The Moffat County High School girls golf team had a date with the Devil on Thursday, and Devils Thumb Golf Course lived up to its name.
Short a golfer because of injury, the Bulldogs had two ball-strikers tee off in Delta, falling short of the three golfers needed to place at the event as a team.
"It's all individual right now," coach Ann Marie Roberts said.
Individually, MCHS' two golfers - senior Meghan Innes and sophomore Heather Nicholson - found trouble while attempting to negotiate Devils Thumb.
Innes carved her way to a fourth-place individual finish, shooting a team-high 90, but Roberts said the number could have been much lower had Innes made a few more putts.
Innes had 42 putts in her 90 total strokes.
"I'm freaking out," Roberts said. "I need to call a physiologist in or something. No kidding. Forty-two putts. If she starts averaging 30, she'll be busting into the 70s every time."
As an LPGA professional, Roberts said she has a putting guru she can just dial up when needed.
"Yeah," she said. "I've got somebody I'm going to call. I'm really going to."
Sophomore Heather Nicholson carded a 114 in her 18 holes of work.
Nicholson switched to a new driver last week and has instituted a new back-swing, but neither helped the sophomore Thursday.
Roberts said Nicholson has been practicing well; the practice just hasn't translated to the course.
"I don't know today," Roberts said. "She's fine off the tee box. It's just a little bit here and a little bit there. She's real confident in the gym, but then she gets out here, and I think she doesn't trust that she can do it."
Roberts said she will work on Nicholson's confidence, Innes' putting and helping freshman Callie Papoulas return from her back injury.
Papoulas traveled with the team but did not play.
Roberts and Papoulas walked the course - instead of the norm where the coach rides in a cart - to better absorb Devils Thumb's layout.
MCHS will return May 5 and 6 for the state regional tournament.
"It was a nice clear day," Roberts said. "It was a little cold and windy, but we learned a lot about the course that should help us when we come back."
MCHS has a quick turnaround. The Bulldogs travel Monday to Rifle to play at Rifle Creek Golf Course.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793, or firstname.lastname@example.org