CARBONDALE — Kylie Fleming was in an unusual spot on Tuesday. With that, the Glenwood Springs High School senior was able to make an unusual shot during the Aspen Invitational tournament at River Valley Ranch.
It wound up being a shot that would help her break the 100-stroke barrier for the second time this season, as her 98 wound up being the top score for the Demons during the six-team event. Fleming’s shot — a chip out of a two-foot deep ditch on the 17th hole — probably couldn’t have landed in a better spot for the Glenwood senior and helped lead to the sub-100 final individual score.
“It’s not too often when I have to stand sideways to take a shot,” said Fleming, laughing. “That’s probably the hardest shot I’ve had to take.”
It’s pretty safe to say that no one else at the tournament had to take as challenging of a shot as Fleming, who finished the tournament in 10th place in the individual standings. Montrose’s Chelsea Peterson managed the top individual finish with a 6-over 78, helping the Indians run away with the team title with a final score of 252.
Finishing in second place was Montrose’s Jordan Cherry (85), with Alyx Carter of Rifle and Mikayla Mckie of Montrose finishing tied for third place with an 89. Conditions at RVR were extremely windy most of the day, and the end result was only 11 of the tournament’s 30 golfers finishing with a score of under 100.
Fleming, however, could have finished with a much higher score after her tee shot on the 17th hole went unto the ditch along the right side of the fairway. But instead of taking a drop — since it isn’t officially a hazard — she simply moved a few rocks out of the way so she could have a better chance of hitting the ball square with her sand wedge.
She did just that, too, as her ball gently landed onto the edge of the fairway to set up a decent approach shot. And she took advantage of it, too, needing just four more shots to finish with a bogey on a hole that could have been disastrous for her.
“As soon as I hit that second shot where I did, I though to myself, ‘Well, at least I have a chance now,’” Fleming said.
The first time Fleming broke past the 100-stroke threshold was at the Montrose Invitational last week at Cobble Creek Golf Course. So in reaching that point twice in the last three tournaments, she’s optimistic about finishing strong to end the season.
“I’m hoping this will give me a chance at reaching [the state tournament],” she said. “And if I don’t, that’s OK. I’ve still had a good season.”
Fruita Monument finished a distant second with a team score of 289, with Katie Rice and Megan Volkmann each carding a 91. Glenwood got a 101 from Melissa Thrun and a 104 from Audrey Jones, and Rifle got a 112 from Emily Neuroth and a 117 from Toni Booth.