Erika Cook picks up where she left off in Powell Invite

Ryan Fitzmaurice
Erika Cook’s quest for a fourth consecutive state individual title has begun with a first-place finish at the Powell Invitational.

The Lovell High School golf team hit the links for the first time this year, as the team competed at the Powell Golf Course on August 10 and 11. 

Cook led all competitors on both days, shooting a 72 on Thursday and a 73 on Friday. Second-place female finisher, Shelbi Gardner from Sheridan, fell 13 strokes behind her at a total of 158 for both days. First-place male finisher, Garrett Spielman of Sheridan, also fell behind her by two strokes with a final count of 147.

“Erika played steady golf,” head coach Dane Robertson said. “She shot 72-73 to capture first place by quite a few strokes. She’s about as steady as they come. She started the day off with a double bogey on her first hole, but climbed her way back to even par at the turn.”

Max Cooley was the second highest finisher for the Lovell Bulldogs, claiming 12th among male competitors, shooting a 77 on the first day of competition and an 87 on the second day for a total of 164 strokes. 

Madison Wolvington placed 19th in the girls division, shooting a 214 total for both days. 

Coby Henderson placed 25th among boy golfers with a score of 175 for both days. Brandon Burns placed 29th with a score of 176. Parker Anderson placed 33rd with a stroke count of 180. Matthew Allen tied for 41st place out of 67 golfers with a final score of 190. 

“Powell seemed to be a tale of two days for quite a few of our golfers. We mostly shot better on the first day,” Robertson said.  “Max fired a 77 on day  one, which was an excellent start to his season. It usually seems that after the first day of walking a full 18 holes carrying their bags the kids lose their legs a tad on day  two of the opening weekend. We struggled to find our swings on Friday and the greens were decidedly adept at keeping our golf ball away from the hole.”

Despite the uneven play, Robertson said the meet was a promising start to the season for the Lovell golfers, who were counting on more cooperative greens in the Cody meet, which began on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and wrapped up on Wednesday. 

Two new female golfers were hitting the links for the Lovell golf team in Cody, with Madalyn McCollam and Kenley Wilson beginning their season at the invite. 

“I feel confident as we head into the rest of the season,” Robertson said.

Following the Cody invite, the team will continue their season on August 21 and 22 in the Cats and Dogs Invitational, a golf tournament that will feature both Thermopolis and Lovell’s golf courses.