Four gone conclusion

MCHS golf four strokes behind Montrose

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Four strokes.

That's what separated the Moffat County High School girls golf team from first place and host Montrose Monday at Cobble Creek Golf Course.

The Bulldogs' Amber Nicholson, Meghan Innes and Heather Nicholson combined to shoot 288, four strokes behind Montrose's 284.

"They kind of stepped out of nowhere and had a good round, which was good for them, but not for MCHS," coach Ann Marie Hamilton said.

Senior Amber Nicholson led the field with a 10-over par 82, junior Innes carded an 88 and freshman Heather Nicholson tallied a 118.

"It was actually higher than I was hoping, but I am happy with it," Amber Nicholson said. "I was hoping to be in the 70s, but hopefully that will come sometime soon."

The state returnee said her mental game wreaked havoc on her during the course's challenging back nine holes.

"The girls around me were commenting that I was shooting really well, and I think I let it get to me," she said. She carded a 38 on the front nine and a 44 on the back.

Unlike the partially snow-covered playing surface that has limited the team's ability to practice outdoors, Hamilton and Amber Nicholson both said the conditions in southwest Colorado were great.

"I was really impressed with the greens," Amber Nicholson said. "The grass was really nice. It was really hot today. I was happy with the weather. I bet we were up in the 60s."

Innes, whose total of 88 placed fourth, said it was an average score for her.

"It was not a good day for me, but it's average for what I shoot," she said. "I think overall my play was rough. I was in four hazards today. I hit a bunch of my tee shots into the hazards, and that is what hurt me."

Similar to team leader Amber Nicholson, Innes said she struggled on the back nine.

Innes carded a 42 on the front nine and a 46 on the back nine.

"The back nine was kind of difficult," Innes said. "There were more par-5s and more par-3s, and it kind of evened out. It is a little narrower and there were more water hazards."

Hamilton said the younger Nicholson has been pretty consistent in the early part of the season, and the coach is confident the golfer's scores will begin dropping with increased outdoor playing time.

The Bulldogs remain in the Montrose area with a 9 a.m. tee off time today at Bridges Golf Course for the second of a two-day competition.

Drew Turner can be contacted at 970-824-7031, ext 211, or aturner@craigdailypress.com

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