The Moffat County High School girls varsity golf team’s results from Friday’s Delta Invitational at Devil’s Thumb Golf Course in Delta:
(Two-person team — score)
• Sam Fox & Caitlin Harjes — 90
• Katelyn Peroulis & Katie Rice — 104
• Alex Bulla & Shianna Dockins — 120
The Moffat County High School girls varsity golf players faced their usual early-season woes in the first tournament of the year March 5 in Grand Junction.
But on Friday, the Bulldog golfers had a chance to help each other out in the Delta Invitational at Devil’s Thumb Golf Course.
In a break from the normal format, the Delta Invitational was set up as a two-person scramble, with the six MCHS golfers split into three teams to play the par-72 course.
Senior Sam Fox and sophomore Caitlin Harjes led the way for the Bulldogs with a round of 90.
Freshmen Katelyn Peroulis and Katie Rice teamed up to record a 104, and junior Alex Bulla and sophomore Shianna Dockins shot a 120.
Head coach Ann Marie Roberts said with only a few weeks of practice and little time outside, the scramble format allowed the girls to critique and improve each other’s games.
“It is nice to be able to play with a teammate and take time to set up shots and be able to line up putts with your teammate looking on,” she said. “Being able to talk to someone out there on the course helps you sometimes realize what is working and what you need help on.”
Fox and Harjes are the only two returning golfers from last season and Friday was Harjes’ first tournament this year after missing the Grand Junction competition.
Roberts said being able to have her two best golfers working together on the course is going to pay dividends toward the end of the season.
“Sometimes when you play by yourself, you forget you are on a team,” she said. “Sam and Caitlin were able to work with each other on course management, on whether they should chip or putt, and that is something you can’t do in a gym.”
In the Peroulis-Rice pairing, Roberts said she could see excitement in the freshmen, which allowed the two to play without nerves and shoot a better score.
“Katelyn and Katie were the only two I really saw get into it and they were giving each other high fives on the course,” she said. “They both improved a lot on their woods because we were able to work on it last week. But working together, they could try different things and if they messed up, they had their teammate to back them up.
“All the pressure wasn’t on one golfer, so I think that helped their shots.”
While the Grand Junction course was an executive course made up of mostly par-3 holes, Devil’s Thumb provided a better look at what most courses look like, Roberts said.
Bulla and Dockins hadn’t played in a tournament before March 5, and Roberts said getting the first competition out of the way paved way for improvement Friday.
“I think (Bulla and Dockins) realized they weren’t newbies and weren’t the only ones who struggle,” she said. “They were able to recognize a great shot and be proud of it, which boosted their confidence.”
The Bulldogs are off until Monday, when they play in the Montrose Invitational at Cobble Creek Golf Course.
Roberts said she would use this week to work on putting and hitting fairway woods to keep the scores dropping.
“The girls aren’t putting that well, with problems in both accuracy and hitting it to hard,” she said. “I think they learned to read the breaks on the greens Friday, so we just have to keep plugging away and keep them improving.”
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