holes, 18 each on Saturday and Sunday, the tournament determined flights by players’ first day scores, and then Club Pro Casey Briggs set equally matched opponents against each other on Sunday.

Phil Thompson, Greg Fitzgerald, Lonnie Rand and Travis “Bubba” Lake all completed the first 18 holes with the exact same number of swings, 73, and were joined in the championship flight by Tedd Stanisich (74), Casey Duschanek (75), Jim Plutt (76), Frank Russell (76), Ken Peters (77), Steve DiGiovanna (77) and Bill Pawley (77).

Course Supervisor Jim Putt ensured most of those scores would spike on Sunday by placing each of the course’s nine pins in what may have been the hardest spots he could find after tending the greens in the preceding days to play exceptionally fast for the tournament.

“We had been double cutting them since Wednesday,” said junior course hand Justin Ferris, of the greens crew’s work on the small, tight greens. 

“We also watered them for the last time on Friday, so those two factors combined were the reason for the unexpected speed.”

The 62 golfers competing may have averaged about as many comments on the difficulty of putting on those greens they did putts during Sunday’s round. Even contenders in the championship flight were often forced to grimace their way through three putts to sneak the ball into the hole.

“Even the gimme three-to-four footers were not guarantees today,” said Fitzgerald, who serves as Parkview Elementary School principal.

“They made the difference out there. That and the fact that I had my master caddie along with me.”

Fitzgerald’s son Jace tended his bag, helping his dad register the lowest scores on both days—a 73 on Saturday followed by a 78 on Sunday—for a combined 151 and bragging rights for the year.

“This is my third year playing in the tournament,” commented Fitzgerald, the Dillon Cubs assistant coach. “This year, I got some new irons and was able to get in around 30 rounds before we teed it up Saturday.”

Two young guns tied for second, as Casey Duschanek and Travis “Bubba” Lake both shot 154 for the weekend.

They were followed by Phil Thompson, who managed a number of birdies on his way to a 155.  

In the women’s championship flight, Ellie Stanisich easily earned top honors by posting an 81 on Saturday and a 92 on Sunday.

Jeff Edwards traded in his basketball shoes for spikes to win the men’s first flight by shooting a consistent 78 and 79 for a total of 157.

Fred Town fought back from one stroke down to claim first in the second flight with a 174.

One of the few players who managed to lower his score from Saturday to Sunday, John Schuler shot a 91 and 83 to claim top prize in the third flight.  

Bob Pebbles boarded a two-day combined score of 185 to stay a stroke ahead of his competition and win the fourth flight.

In the fifth and last fight of the tourney, Zack McDougal held onto his first round lead and walked away as flight winner with a 206.

2013 Beaverhead Golf Course Club Championship

Men’s championship flight: Greg Fitzgerald (men’s club champion) 73-82=151; Travis “Bubba” Lake (tied for second) 73-81=154 and Casey Duschanek (tied for second) 75-79=154; Phil Thompson (fourth) 73-82=155.

Women’s championship flight: Ellie Stanisich (women’s club champion) 81-92=173; Lyndee Fogel (second place) 92-92=188; Shelly McDonald (third) 99-113=212; Laurie Russell (fourth) 120-109=229.

Men’s first flight: Jeff Edwards (first place) 78-79=157; Tanner Lagge (second) 78-81=159; Jim Huber (third) 79-84=163; Mike Hughes (fourth) 79-86=165;

Men’s second flight: Fred Town (first place) 87-87=174; Ken Smith (second) 87-88=175; Steve O’Neil (third) 86-90=176; Charles Wharton (fourth) 86-92=178.

Men’s third flight: John Schuler (first place) 91-83=174; Mike Tyler (tied for second) 91-93=184; Ed Kavran (tied for second) 93-91=184; Dan Snellman (fourth) 91-94=185.

Men’s fourth flight: Bob Pebbles (first place) 95-90=185; Greg Lemelin (tied for second) 97-92=189; Josh Taylor (tied for second) 97-92=189; Mark Boka (fourth) 97-98=195.

Men’s fifth flight: Zack McDougal (first place) 105-101=206; Dave Hamilton (second) 106-102=208; John Schuyler (third) 106-104=210; Nick Stanisich (fourth) 108-106=214.