Meghan Innes, the 2008 Western Slope League female golfer of the year while at Moffat County High School - and four-time state qualifier - has taken her game to the next level. The Carroll College freshman is second for the Saints in scoring average and has placed in the top 15 in each of her three college tournaments.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Meghan Innes, the 2008 Western Slope League female golfer of the year while at Moffat County High School - and four-time state qualifier - has taken her game to the next level. The Carroll College freshman is second for the Saints in scoring average and has placed in the top 15 in each of her three college tournaments.

Aiming high, shooting low

Meghan Innes settling in at Carroll College

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— As an only child, Meghan Innes always enjoyed having free reign of her parent's house.

She had her own bathroom, didn't have to go grocery shopping, and dinner was ready most nights she returned from a hard day on the links.

All that is a thing of the past.

Now a freshman scholarship athlete at Carroll College in Helena, Mont., Innes shares her tiny dorm room with one girl, her bathroom with dozens and eats cereal and cheese quesadilla's for dinner.

"It's definitely a new experience," Innes said laughing. "I was really scared at first. The day before we had driven there, and I was like 'I don't want to go. I just want to go back to Craig.'"

But, Innes stayed and is making the golf courses surrounding Carroll College her new personal playground.

Her living arrangements, eating habits and laundry duties may have gotten worse, but her golf game has gotten better.

The 2008 Moffat County High School graduate, four-time Colorado state qualifier and last year's Western Slope League female golfer of the year, said she's striking the ball better than ever.

"I've improved quite a bit," she said. "My mental game is a lot tougher now. My swing is the same, though. It felt pretty good this past fall."

To say the least.

Through her first three college tournaments, Innes is second on the Saints seven-woman roster in scoring average with an 84.9, and her final round 77 in the fall's final tournament Sept. 29 was top on the team.

"It was different," Innes said about her initial transition from the high school game to the college level. "I didn't know any of the girls, and they didn't like me coming in at first, because I was beating them. But, they got over it, and we've all became good friends."

Looking at her first three tournament results, Innes isn't just beating her teammates, she's beating everybody.

In her first taste of college golf Sept. 14 and 15 at the Montana Tech Invitational in Butte, Mont., Innes finished 13th.

She duplicated that number Sept. 22 and 23 in the Carroll College Invitational and wrapped up her fall season with a 15th place finish Sept. 28 and 29 at the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Billings, Mont.

"I played pretty well," Innes said. "I mean, I'm not shooting consistently in the 70s. I'm still in the 80s, but, maybe down the road, I'll get there."

Innes' road is proving to be a two-lane highway.

In one lane is golf - the sports she has played since she was a child and says she will always love.

In the other is nursing.

Innes said helping others is right next to teeing it up.

And like her golf game, her studies are right on par.

"I got one B" the first semester, Innes said. "And, I thought it was an A. I missed it by one percent."

With winter break now upon her - the spring golf season begins in April - reading the break on greens has been replaced with reading textbooks.

From chemistry and physiology to anatomy and sociology, Innes has her work cut out for her in the lane that takes her to becoming a nurse.

"It's kind of always what I've wanted to do," Innes said about nursing. "Golf is just something that keeps me busy. But, it's fun, and I really enjoy playing.

"I wouldn't trade it for anything."

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