Weather cuts round a little too early
GYPSUM – Without the mesa, Cotton Ranch Golf Club just isn’t the same.Monday, the Eagle Valley girls’ golf team didn’t get a chance to show off their favorite part of their home course as stormy weather cut short the Eagle Valley Invitational. “I really wanted to go up on the mesa,” said Eagle Valley’s Caitlin Yarger. “I psyched myself up for it.”The golfers started out on the back nine, and by the time they started towards the mesa section of the course – holes No. 5-8 – a weather delay forced everyone back to the clubhouse.”We were talking about it in the clubhouse,” said the Devils’ Emily Boyd. “Even if we couldn’t play the tournament, we were thinking about going back out just to play.”But the day ended early, and the schools decided to count only the first nine holes.”I wasn’t’ having a good day, but as soon as we got to the (second) nine, everything opened up, and I got more par and birdie chances,” said Eagle Valley’s Jeanette Baker, who led the Devils with a 48. “Since we practice the back nine so much, I was really looking forward to the mesa.”The Devils, who hadn’t picked up their clubs in more than two weeks, took fourth with a team score of 156, just two behind Montrose. Moffat County (131) won, while Battle Mountain was fifth (212).
“It took a while for me to warm up,” said Yarger, who along with most of the team had gone to Spain during spring break, and hadn’t practiced upon returning because of prom on Saturday. “After a while, I started to get the hang of it and was doing really well.”Yarger shot a 51 on her first nine, while teammate Keegan Hammond, despite an injured shoulder, finished with a 57. Boyd had a 59.Watch, don’t watchMonday’s abbreviate round was a chance for Eagle Valley to show off the course they know so well, and the Devils gave competitors some tips. “They helped me out a lot,” said Battle Mountain’s Kaleigh Armitage, who shot a 66. “It’s good to have someone who knows the course. They let me know where the hazards were.”The home tournament also gave the golfers a familiar audience – which can be the cause of trepidation.”My dad came to watch and the one he (saw), I did well,” Yarger said. “I had a drive right down the middle (on Hole 17). He knows what’s going on, so I can’t trick him.”On the same hold, Boyd had her best drive of the day, but she ran into a spate of bad luck on the next hole when her mom showed up.
“I kind of sucked it up,” Boyd said. “I said she was lucky that she just watched that one.”Off the matsBattle Mountain, which plays at Eagle-Vail when it opens, spent its preseason and chunks of the regular season hitting indoors.”We’ve been hitting in our wrestling room,” said Armitage. “It’s hard for us to go out against those who have been practicing for two months on grass.”The Huskies were able to get in time at Cotton Ranch earlier this season, and headed to the Eagle-Vail practice range when it opened last week.”We had a really good practice last week,” said Battle Mountain coach Cassie Desmone. One of the things the Huskies worked on was gripping the clubs. For first-year golfers like Armitage, every session on the range and tournament round helps.
“I did a lot better than I thought I would (Monday),” she said. “We’ve been working with our drivers and (the grip lesson) totally improved my drives.”Andrea Kedrowski, one of the veterans for Battle Mountain in just her second year golfing, shot a 65.”I hadn’t played (Cotton Ranch) before,” said Kedrowski, who injured her shoulder Monday. “I did well on chipping and putting.”Kedrowski, who hopes to crack 100 by the end of the year, had a bunch of two-putts to bring in the lowest round for her team. Julya Chapman was the third Huskies’ golfer to score, with an 81.Friday, the Huskies will be in Aspen. Eagle Valley heads to the Yampa Valley course in Craig Monday.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.