A breakthrough for golfers

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Members of the Moffat County girls golf team made coach Ann Marie Hamilton's job more difficult for the rest of the season Monday. But it was a good kind of difficult.

"We now have six girls trying for four spots," Hamilton said. "But it's a good thing, because they're peaking at the right time."

The Bulldogs had three golfers shoot personal bests and four had scores under 100 at the Yampa Valley Golf Course for the team's only home tournament of the season. The Bulldogs finished fourth overall and first among Class 4A teams with a score of 283.

It was the first time that Moffat broke 300 as a team, and it was also the first time the Bulldogs finished in front of Rifle this season.

"That's huge," Hamilton said about her team's five-stroke finish ahead of Rifle. The Bulldogs had talked about beating Rifle all season, and now it is a reality."Anytime you beat a team you haven't, it's a good day," Hamilton said. "We've been nipping at Rifle all year."

Sophomore Amber Nichol-son's breakthrough was the main reason that the Bulldogs had fewer shots than Rifle. She shot an 87, nine strokes better than her previous best for the season.

"I had some ups and downs, but I had mostly ups today," Nicholson said. "I parred nine holes. Once I started hitting it good, things were good."

Nicholson's score was good enough for third overall in the tournament. She finished behind Grand Junction Central's Melissa Martin, whose 72 was 11 strokes ahead of the nearest competitor. Fruita --Monument's Whitey Rahm was second with an 83.

The other Bulldogs to break the century mark were juniors Brittany Goss and Chelsey Herod and freshman Meghan Innes. The two juniors were under 100 for the first time this season with scores of 97 and 98, respectively.

"Most of our goals as a team were to break 100 this year," said Goss, who listed a chip-in from the sand on hole 11 as her best shot of the day. "You are more relaxed out there at home."

Herod won the JV portion of the tournament with her score. Sophomore Emily Krogman finished second in the JV tournament with a personal best of 110.

"This was good for Chelsey," Hamilton said. "She'll get to play Thursday with the varsity."

Innes broke 100 for the second time this season with a 99. She has been reworking her swing the last couple of weeks.

"I changed my swing Thursday and it helped my long game today," she said.

"But I had too many three-putts."

On Thursday, the Bull-dogs have the chance to see the regional course ahead of time. They will play at Montrose's Black Canyon Golf Course.

"Montrose will help make the decision for regionals," Hamilton said. "They had more confidence out there today."

Other varsity golfers for Moff-at County were juniors Kaylee Perry and Amy Coulter.

Perry and Coulter turned in scores of 100 and 105 respectively.

"With three personal bests and four girls under 100 it was a good day," Hamilton said. "Hopefully we can keep improving the rest of the season."

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