Joey Moore had numbers in mind. Low numbers. Record numbers even. And he hit one.
Moore, a junior from Billings West, shot a 6-under 66 on Friday in the second round of the Class AA state golf championships and took home the title in record fashion at Lake Hills Golf Club.
The 6-under followed up a 4-under in Thursday’s first round and gave Moore a two-round score of 134, the AA state record.
“That was the goal. I wanted to get that,” he said. “That’s, I guess, what kept me on the accelerator.”
Moore said he actually was shooting for the all-class state record of 131, which was set in the spring by Libby freshman Ryggs Johnston at Pryor Creek Golf Club in Huntley.
The state championship and AA record was a nice consolation prize for Moore, who placed second the past two seasons. His 10-under score also helped lead the West boys to a team title, their fourth in a row and fifth in six seasons.
Meggie Delaney, meanwhile, made her first-round lead hold up on the girls side and took home what she called an “unexpected” state championship.
The senior from Bozeman shot an 82 in the second round, following her personal-best 76 on Thursday. She also helped the Hawks to a team title with a AA record 641.
“I was so happy and so pleased. My coaches were so excited, too,” Delaney said. “It’s very unexpected. My coaches just said to come out and get your personal record.”
Delaney’s previous best round was an 81. She said she shot an 85 at Lake Hills earlier this season.
“The first hole was definitely very nerve-wracking, but after that it kind of set in that it was just another round of golf,” said Delaney, who has no plans to play collegiately. “I just had to do my best, and I guess I came out here and got it.”
While unexpected for Delaney, a state title for Moore was no surprise.
He had been the runner-up the past two seasons, leading after the first round two years ago as a freshman before losing by a stroke.
The final-round 66 made certain no one was going to catch him. Instead it gave him the chance to chase numbers. Larry Iverson of Kalispell Glacier had the AA record of 136 set in 2008.
Moore finished 10 shots ahead of Missoula Sentinel’s Sean Ramsbacher, who had two rounds of 72. West’s Caleb Trost was third, Butte’s Houston Green fourth and Billings Senior’s Braxton Humphrey and Billings Skyview’s Logan Martin tied for fifth.
“It was a big sigh of relief,” Moore said. “I got off the last green and Marcus (Drange, West’s coach) told me I could breathe.
“The last couple years have been motivation. I still have to keep the motivation up, but it feels like the work's paid off for once. It feels good. … It’s something I imagined when I was 10.”
West’s boys shot a two-round score of 589, the fourth-best team score in AA history. The Golden Bears set the state record 580 last season.
The fourth consecutive title came in Drange’s first year as coach at West. He was a member of the school’s 2008 state title team and coached last season at Skyview.
“I wanted this for them,” said Drange, whose team included seniors Trost, Parker Jones and Riley Kaercher. “Obviously, I’m happy to be back, and it’s a great way to start for me personally. But I’m proud of the guys. They went out and earned it, and they’re going to soak it up.”
Bozeman’s girls score was 106 strokes better than Helena and Missoula Sentinel, which shared second place. Billings West’s girls would have finished second but were disqualified because of a practice-round violation.
The record 641 for the Hawks was 16 shots better than their 2011 team, which won the program’s last title.
Bozeman’s Kameryn Basye and Annika Danenhauer, along with Helena’s Weslee Nehl, shared second place. The trio finished three shots behind Delaney. Bozeman’s Hannah Rosanova was another shot back and finished fifth.