Walters wins Grand Valley Invitational |

Walters wins Grand Valley Invitational

Jon Mitchell
Post Independent Sports Editor
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jon Mitchell Post IndependentTaylor Walters of Rifle High School takes a shot from the right side of the fairway on hole No. 5 at Battlement Mesa Golf Course during Monday afternoon's Grand Valley Invitational. Walters shot an 81 on the par-72 course to win medalist honors.

PARACHUTE, Colorado – Taylor Walters didn’t think she played that well on Monday. Her score against the 57-player field at the Grand Valley Invitational said otherwise.

The Rifle High School senior shot an 81 on the par-72 Battlement Mesa Golf Course, good enough to notch a three-stroke victory in the individual standings and her second tournament win of the season.

“I was giving myself opportunities to do really well,” said Walters, a two-time state qualifier for the Bears. “I just failed to take advantage of them.”

Walters was referring to her green game, noting five three-putt holes and one four-putt finish which kept her score from going even lower. It turned out to be good enough to beat the 84 from Kala Keltz of Montrose, who has twice finished 1-2 alongside Walters in tournaments this season. Walters won the Delta Invitational on March 13, and Keltz won the Montrose Invitational the next day.

“We’ve kind of switched off this season,” Walters said, smiling.

Walters got some assistance from teammate Alyx Carter, whose fourth-place score of 91 helped the Bears earn a second-place team score of 304. Montrose, however, convincingly won the team title with a score of 269.

Walters did manage birdies on the 7th, 8th and 17th holes to make up for the multi-putt holes she was lamenting. Carter also had her share of misfortune, as she attributed her three- and four-putt finishes in part to the course layout.

“It’s easy to get on the greens because they’re so big here,” Carter said. “But then I was left with these ridiculously long putts. That was frustrating.”

Coal Ridge and Glenwood Springs also had some stand-out individuals during the tournament. Glenwood’s McClay Bruce finished tied for fifth place individually, as her score of 97 tied Jordan Cherry of Montrose.

Right behind with a 98 was the Titans’ Melissa Steinbach, who tied with Jennifer Ehmsen of Gunnison and Kate Shuman of Palisade.

Grand Valley, the host school, fell two players short of fielding a team in the tournament. Misty Bowen carded a 117 and Vanessa Greene had a 112. One of Greene’s shots – a birdie putt on hole No. 17 – prompted a celebration.

“If you would have seen her out there, you would have thought she’d just won the Masters,” Grand Valley coach Drew Thompson said.

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