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Residents of Billings participate in the yearly St. Patrick’s Day Pub Golf Tournament



Billings, Montana — While basketball dominates the news in March, St. Patrick’s Day is a tradition-rich event. Every year, more people attend a tournament in Billings that begins on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.

In Montana, March is not usually the best month to head outside and play golf. But the Back 9 starts an indoor golf competition that attracts players of all skill levels during the annual St. Patty’s Pub Golf Championship.

Paul Keneally, a golf enthusiast and five-time competitor in the championship, never misses it.

“St. Patrick’s Day is one of our favorite holidays and when we found this five years ago, we decided this was going to be our St. Patrick’s Day tradition from now on,” said Keneally on Saturday.

Participants visit eight different bars across Billings throughout the full-day event. Five participants make up each team, and one of them serves as the designated driver as they visit the eight participating establishments in the Billings area. Moreover, prizes are given to the top three teams and the finest team attire.

Since his debut, Keneally has experienced his fair share of success.

“We actually did win it the first year we did it. And every year since we’ve been pretty close or at least in the top five,” Keneally added.

Keneally is an avid golfer who said, “probably my passion in life is golf.”

So it only makes sense that he looks forward to it every year. And Terra Pierce, owner of The Den and Back 9, is delighted to host it each year as well.

“We’ve been doing it here at the Den for probably 11 or 12 years. We’ve always been the starting point, and we’re just super excited that now we have the Back 9 and it’s kind of become the perfect fit for all the golfers. They get to come here in the morning, they get to experience the virtual golf in the Back 9 and then we send them on their way to the next stop,” said Pierce.

29 teams battled it out for the top three spots this year. And Keneally said that the competition is always fierce as he and his crew tried to secure another top finish.

“Whoever gets a hot putter can really ruin your day if you’re trying to go for the win. So, anybody can, I think, win this thing. That’s what makes it fun because anyone has a chance to win it,” added Keneally.

But he doesn’t care what happens; he’s just glad to be playing golf in March.

“It’s a good time to get out with our friends and spend the day out having some fun when the weather’s not so nice most of the time,” Keneally said.


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