Moffat County girls golf weathers tough conditions in home event | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County girls golf weathers tough conditions in home event

Western Slope teams to return to Yampa Valley Golf Course for regionals

Moffat County High School's Tané Otis considers a club approaching the ninth green as hail overtakes players Tuesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course. The poor weather caused the MCHS tournament to end early, many players not able to finish nine holes.

The precipitation coming down Tuesday at Yampa Valley Golf CourseYampa Valley Golf Course may not have been as big as the spheres being hit by players, but it was enough to end the day early. may not have been as big as the spheres being hit by players, but it was enough to end the day early.

Yampa Valley Golf Course may not have been as big as the spheres being hit by players, but it was enough to end the day early.

Wind and rain provided a tough tome during the Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School girls golf Invitational, but when a wave of hail struck the course midway through the tournament, organizers decided to bring everyone into the clubhouse and call things off midway through the event. girls golf Invitational, but when a wave of hail struck the course midway through the tournament, organizers decided to bring everyone into the clubhouse and call things off midway through the event.

Moffat County High School girls golf Invitational, but when a wave of hail struck the course midway through the tournament, organizers decided to bring everyone into the clubhouse and call things off midway through the event.

Rather than risk additional bad weather playing the full 18, coaches opted to score players based on the holes they had in common, some varsity golfers shooting as many as 10 before having to stop, others nine or eight, while JV players were only officially scored for four holes, with MCHS's Caitlen Krause hitting 36 and placing fifth.

"I was hitting a lot better today than last Thursday," she said, referring to a triangular event at YVGC with Rifle and Palisade.

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For varsity, Rifle placed first in overall team score, while Kiselya Plewe, of Dolores, was determined the individual winner with a 36 for nine holes.

With one of the longest drives to make it to YVGC, the Dolores group played in Grand Junction Monday and will tee off again this week in Gunnison to complete the round trip, needing to make the drive to Craig again next week for the 4A Western Regional Tournament.

Though players were unable to complete a full round, the look at the site of regionals was still valuable, said Dolores assistant coach Monica Plewe, who noted Yampa Valley's unique layout.

"These are very old school greens, traditional and fun and smaller, so for these girls to be able to shoot par, they'll need to aim for the middle and let it fall away a little bit," she said. "A lot of courses aren't built like that anymore. They're really creative greens, so you have to think and pick your approach shots."

Tané Otis was the lone MCHS girl to be credited for a full nine holes, chased off the ninth green by an onslaught of hailstones that left the green pure white and temporarily unplayable, requiring her to finish the hole during a respite in the weather, recording a 52.

"Basically I just wanted to hit straight, be in the middle of the fairway," she said. "Today was fun until that last hole."

Otis and Jaci McDiffett said the season has flown by, made more noticeable by the minimal amount of time they've actually spent on the course.

"We haven't been able to practice outside that much, and now it's coming down to the end, so I'm getting a little nervous," McDiffett said.

As two of Moffat County's lowest regular scorers this season, Otis and McDiffett will likely represent the school at regionals, though the four girls have yet to be chosen by coach Ann Marie Roberts.

The Bulldogs will play one last tournament next week before regionals, attending Rifle's Tuesday event at Rifle Creek rather than a Monday tourney at Glenwood Springs' Ironbridge Golf Club.

While the regional gathering — which includes a practice round May 6 and the big event May 7 — could see similar wet weather, a decision to postpone would only be approved the day of the tournament if the conditions are judged too severe for players' safety.

Otis said she plans to increase her practice frequency leading up to next week.

"I'm definitely going to be out there trying to play as much as possible so we can get everything down, that's probably the best thing we can do," she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.