Bulldogs a force to reckon with

Girls golf team prepares for three tournaments next week

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The Class 4A Western Slope girls golf picture is starting to narrow to two teams: Moffat County and Rifle.

Rifle has the edge because it finished with the better score both times the teams met, but Moffat coach Ann Marie Hamilton said her team should be the better team.

"We had a bad day yesterday, and we lost by two strokes," Hamilton said after the Bulldogs turned in a 292 to Rifle's 290 in Tuesday's tournament in Rifle. "The girls are just starting to put it together."

Apparently, the high school golf world outside of Craig also thinks the Bulldogs are a team to reckon with. The Rocky Mountain News has Moffat ranked second in Class 4A as of Wednesday.

The Bulldogs nearly will double their golf tournaments for the season in a six-day span at the end of next week. They'll be in Montrose on April 20, Durango on April 21, and they'll return home to host a tournament on April 24.

With a week to prepare for those tournaments, Hamilton said the girls would work on technique and focus on finding a rhythm now that the weather is nice.

"They'll have a week of consistent golf, which hasn't been the case yet," she said.

Sophomore Meghan Innes said her main focus was going to be on her short game, and senior Chelsey Herod agreed that short game was what she also needed to improve.

Senior Amy Coulter has been working on moving her head with her swing.

"We're still somewhat consistent within 10 strokes," Herod said.

But all the girls agreed they have better days ahead of them.

"Our top two girls are at the point where a bad day is in the 90s," Hamilton said. "For our other top two, a bad day is in the 100s."

That means, for all but one of the top four golfers, that the Rifle meet wasn't a good day.

Junior Amber Nicholson turned in a 92 and finished sixth overall.

Innes shot a 94 to tie for eighth. Herod took 98 strokes for her round, and Coulter turned in a 106.

The golfers experienced rain, sleet, snow and hail during the tournament.

"It's hard to putt in hail," Coulter said.

The team also had a disqualification.

Herod signed her card before realizing it had the wrong score. With her name on the incorrect score, she was disqualified. Coulter's 106 factored into the final team score, and the eight-stroke difference moved the Bulldogs from second to fourth place.

"It's good that it happened now because the girls will be more careful with their cards now," Hamilton said. "I told them that even professional players make that mistake and to not let it get them down."

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