One week remains before Regional Golf Tournament

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Pressure is when the Regional Golf Tournament is less than a week away, and when it's being held at your home course.

The countdown to a season-appraising tournament such as regionals can leave the best golfers brooding, especially if the practice greens are covered with snow.

Melanie Peters, a senior, is glad for the rest because the weather has provided, as it has allowed her time to regroup before the last Regional Tournament of her high school career.

"At this time of year you get worn out. Everything is starting to come to an end, school and golf. It really becomes hard to focus," Peters said. "The weather has been good for me it has let me rest before regionals."

The senior is not letting the pressure, or the home course tournament, get to her. Instead, she has chosen to take a relaxed outlook on regionals.

"Whatever happen, happens," she said. "We've just got to go out there and play the game as best as we can, there's no need to psych ourselves out because it's on our home course."

The tournament kicks off at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Yampa Valley Golf Course. The two-day tournament will draw 12 teams to the local links to battle for one team and 7 to 8 individual state berths.

Eagle Valley is the team to beat in this region, boasting two of the state's better swingers in Alli Toomer and Joanie Ewing. The two have faced the Lady 'Dogs several times this year, and are no strangers to top 10 finishes. Ewing shot the low score at last week's Bulldog Invitational, a 79, while Toomer tied for third with a 90.

Along with the Eagle Valley golfers, Basalt/Roaring Forks will provide some stiff competition in Ali Crumb and Amanda Rubin, who finished second and third respectively in the Bulldog Invitational.

Gunnison, Rifle, and Montrose are the other teams with the likelihood to shoot low scores at Yampa Valley.

"We can't let the other girls become a factor for us," Coach Tom Dockstader said. "We've got to play our game, and not worry what others are doing."

If the team can shake the pressure of regionals, Dockstader foresees three Moffat County girls shooting well in the two-day tournament. Peters, Vanessa Wilson and Lindsey Scott are where the Lady Bulldogs' state hopes lie, along with Kristen Reid if she has a career day.

What has been the bane of this week's practice, the snow, could be positive for the course. If Mother Nature curbs any more accumulation of snow before the tournament, this week's melt-off should put the greens in peak condition.

The Lady 'Dogs hope to get a few last looks at the course before playing next week. They plan to practice tonight and Monday, emphasizing work on the short game.

If all works out on Tuesday and Wednesday, one team and as many as three girls from Moffat County will be playing the links in Pueblo later this month.

"The girls are eager to prove themselves at regionals, especially after how they played in the last two tournaments," Dockstader said. "There's 12 teams and only one spot for state, so someone is staying home. We've just got to play our game to make sure we're not that team."

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