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Girls golf team building momentum

After winning home tournament, MCHS looks to repeat in Grand Junction

Ben Bulkeley

With less than a day to tee-off, it was all about the little things for the Moffat County High School girls golf team.

Coming off a win on their home turf in which three Bulldogs placed in the top four, the team took Monday to refine the finer aspects of their game before the state qualifying regional tournament at Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose.

On the eve of the tournament, the golf team already was awash with good news, as junior Heather Nicholson was named all-conference, and sophomore Callie Papoulas received an honorable mention.

The top 10 finishers in the regional tournament qualify for state.

Coach Ann Marie Roberts said her four golfers took Monday to practice on the course where the team has had some success.

“They’re feeling pretty good – maybe a little nervous,” Roberts said. “They have their long game down, now it’s just the short game.”

Nicholson shot 86 her last visit to Cobble Creek, which is a par 72 course. Sophomores Nike Cleverly and Papoulas also performed well during their last trip to Cobble Creek, with Cleverly shooting a 111 and a 106 for Papoulas. Freshman Sam Fox shot 119.

“When we played down here at the last tournament, we played really well – maybe not as well as home, but still really well,” Roberts said. “Score-wise, they all shot their best. Then, they topped their best at home.”

During last week’s Moffat County Invitational tournament, Nicholson placed first overall with an 89, Papoulas finished second with a 93, and Cleverly finished fourth with a 97.

Roberts said the strong showing at home gave the players some momentum.

“They’re all on a high – coming off a win where everyone plays their best round,” Roberts said. “It’s good to be playing kind of high like that.”

Nicholson said her previous experience and performance at Cobble Creek boosted her confidence before the tournament.

“I had two birdies on two par threes, so I’m getting excited thinking about my potential on those holes,” she said.

And the strong showing in Craig has only motivated her more, Nicholson said.

“I’m always more comfy with my game after shooting well,” she said. “I just need to concentrate and bust out a low score.”

Nicholson said she has been working on making her head and arms stay still while she is putting.

“My putting wasn’t so great, so I’ve been working on some techniques to be more on target,” Nicholson said. “It’s just little things I know how to do, I just need to remember.

“All these things have been there, I just need to exaggerate more on them.”

On Monday, the team played all 18 holes and practiced difficult shots to try to learn the speed of the greens, Roberts said.

“We’ve been chipping uphill, downhill, side-hill – I’ve been getting them to relax and try different shots,” Roberts said. “It’s a little slicker here than at home.”

Nicholson said she thought the course wasn’t unlike Yampa Valley Golf Course.

“Minus the trees, it’s similar,” Nicholson said. “It’s not walk up and down – it’s pretty flat and you can see most of the holes from the key box.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com


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