MCHS junior places 2nd at state qualifying golf tournament |

MCHS junior places 2nd at state qualifying golf tournament

Ben Bulkeley

Despite a strong showing during last week’s home win, the Moffat County High School girls golf team wasn’t able to capitalize on the momentum during Tuesday’s qualifying regional tournament in Montrose.

MCHS finished fourth out of 12 teams at Cobble Creek Golf Course. Glenwood Springs High School came in first.

The top 10 individual finishers qualified for state.

There was some good news from the tournament, however, as junior Heather Nicholson placed second out of 39 golfers with an 81, finishing behind only Michelle Stripps from Glenwood Springs High School, who shot a 69 on the par-72 course.

Nicholson, who was named all-conference Monday night, said she was happy with her results.

“I’m excited,” Nicholson said. “It was my lowest this season so far, and today, I was just more into my game – I concentrated more on my putting.”

Nicholson spent Monday working on her putting after struggling on the green last week at Yampa Valley Golf Course.

“It definitely helped,” Nicholson said about her practice time putting. “I improved a lot – I only had one three-putt.”

Nicholson also birdied two holes.

She said her only two mistakes of the day were on her last two holes, when one drive went into the water and the other went out of bounds.

Nike Cleverly missed qualifying by only three strokes. She shot 100.

Sophomore Callie Papoulas shot a 116, and freshman Sam Fox shot a 121.

Papoulas said she was disappointed because she was coming off a strong performance at home.

“I had a really rough day,” Papoulas said. “I had been hitting the ball really well, but today, I found every possible hazard I could on the course.”

Papoulas, who was named honorable mention all-conference Monday, previously had shot a 106 at Cobble Creek.

“Instead of dropping 10, I added 10,” she said. “I found the water a lot, and every stroke just kept adding up.”

But one thing Papoulas took from the tournament was comfort in knowing that time is on her side.

“I have two more years, and I’m only going to keep on getting better,” she said.

Coach Ann Marie Roberts said it was hard having the season boil down to just a single tournament.

“I’m a little sad because they played so well and just had a tough day,” Roberts said. “There’s only one chance – and that’s hard, because you work so hard all season.

“It’s one day, and if you’re not on that day, it’s over. That’s the hard part about it.”

For Nicholson, it will be her second straight trip to state.

“When I went last year, I was really nervous thinking ‘Oh my gosh, this is state,'” she said. “But I have to get in to the mindset that I need to treat it like any other round of golf.”

Nicholson said she would work on tightening her shots and course management before the May 18 and 19 state tournament at Patty Jewett Golf Course in Colorado Springs.

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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