Kids Tee Off in Wolf Point For Inaugural Montana AAU Golf Tournament

Boys and girls ages 18 and younger from several communities in Montana played in the first annual Montana AAU Golf Tournament at Wolf Point’s Airport Golf Club Saturday, Aug. 18.


Local organizers of the tournament plan for it to become an annual Montana AAU event that would bring families from throughout the state to Wolf Point for a guaranteed two years. The tournament is assured for 2018 and 2019 to the Wolf Point and Poplar AAU clubs jointly with the possibility of Airport Golf Club becoming a permanent home for the tournament.

The tournament is licensed by Amateur Athletic Union of the U.S., and AAU membership cards were required for participation.

AAU Montana district golf chair Dave Bennetts of Butte represented Montana AAU at the tournament.

“This is the inaugural tournament for the Montana [AAU] district,” he said.
“It was awarded to the Wolf Point and Poplar AAU clubs at the 2018 [AAU] annual convention [in May],” Bennetts said. “This [Airport Golf Course] could become its home base.”

This being the first year, participation was lighter than organizers hope it will be for future tournaments. Participating golfers came from Wolf Point, Poplar, Culbertson, Sidney and Malta.

“We’re pleased with the turnout for short notice,” Bennetts said.

The divisions were [for boys and girls]: ages 12 and under, nine holes; 15 and under, 18 holes; and 18 and under, 18 holes.

Younger participants playing in the 12 and under division played nine holes with shortened fairway distances.

Medals were awarded for first through third places in each age division for each gender.
The Poplar AAU Club received the 2018 Inaugural AAU Golf Trophy for winning the most medals.

The results were: Logan Young, Poplar, first place, shot 101, boys 18 and under; Mia Frederick, Poplar, first, shot 105, girls 18 and under; Kaden Bishop, Malta, first, 111, boys 15 and under; Landon Young, Poplar, shot 49 (nine holes), boys 12 and under; Kadence Grandchamp, Wolf Point, 50, girls 12 and under; Amaiya Kirn, Sidney, 59, girls 12 and under; Kylie Bishop, Malta, 66, girls 12 and under; Aiyana Kirn, Culbertson, 66, girls 12 and under; Annaleigh Matejovsky, Wolf Point, 73, girls 12 and under.

“At least two 12 and under and we’ve got a few 14 and under. It will be an annual event,” Roosevelt Country Sheriff and Poplar AAU Club president Jason Frederick said before registrations began.

While the inaugural tourney was held the third Saturday in August, a move to spring is being considered as a means of attracting more people.

“We’re talking about moving it to May next year,” Frederick said. He cited high school golf programs ending at that time might spark interest from teens.

Frederick is the head wrestling coach at Poplar High School and a longtime AAU wrestling coach in Poplar.

“AAU is the avenue for kids to play sports. It’s not a fundraiser. It gives the kids an avenue to do sports,” tournament organizer Dana Matejovsky said.

He envisions the tournament remaining in Wolf Point and becoming a large Montana event.
Matejovsky also said the tournament could be opened to adult participation in the future.

“We’re looking at having an adult tournament next year as well as a kids’ tournament,” he said.
United States Golf Association rules apply to competition rules for AAU golf, including the tournament in Wolf Point.

Bennetts expressed appreciation to local tournament organizers Matejovsky and Brad Moran, Airport Golf Club and its board members for allowing the tournament to happen in Wolf Point.

The board members are: Howard Azure, Brock Copenhaver, Jared Fyfe, Jake Good Bear, Troy Halverson, Rick Kirn, Moran and Greg Norgaard.