Windy weather blows golfers' chances at state

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GRAND JUNCTION -- In between holes, Moffat County High School freshman golfer Amber Nicholson looked to coach Tom Dockstader and said, "These are the days that it would be nice to have an indoor golf course."

The windy, cold and rainy conditions at Tiara Rado Golf Course for the regional golf tournament Tuesday weren't ideal for any outdoor activity.

"After about the second hole, I was ready to get it over with," said Bulldog senior Stephanie Kloos, who finished with a 123.

"If it wasn't the weather, it was the game that was bad."

While the weather forecast was windy with occasional rain, the Bulldogs' forecast was gloomy with scattered shots.

The team finished seventh and had no golfers qualify for the state tournament.

This came a year after the Bulldogs finished second and sent two golfers to state.

"If you would have asked me at the beginning of the season I would have said there was a 100 percent chance we would have had at least one golfer go to state," Dockstader said.

"Unlike the years past when we came in confident for regionals, we struggled all season and didn't come into the regional with much confidence."

Senior Brittany Hutton, who qualified for state last year, agreed that the faith in her game was not as high as it should have been.

"This hasn't been the year I wanted it to be," she said.

"It was a tough last year in golf."

Hutton struggled with back problems all season, but she said her back didn't bother her Tuesday; it was the wind that caused her pain.

"The wind caught me off guard a couple of times," she said.

"I hit way too many shots out of bounds today."

Hutton led the Bulldogs with a 110 and missed the cutoff for state by six strokes.

Nicholson had the team's second best score of 113.

"I just started swinging to get it over with around 14," she said. "I was getting cold."

Empty mugs of hot chocolate sat at the table occupied by Kloos and junior Kaylee Perry.

Hot chocolate in May at a golf tournament isn't typically a welcome sight.

"I wasn't prepared for the weather," said Perry, who shot a 118 and whose only pair of shoes other than her golf shoes were sandals. "I don't think I would have been as shocked if I had more clothes."

Monday the teams took a practice round on the course in 80 degree weather and minimal wind.

A 40 degree difference in temperature turned into a 25 stroke difference for Kloos.

"I didn't start off well, and then the weather got bad," she said. "It made for a long day."

The long day was an end to a long season for most of the Bulldog golfers and their coach.

"I'm tired of this sport right now," Hutton said.

"I'm looking forward to the summer and playing, I just want a break right now."

Dockstader pondered the unforgiving nature of his sport after the tournament.

"Golf can be fickle and brutal at times," he said. "Today it was brutal to us."

The brutality caused the Bulldogs to not qualify at least one golfer for state for the first time in five seasons.

Eagle Valley won the tournament for the fourth straight season with its four golfers finishing second through fifth.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or by email at dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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