Maybe playing on their home course Monday will help the Moffat County High School girls golf team end its string of third-place finishes.
The girls' team score of 321 was 33 strokes behind second-place Rifle High School Wednesday at the Rifle Creek Golf Course. Grand Junction Central, a 5A team, was first.
Moffat County has consistently finished behind Rifle and Glenwood Springs in Western Slope competition this year, but coach Ann Marie Hamilton thinks the team is poised for a breakthrough at home.
"With their scores on the front end in Rifle, I'm pleased we're coming into a home tournament on Monday," she said.
Several players shot 53 or under on the front nine, and Amber Nicholson posted a 47 at the turn, but things got rough from that point forward.
The team had never played the Rifle course before. "It's a placement course and they just fell apart," the coach said.
The team suffered from poor course management on the back nine, Hamilton said. The cold conditions only made things worse.
Amy Coulter led the team with a 105, followed by Amber Nicholson's 107 and Meghan Innes' 109.
"Meghan's having a tough time," Hamilton said.
But finishing behind Rifle for three consecutive tournaments should help the team challenge for a first-place finish.
"It gives them motivation," Hamilton said.
"There's three of them on the verge of breaking 100, and going out and competing with Rifle gives them the motivation to do that. Golf is pretty mental. They know what they have to do -- they just have to mentally prepare for it."
Junior varsity golfer Natasha Chapman placed fifth playing in her second tournament.
Moffat County hosts eight teams Monday, including Rifle, Glenwood Springs and three 5A teams.