Devils golf makes it 4-for-4
The Eagle Valley girls golf team completed a Grand Slam of sorts Thursday at Cotton Ranch in Gypsum.
The Devils won the Eagle Valley Invitational, posting a three-player score of 280, easily outdistancing second-place Glenwood Springs (318). That’s four home tournament victories in a row for the ladies in red and black, meaning the Class of 2004 goes out 4-for-4 at the Eagle Valley Invitational for its career.
“It’s very exciting. We’ve won the past three years,” Eagle Valley’s Miranda Cox said. “I’m a senior now. Now, it’s our fourth year to win. It’s exciting to finish on a high note.”
“These girls are very dedicated and very committed,” Devils coach Edy Patton said. “They’re competitive golfers. They’re not recreational golfers. You come out here and play a round with these girls and they’ll tell you what the game’s all about. They love this sport. That’s why they keep showing continued success.”
Kristin Walla of Aspen took home first-place honors with a sizzling 81 (41-40). Right behind her was the Devils’ Charly Hoehn, who fired an 83 for second.
This, all despite a slow start for Eagle Valley’s ace.
“I definitely was not feeling it this morning when I got to the driving range,” Hoehn said. “It took me about 12 holes to get in synch. I shot a 45 on the front and I just kept battling it out and shot 38 on the back.”
It should be noted that shooting a 45 on Cotton Ranch’s front nine isn’t exactly chopped liver.
Coming off a shotgun start at 18, Hoehn caught fire on her final six holes – Nos. 12-17. She carded five straight pars and capped her day in fine style. Using a pitching wedge on the par-3, 17th, she landed pin high to the right of the green. No need for the flat stick though, because Hoehn holed out for birdie in front of some very happy Eagle Valley partisans.
“I finally trusted my swing on the back. I finally felt that I could let it go and I’d know where it was going. I wasn’t afraid I was going to find some junk. … I definitely wanted to get (17) over with and one less stroke is fine with me,” Hoehn laughed. “It’s a good feeling. I don’t have to do any more work.”
Mandy Preston took fourth with a 98 (50-48). Like Hoehn, Preston struggled early.
“I started off really, really, slow,” she said. “I couldn’t hit my woods at all today, so every time I took them out, it cost me a couple strokes. I did get to the point where I calmed down a little bit and just took out irons and got a streak of pars going.”
Cox got a fifth-place medal for her 99 (51-48). One of her key holes was on the drop-shot, par-3 eighth. Teeing off into a headwind, she used a 6-iron to reach the green. Preston still had plenty of work left and made a very nice two-putt for par.
“It’s just a matter of getting my short game and my long game together at the same time. I mean, it’s always one thing or another,” Cox said. “Today, I definitely need to work on my consistency and figuring out my irons and the yardage I hit them because I’m starting to hit my clubs a little better. But, it’s messing me up because my consistency’s off. It’s just a matter of making it come together all at once. Hopefully, I’ll play better at the next tournament.”
Jill Ewing did not score for Eagle Valley – only the top three rounds from each team counted. But showing Eagle Valley’s depth, she carded a 101 (52-49), good for sixth place and a medal.
The Devils, the defending 4A regional champions, are at Rifle Monday and then at Aspen May 6. The goal is to keep honing their game for regionals at Tia Rado in Grand Junction, where all Devils’ top players have shot in the 80s in the past.
“Anything can happen on any day,” Patton said. “These girls have proven to always rise to the occasion when the time comes. So, I think you can expect that leadership and maturity will come through. These girls are capable of standing up at any point.”
“I’m feeling very confident,” Hoehn said. “I don’t want to peak too soon, which I don’t feel like I’ve peaked yet. At regionals, I just want to get through Tia Rado. Tia Rado is tough course. But with how I’m going now, I’m in good shape.”
Battle Mountain finished last in Thursday’s Eagle Valley Invite, but showed vast improvement from years past.
“These are the best scores we’ve ever had at Cotton Ranch,” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone said. “So, I’m pleased with their scores, even though they’re not great. But, they’re much improved from last year. Next year is going to be a good year for us because I have the same juniors this year playing in all varsity spots. So, they’ll be seniors next year. They’ll be playing a lot of golf over the summer. … Next year is going to be our year.”
Samantha Davis led the Huskies with a 111, followed by Courtney Davis at 115. Hillary Gallegos shot a 122 and Erica Ring carded a 134.