Moffat County golfers keep steady at state tourney

Moffat County’s Reagan Hafey tees off on the back nine during the MCHS home tournament in May. Hafey was one of two players who represented the Bulldogs at the 3A CHSAA State Championships for the second consecutive year.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

The state tournament was played at one of the most challenging locations, but the Moffat County golfers eventually found their rhythm on the tough course.

Moffat County had two athletes in the field of 84 golfers at the two-day Class 3A Colorado High School Activities and Athletics Association State Championships on Tuesday and Wednesday at Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield.

Junior Reagan Hafey tied for 50th with an overall score of 205, and sophomore Taylor Powell tied for 79th at 239, the second year at state for each golfer.

After hitting a personal best 89 during the 3A Region 4 meet to place third, Hafey had a rougher time at state. While she shot par on four holes at Broadlands, a plus-5 on No. 11 drove up her score the first day.

“The tees were pushed back the first day, so I hit into a bunch of cattails in front,” she said of the 11th hole. “When I have to take a drop, sometimes I get in my head and don’t usually finish the hole well.”

The following day held a highlight for Hafey, as she gained a birdie on the same hole with the tees moved forward. Two holes later saw her finish with a 10, her highest total of the tourney, though it was the front nine that was more trying both days.

“Broadlands is a tough course, and I believe there is water on every hole of the front nine, and there’s a ton of bunkers,” coach Tim Adams said. “(It’s) very challenging, I would say the toughest one we’ve played this year, which it should be for state.”

Hafey wasn’t thrilled with the 106 she shot on the second day, but she didn’t let her struggles shake her.

“I had to learn to try and keep my head up and remember that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, and you might as well enjoy it while you’re out there,” she said. “After the front nine, I knew it wasn’t a good day. You have your good days and bad days, which is OK. At that point, I was just trying to stay positive.”

Moffat County’s Taylor Powell poses with a wood carving in 2021 at Yampa Valley Golf Course. Powell competed at the 3A CHSAA State Championships for the second consecutive year.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

For Powell, the numbers didn’t differ largely from one day to the next with a 119 then a 120. She broke even once, on the par 3 hole 14 the first day and avoided taking a 10 on any hole.

Powell was unable to compete for much of the season, and she was still working on her game heading into tournament play.

Adams noted that he sees the girls’ state event as more harrowing than the boys tournament in the fall.

“The girls, they get to the end of their season, and there’s a lot going on,” he said. “School’s out. They have finals, graduation (last) weekend,” he said. “(It’s) much more hectic than boys because, when they go to state, there’s not a lot going on. Fatigue definitely becomes a factor, especially that second day. It’s a lot of golf, and conditions aren’t great. That all wears on them.”

Unfavorable weather for much of the season also played a part.

“When you think about it, we haven’t had a single week where we didn’t have to cancel practice because of weather,” Adams recalled. “We’ve been pretty limited with our practice schedule this year.”

Even so, Adams seen strength in both players, including Hafey’s skill in the tee box.

“She’s consistently driving the ball really well — hitting it well over 200 yards and right down the middle,” he said.

Conversely, Hafey has had more trouble in her short game, and the fast greens at Broadlands reflected that.

“When you don’t have much access to practice time, your chipping and putting suffer more than anything else,” Adams said.

For Powell, Adams said her personality and mindset helped her on the links.

“She never lets anything get her too up or too down. She’s really able to maintain a pretty positive outlook, doesn’t get too down on herself,” he said. “She just naturally hits the ball straight. She has kind of a quirky swing, but it’s mostly straight.”

Adams said he hopes to help her develop more power in her drives next season.

Powell said she’s hoping to return to state, hopefully shooting in the low 100s by next spring. She’s also hoping to see the girls golf team grow.

“We had a lot more teammates this year, and it’s been really fun with them,” she said.

After breaking 90 to qualify for state, Hafey is planning to keep striving toward new bests for her upcoming senior year.

“Last week at regionals showed me what I’m capable of, so this summer I plan to be out at the course quite a bit working on the little things that turn out to be a lot in a full round,” she said.

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