HAMILTON — A brief mix-up on the final leaderboard of the boys Florence-Darby golf tournament at the Hamilton Golf Club showed Loyola Sacred Heart's Reed Noyd with a meet-leading 79.

The honest senior, though, told the officials they had misreported his score. He actually had an 81.

"We're not too worried about our overall scores this time of year, anyway," Noyd said Thursday. "I'm just happy the team is doing well."

Indeed, it was Noyd's teammate — and defending Class B state golf champion — Bucky Crippen who was the beneficiary of the score correction. With Noyd's score at 81, Crippen's 80 became the best score of the day, and the senior clinched the win in essentially each of the 12 school's first competitive round of golf of the spring season.

"It was our first 18 holes of the year. We've only been out on the driving range, so it was just good experience to start the year," Crippen said.

The driving-range practice paid off for Crippen on hole No. 16, as the Loyola golfer drove the green on the 363-yard par 4. He missed his eagle putt, but tapped in for birdie.

Darby coach Mark Snavely, who was helping keep score in the lead group, joked with Crippen that the 3 broke his streak of 4s.

Snavely's boys also had a good day on the links, as brother-duo Ryder Conner shot an 83 and Ryley Conner finished with a 92. Ryder, a freshman, tied Loyola's Noyd for second place and the Darby boys were the best of the Class C schools Thursday with a team score of 275.

"It wasn't bad for the first 18, but I know they got better in 'em," said Snavely, who has high hopes for his Tigers this season. "We've got some good kids and we're gonna shoot for state."

Ryley, a sophomore who is Darby's top returner from the State C tournament last year, most likely will be lower going forward, too. He had a tough 18th hole and penciled in an 8 on the scorecard's last frame.

"I OB'd into the hazard after an OB," Ryley said with a bit of a frustrated smirk. "I was just five over coming into the last hole."

Still, the future is bright for the underclassman, who fell in a chip-off with Florence's Gavin Zaluski for 10th place.

Not to mention it was Ryley's — and most everybody else's — first round of competitive golf this spring.

Both the Darby boys and Florence boys have been relegated to a golf simulator as lingering snow and wet weather have kept area courses from getting a jump on the spring season.

Anaconda coach Mark Torney said his course, the Anaconda Country Club, still hasn't opened due to snow and frost.

Florence coach Jason Lehtola, who's also the golf pro at Whitetail Golf Course in Stevensville, said his course is in similar straits, though the course plans on opening Friday. 

That means his team can finally get some course time.

"For the most part, this is their first round of the year, so I'm pretty impressed with their scores," Lehtola said of his squad after Thursday's 18 holes. "For their first tournament out it was a success."

Florence's Caden Plasmier finished the day with a team-best 88 while JP Briney and Gavin Zaluski finished with a 91 and 92, respectively.

And from here, they have a score in the books to beat.

"They'll get a little more time under their belts, hit some balls and they'll get better," Lehtola said. "We're excited to get them out on the course and get them some touch and some feel. Everybody's short game is off — we haven't been chipping or putting — but they're hitting it OK."

On the girls' side, Loyola's Katie Fagg hit the ball the best, winning the meet with a 6-over par 78. Her teammate, Isadora Tomazeli, took second with an 85. Bigfork's Carly Stodghill and Isabella Santistevan placed third and fourth, respectively, to help the Valkyries shoot a qualifying team score to take the team title. Florence's Annie Alexander rounded out the top 5 with a 99.

Kyle Hansen covers Griz men's basketball and more for the Missoulian and 406mtsports.com. Email him at kyle.hansen@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @khansen406

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