RONAN - Persistence paid off for Dillon's Eddie Kavran.

The defending State Amateur champion shot a 36-hole total of 134 to win the USGA Amateur Public Links sectional qualifying tournament Monday at Mission Mountain Country Club.

Kavran, taking advantage of perfect playing conditions, notched 13 birdies in rounds of 65-69 to win by five shots. That gave him the lone spot in the 74th U.S. Amateur Public Links championship, July 12-17 at Spencer T. Olon Golf Course in Alton, Ill. It's the first time Kavran has advanced to the national tournament after four times as a qualifying runner-up.

Kavran shot a 7-under-par 65 in the morning round, highlighted by a 31 on the front nine, then added a 3-under 69 in the afternoon. He'll defend his State Am title next month at Butte Country Club.

Tim Waggoner of Spokane, Wash., carded a 71-68-139 to take second place, five shots behind Kavran. Waggoner won a playoff with Kyle Cianflone of Missoula and Reid Lende of Livingston, who also finished at 139.

In the team competition, Cianflone (139) and Steve Fekety (144) of Missoula's Larchmont Golf Course posted a one-shot victory over Livingston's Lende (139) and Roger Burckley (145).

The Public Links is open to amateurs who do not hold playing privileges at any course that does not extend playing privileges to the general public. More than 7,000 players entered this year's sectional qualifying for 156 spots in the national field.

RONAN - Leading players Monday at the USGA Amateur Public Links sectional qualifying tournament at par-72, 6,528-yard Mission Mountain Country Club:

Eddie Kavran, Dillon 65-69-134

Tim Waggoner, Spokane 71-68-139

Reid Lende, Livingston 69-70-139

Kyle Cianflone, Missoula 70-69-139

Dave Streeter, Whitefish 71-73-144

Steve Fekety, Missoula 70-74-144

Chris McConnell, Missoula 74-71-145

Roger Burckley, Livingston 66-79-145

Taber Ryles, Livingston 79-72-151

Travis Schule, Kalispell 76-76-152

Tuesday - 6/15/99

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