Inspired Bulldog golfers finish third in tournament Monday

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Amber Nicholson watched Tiger Woods take his fourth Masters title at Augusta National on television Sun-day and hit the course at Carbondale's River Valley Ranch Golf Course on Monday with some inspiration.

"It's nice to watch the professionals and how they handle themselves on the course and watch their swings and things," she said. "It definitely makes you think and try to visualize and mimic the things they do."

But the pros make the game look easier than it is.

"It was kind of a rough day overall for me," the sophomore said Monday after shooting a 105. Her score was good enough for eighth place among 4A golfers and helped the Bulldogs to a third-place finish.

"My short game was really good, but my long game and hitting on the fairway was little off. But hopefully by next week I can have my scores drop."

Freshman Meghan Innes shaved seven strokes off her previous best score to lead the team with a 94. Chelsea Herod shot a 107, giving the Bulldogs a team score of 306. Glenwood took first with a team score of 274, followed by Rifle with 298.

Monday's tournament was a repeat of last week's top-three finish at The Hill in Glenwood Springs. The Glenwood team has two players who shoot in the low 80s, including J.C. Reynolds, who shot a tournament-best 82 on Monday.

Innes played with Reynolds last week but found the experience more in-timi-dating than educational. This week, she improved her putting and hit the ball well off the tee to lower her score.

Before the season is over, "I see myself dropp--ing some strokes and I'm hoping to shoot in the 80s," Innes said.

Early in the season, first-year coach Ann Marie Hamilton was focusing on mechanics and confidence-building. Now she's starting to coach strategy on the course, which can be difficult.

"I can't coach them on the fairway. I have to wait until they finish the hole," she said.

But the girls have kept a positive attitude and react well to criticism, Hamilton said.

"They don't get down on themselves. They're able to maintain their composure."

Brittany Goss finished first among 4A junior varsity players.

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