Final strokes

Amber Nicholson ends MCHS golf career with top-10 finish

After tying for 16th place at the 4A state golf championships last year, Amber Nicholson and Meghan Innes set their sights on the top 10 this year.

Mission accomplished for one Moffat County High School girls golfer, and one more attempt for the other.

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Senior Nicholson carded an 87 to end her high school career in 10th place, and Innes, a junior, scored an 88 to finish 23rd out of 72 4A competitors Tuesday afternoon.

One year after traveling to Pueblo for the state tournament, this time the MCHS duo headed to Windsor, where the two Bulldogs played 36 holes at the par-71 Highland Meadows Golf Course Monday and Tuesday.

Monday's first-round featured warm and sunny conditions while the final round brought wind and rain.

"It was cold and windy and brutal," MCHS coach Ann Marie Hamilton said. "I don't think anyone played too good today. It just got really windy and it reflected on their performance."

From day one to day two, Nicholson's score increased from 83 to 87, taking her from an eighth-place tie to 10th in the final standings.

Playing in her last golf match as a MCHS student-athlete, Nicholson said the finality had yet to sink in.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," she said. "I think it's because I am still hanging out with my team. I was thinking about it all day -- it was, like, in the back of my mind. It's like graduation -- it all happens at once."

Conversely, Innes improved seven shots from a 95 on day one to an 88 Tuesday and jumped from 34th place to 23rd overall.

Innes attributed her improvement to an early morning tutorial with Hamilton at the driving range.

"Ann Marie made me scoot closer to the ball so I was taller," Innes said. "It made me hit the ball more solid. I didn't get into as many sand traps as yesterday."

"But, my putting was worse today. I could've cropped some more strokes off it wasn't for my putting."

With the 2007 season complete, the two girls are headed in different directions.

Nicholson will take her game to the collegiate level in mid-August to Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana.

Innes returns to MCHS for another year of play, along with teammates Clarissa Dilldine, Emily Hepworth and Heather Nicholson.

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

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